“the woman’s anonymous appearance” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday November 4, 2018
8:21am
5 minutes
Beauty Beheld
Sara Harowitz

The woman appears in what she always knew she’d be wearing in this moment, an outfit she’s thought about more than any other thing in her life, though she’s loathed to admit that, she’d never admit that.

Horowitz calls the woman into his office. She’s ready – cheek’s flushed, breath deep, hands shaking only slightly. Horowitz recently died his hair black and the woman isn’t used to it yet. It looks severe, menacing even.

“How are you, Katrina?” Horowitz doesn’t stand up when she enters, even though he should, and he knows it. He takes her in, toes to scalp. The woman bristles. This isn’t going as she’d planned.

“Thanks for meeting with me, Henry. I appreciate your time.” She sits down in one of the red leather chairs opposite his desk. He leans back.

“What’s up?” He pulls a file from the top drawer and files his left thumb nail.

“I have worked here for three and a half years. I have managed every account you’ve given me to the best of my ability, and received only glowing praise from clients. I know it. You know it.” She uncrosses her legs, feels her feet firmly planted on the floor.

“Your nanny today was” by Julia at S and M’s house

Friday November 3, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
from a receipt

Sabryn is smart. Like her mother. Sharp, rather (According to the book Drew Barrymore is quoting). Apparently you’re not supposed to say smart. Or tell your kid that they are. I don’t know why. I’m not a mother. I’m someone’s replacement for the evening. I’m their “older sister” who lets them watch one extra show before bed. I’m the one who tells their mother that they’re smart. So their mother will feel good about her job as someone’s mother. Some have been at it longer than others. I’ve noticed that it doesn’t matter if their kids are one or twelve, mothers want to hear that their kids are smart. Sharp. And I only say it if it’s true. I only tell them anecdotes that will make them love their own offspring more when it is genuine. I’m not in the business of lying to parents about how great their children are. They do enough of that on their own. I simply provide a service in which I keep their kids from killing each other while their parents are at the Guns & Roses concert and maybe teach them the joys of MadLibs.

“It’s already 10 o’clock!” by Sasha on the 99


Wednesday December 2, 2015
6:20pm
5 minutes
Said by Joe

Clark got new glasses. It’s like he thinks he’s handsome now or something. Whatever, Clark. They are silver, the kind that would blind you if the sun was shining and you looked directly at them. They belong in 1997.

“Have you finished updating the spreadsheets, Pete?” He peers over the half wall that separates us. Every one else has a full wall between them. Not me and Clark.

“You asked me to do that sixteen minutes ago. What do you think I am, Superman?”

Clark winks. I roll my eyes.

“I’ll have it to you by end of day, Clark.” I smile through clenched teeth.

“Her head is down.” By Sasha on her couch


Thursday November 5, 2015
7:53pm
5 minutes
An assignment in the marking pile

We don’t have it in the budget to make that happen. I’m sorry. Mostly what we do, is help facilitate community groups, but it’s not always easy for them to navigate stuff in the process. There isn’t always a clear path, right? It’s not that kind of place… We try to navigate that, on behalf of the community groups, but when something comes along that really catches our eye… We have a lot of people pitching events and stuff, it’s the lowest threshold of thing we can do in the space. It’s easy to focus people’s attention… We hope that we’re building powerful relationships, right, that we’re making sustained change… It’s tough. It’s a tough market… It really depends. I’m sorry. We really considered it. We really did.

“Flatten the dough into a disk” by Julia at her desk


Saturday February 7, 2015
1:18am
5 minutes
http://www.happyolks.com/

Mom calls me on Saturday, she’s flipping the fuck out. I’m like, Mom. Why can’t you ever call me to say hi or do you need money? She’s like, this is a family emergency, Deirdre, don’t fucking quit on us. And I’m like, don’t call me a quitter, I’m not even fucking doing anything. Turns out the family fucking emergency was that Rodney fell off the stage at his group home again during “choir time” and really needs us all to be there. When I ask her where “there” means, thinking she’s going to say the hospital because maybe he finally got a concussion or at least a broken leg or something, and she’s like, It’d be really nice to have your moral support without questioning my judgement for once, Deirdre. We’re just trying to go on with business as usual so your brother doesn’t feel like a burden. And I’m like, business as usual? You’re fucking interrupting my business as usual just so you can tell me to be there for him…in spirit!

