“There is much discussion about the colour” by Sasha in the bath

Monday November 5, 2018
10:06pm
5 minutes
Blushing
Daenna Van Mulligen

River playing in the living room and I’m here
now okay this is the now and then there’s skating
on the dreams of when we wore pink snow suits
and swam in blue blue water turning us into
little women turning us into mermaids
killed and kissed and freedom and water

She’s so busy now being who she needs to be
that sometimes I’m not sure about any of the choices
that I’ve made oh those seven thousand miles between us
stretching into winter and forest and grouse and
oh scaling the chasm of forgetting

Let’s go back there to the place where we
would sing in the backseat of the white Nissan of the
truth and all that floral stationary telling our
secrets telling our futures reading our open
and outstretched palms

“It gave her a deep sinking feeling” by Julia on the couch at Alma Beach Manor

Friday July 13, 2018
9:27pm
5 minutes
Cujo
Stephen King

She spent an hour reorganizing the spices. Rosemary in front,
Chinese five spice in the back. Somehow she has more Chinese five spice than anything else. Well not somehow. She doesn’t like it. She’s only used it once.
After that she moved the sugars and honey to a different shelf. “Everything has its home” and now everything looks like company’s coming.
That was the plan all along
But really it was just the catalyst. She needs clean cupboards so she can see all the spices she isnt using.
She slammed the cupboards around as if he wasn’t sleeping in the other room.
She didn’t feel much like being quiet. Especially now that she had “exhausted him” into an early evening nap.
He said some things earlier that she rebutted well but the tears came as they always do, as the Niagara Falls always does. She wondered if he was right about one thing. Maybe two.

“Subway platform walls” by Julia on the 84

Wednesday June 6, 2018
5:35pm
5 minutes
People Revolution
Amani Bin Shinkansen 

I miss a city that knows how to be a city
I think about subway platforms and rats and random conversations with a stranger at the laundromat

I want a city that doesn’t stop living when the snow hits
When the festival is over
I want a city that knows how to make things
Reaches into its pockets and turns lint into lightening, paints the sky magic

I miss a city that celebrates life in the streets with food and music and dancing

I need a city that doesn’t have any height restrictions
If I am going to fling myself off of a building, then let it be a big one

I want the me I am when summer kisses city on the sweaty mouth
I want to kiss it on the mouth

“I am weary” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday May 9, 2018
11:11pm
5 minutes
The Identity Repairman
Thomas Sayers Ellis

“May is my Everest,” I hear myself saying too many times a day.

“And then the summit is your birthday!” You said yesterday.

Today you say, Kiss on the mouth.

Tomorrow you say, “I know, sweetheart.”

“May is my Everest,” I tell a student, who laughs.

“May is my Everest,” I text a friend on the other side of the country.

“You can do it! You can do it all! I love you!” She texts back with the muscle emoji.

“May is kinda my… Everest,” I tell my Mom when I call her on Sunday.

“One day at a time,” she says.

“Flying Housewife” by Julia on the 4

Saturday April 28, 2018
10:58pm
5 minutes
www.independent.co.uk

She has wings

Her hands know how to flutter at the end of her arms
Watch how she keeps herself up
Watch how she treads the deepest air

She is getting things done

Busy busy flying throughout the house before her wife comes home because her wife is the only one who leave the house little bird stays inside floats in the living room
Above the coffee table hovering along the shelves lined with baby photographs she is cleaning up the disagreements the mirrors collecting dust in all the ghosts of her lipstick affirmations she is keeping things tidy for when her wife comes home because she doesn’t leave so what excuse does she have not to have the house clean for when she arrives

She moves quickly to avoid getting stuck

She keeps her wings flapping
So she will be ready to use them

“I knew that sitting like that would bring me happiness.” By Sasha at the Intercontinental Yorkville

Friday January 12, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
How To Sit
Thich Nhat Hanh

I know that sitting would bring me something new, but I never let myself do it. Maybe it’s because I was taught to move, that moving equals productivity or something? Maybe it’s because when I sit, I feel. When I’m still, I have the space to know what I know, to trust my gut. So, I go from bed to the gym to the office to choir to drinks to bed. Bed to gym to office to yoga to bed. Bed to office to drinks to dinner to dancing to bed. You get the picture. And then, on a Sunday afternoon when my best friends cancels a hike, I sit. I sit. I sit. I close my eyes, just like the book says, and I pay attention to my breath going in and out. In and out.

“How’re you?” By Sasha on her porch


Sunday September 11, 2016
7:20am
5 minutes
From a text message

How’re you?

Fine. Tired.

Yeah… But, really – … How are you?

So so tired.

What are you doing for the soft parts of yourself that get confused and think they need to be hard in order to get everything done?

Reading self help books?

Ha ha.

Zoning out on my phone too much.

Yeah. I do that, too. What would happen if you took a bath instead?

I’d probably fall asleep and drown.

Unlikely.

I should, I should take a bath. I have those fancy bath salts from six Christmases ago.

“but also for the people in the neighbourhood” by Julia on her couch


Sunday November 15, 2015
10:12pm
5 minutes
from the Union Gospel Mission calendar

Karen sat patiently by the phone willing it to ring and wishing that it had already. She had, earlier that week, applied to be a member of Neighbourhood Watch and was told that all successful applicants would be contacted by Friday at the very latest. Karen didn’t have anything else particularly pressing to do since she fell ill two months back. She wanted to fill her time with meaningful activities since she wasn’t fit enough to return to the grocery store. Emirel said she might have overextended herself there anyway, coming into help stack and pack when she wasn’t even scheduled to work. Karen wanted to do something other than tend to the plants she had been growing in her laundry room. She didn’t think she’d have a very strong harvest the first time around, especially because she had been relying on various youtube videos to teach her how to grow a crop of marijuana properly. Karen got bored easily. She wanted to have at least two things to watch, if she could help it.