“Hair Design Inc.” by Julia on her couch


Monday May 19, 2014
12:41am
5 minutes
from insurance papers

I’m gonna go to a real nice school and learn how to cut all the nice ladies’ hair. I’m going to give them high status looks and sophisticated styles. Then they will tell all their friends that they know a girl who will make them look like a star. A real movie star. I have to get a couple clients. Then I’ll show them my skills and they will see I love cutting hair so much and they will come again to see me when they need an up-do or even just a blowout for a business meeting. I’ll give them my card and say okay this is for you, you’ve been a very good customer. And they’ll tell me I was the best they ever had in their life. In their life! They’ll repeat that part cause it’s important. And they’ll walk out smiling with love cause they look so nice and they feel the way they look. So first I have to find the right school. The right school for the right kind of hairstyles.

“how thrilled she was” by Julia on her bed


Thursday May 15, 2014
8:17pm
5 minutes
This American Life Podcast

He deals with the landlord because she gets real entitled for no reason. She thinks she should have holes in walls replaced immediately, and that he should be able to be contacted at any time of the day, the night, holiday or not. He knows that if he calls the landlord after business hours, he’ll get a better response. He can shoot the shit. He can talk about the basketball game or the hockey game or the weather or the news. She gets right down to the matter at hand and forgoes any niceties because she’s busy and doesn’t care if her landlord thinks she’s unpleasant. She’s made because she offered once to babysit his three girls because she thought that might help their chances of never getting their rent price inflated. He said no and she never forgave him so now she just calls him when she has to and otherwise gets pissy if the ceiling in the kitchen leaks and she knows it won’t get resolved till after business hours three weeks from now because everyone else is so damn laid back. He tells her that she needs to let go a bit and stop worrying that everyone is out to get her and purposely stretching out tasks that need completing. She tells him his standards are too low and that they are not friends because friends don’t make friends sign a contract for a 1 year lease.
She reminds him to remind the landlord and he tells her that it will all get done eventually.

“submerged regrets were ready to overflow” by Sasha at the Library at College and Crawford


Tuesday March 25, 2014
3:39pm
5 minutes
The New Yorker
Feb 17, 2014


You got the sense, when you looked at him, that he had all these submerged regrets, ready to overflow at any second… I’m not talking about the sister thing, I think we’ve all talked about that enough… It was the other stuff, you know, the missed opportunities or whatever. I don’t know. And then I’m like, who are we to even think we have any right to talk about this guys life?! Like, really? He had a choice and he made it. It’s not like he was one of those kids and you can say, he just needed some guidance. He was sixty three for Pete’s sake! Sixty three years of trying to find a better way… I heard a girl at the second hand shop on Princess St. saying that if only he’d this and if only he’d that but… We don’t know the half. I don’t think we even know a thing about a thing when it comes to someone with a bit of fame, a bit of notoriety… So that’s it. That’s the last I’m gonna talk about it. You have my word on that.

You know that I danced with him at Prom? Oh yeah… Smelled like rum…

“against the kitchen window” by Sasha at Ezra’s Pound on Dundas


Friday August 2, 2013 at Ezra’s Pound
1:22pm
5 minutes
Fall On Your Knees
Anne-Marie MacDonald


Mr. Lee felt more proud than the day he boarded the boat to freedom, to glazed doughnuts and late night TV. He licked his finger and rubbed a speck of dirt off of the sign. “Under New Management”. He called to his wife, but she was in the back and couldn’t hear him. He walked back, to the counter, and opened the newspaper. He couldn’t understand a word. His eyes danced over “q” and “s” and “v”. His wife, named Elizabeth, newly chosen in honour of the Queen, came in from the back with a steaming pot of tea. “Sit down,” he says, in Mandarin, in the language of their hearts, their home, and the language of their leaving. She obliges. “Why are you looking at that Canada newspaper?” Elizabeth asks. “I’m learning,” Mr. Lee snaps. Even she calls him that, “Mister Lee”. He asked her too. She rolled her eyes, behind his back, but obliged. She’d learned, after twenty three years of marriage, to choose her battles more carefully than a stalk of broccoli from the market, than a filet of fish from the grocer, than a gold chain from the pawn shop.