“residents at a homeless shelter” by Julia at Dalston Kingsland Station


Wednesday December 10, 2014
9:33pm
5 minutes
from howlround.com

Sel walks in and she’s so happy. I see her face from behind the desk and I know she’s gonna give me some good news. After the day I’ve been having, it wouldn’t take much. I keep working so the surprise feels more real. I know she’s gonna come up to me and tell me right away so I make her work for it a tiny bit.
She has to stop herself from skipping all the way to the desk, but I’m there stapling, labelling, checking off boxes until she sees she has to request me. You busy, Middy? And I stop what I’m doing for a brief second. Mhm, same same. Would you be able to take a quick break then, Middy? And I stop fully, look her in the eyes. What can I help you with, Sel? There’s that big smile again. Oh, nothing! I’ve got it all sorted! Got what all sorted, Sel? And she holds up a bag of Roasted Chicken and Thyme potato crisps. You got yourself the munchies there, Sel? And she laughs. Don’t worry about the Christmas budget this year, Middy! THESE TASTE EXACTLY LIKE A TURKEY DINNER.

“in the passenger seat” by Julia at her desk


Sunday October 26, 2014
12:33am
5 minutes
from the early draft of a screenplay

Anja sat quietly in the front seat, not wanting to disturb her father while he was lost. She knew she’d only have a few more calm minutes with him before he lost his temper, and she didn’t want to reduce them by saying the wrong thing, or breathing too loudly. Anja had wanted to go up to the cabin with her father ever since she was a kid, but for some reason they never did things just the two of them. Of course Pat got to do everything with their father, and he’d come home shining like the sun after a weekend alone with him. Anja knew she didn’t have much to say to her father, but always assumed that was because she never got to go on these trips like her brother did. If she had had the opportunity, she would have made herself known. She would have told a few jokes and proven how strong she was, and fearless. It felt like the two of them, finally spending some quality time together, had been driving in circles for at least an hour. Anja wondered briefly if this moment would be enough to bring them closer together.

“The realist canon” by Julia at her desk


Thursday October 23, 2014
1:14am
5 minutes
Realisms of Redress
Natalie Alvarez


saw that pretty little thing reading in the corner
the edges of her book tattered
the pages ripped and curled
she had a bookmark made out of a piece of toilet tissue
making me smile
knowing she likes to read in the bathroom
and why not?
why not read in the bathroom?
she wasn’t looking at anyone at all
not distracted for even a minute
the book was a good one
I couldn’t tell which one it was
the cover was a solid forrest green without any writing
but she didn’t stop even to sip her tea
probably purchased just to have something on her table
a place holder for the idea of multitasking
she was wearing a potato sack
or at least she could have been
I wasn’t looking at her outfit
I was busy trying to see inside her mind
wondering if she could see me seeing her
wondering if she was in fact so distracted by me
that she had to pretend to keep reading
to prevent herself from turning red
or if she was engrossed
in love
with the words on the page

“Courier Mail and Daily Telegraph” by Julia in her bed


Friday Aug 8, 2014
2:05am
5 minutes
http://www.taste.com

I had been waiting for Gina’s response for over three weeks. It was her idea to keep sending lovely hand-written letters to each other once a week but she was getting really bad at it. Her first letters were so open and raw and I could see her mouthing the words as I read them because they just felt so honest. Then they started getting shorter, she’d stop responding to my questions in a way that reminded me of unrequited love by means of questionless text messages. She started signing all her letters with a lipstick kiss, something I always hated having to return due to the inadequate, small, pursed shape my kiss marks made (not the luscious kind you think is the only kind that creates a desirable or kissable mouth when you’re young). By this point Gina was signing her letters with a modest “G” and that was it. Surely she was busy or distracted, or had found a new friend to spend all her time writing quirky opinions to. But what bothered me most was the waiting for her response. I was busy too, or so I liked to believe, and I was always able to write to her.

“It’s a cozy little place” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar going East


Monday June 16, 2014
4:32pm
5 minutes
winnipegfreepress.com

When you arrived you thought to yourself, “it’s a cozy little place,” but now that you’ve been here for thirty one years, your opinions have changed. Now you think to yourself, especially when you’re downtown, with the honking and the whistling, “it’s a loud and big place.”

Viv brought you a hat from Newfoundland. You liked it and wore it all winter. You liked how it kept you warm and also hid your bald spot.

“we are responsible” by Sasha on the Bathurst bus


Monday, October 28, 2013
3:48pm
5 minutes
“Real life and other tall stories”
The Wednesday Review


She was born feeling responsible, so don’t get her wrong when she gets a bit snippy upon being asked if she did the laundry today. She’s busy. She’s overwhelmed. She didn’t. But she wishes that she had. Trust in that, even if you can’t trust in her to tell you that she’s tired when she’s tired and hungry from forgetting lunch. And breakfast. She was made to lead, so when she has to take orders (or suggestions) she gets passive aggressive. Smile at her and tell her you love her, you love her drive, you love the version of “I’m So Excited” that she hums when she’s working.