“you called me at 5:30, said you couldn’t sleep” by Julia on the 99


Monday August 7, 2017
10:36pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

The phone buzzes beside my dreams and I think for a sleep second (which in real life is like, 100 wisps of sand) that you are dying and I am the only one who can love you when you’re dying. I can’t give you money but I can give you that. You want a soft arm to hold when the sky opens up? I can be that for you.
When my body alerts me to wake up (and I always wake up) there is a voicemail from you saying that you can’t sleep. My internal clock knows when it’s time to reach you. It knows 5am like a rock in a shoe.

“bare bones information” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday November 30, 2016
9:44am
5 minutes
From a lesson plan

Calls me and leaves me a voicemail
she’s got big news she’s got crescent moons

I listen like I did when my father
read me Runaway Bunny

I missed her call on purpose
a glue on my lips a glue on my lips

I wait three days before calling back
“Hey, how are you? Sorry I’ve been so busy.”

I’m walking in the rain in a not-warm-enough jacket
I’m counting the November rotting underfoot

“The secret of remaining young” By Julia on Lindsay’s Couch


Saturday August 13, 2016
7:12am
5 minutes
The Picture Of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde


Mom calls me to tell me about her trip tells me all about the seaside
And how people don’t care
That North America has judgments about women’s bodies and women’s
Minds
She tells me that she bought
Her first bikini
In 15 years
And that she loves it
And that she’s decided
She no longer cares
About the rules
Either
Mom tells me about her trip
How she listened to her body
Instead of punishing it
How she gave her skin a chance
How she smiled more than before
How people told her how good
She looked
And how shocking that
Was
And how nice that is
And how maybe she has
Finally
Let herself believe them
Because they are right
Because she has put the hard work in
Because she has unlocked her heart
And freed her inner child
Mom tells me about he trip
About her journey to find
peace
And how on the way
She found a whole lot more
Inside herself
Than she meant to

“WOMAN SENTENCED FOR BUTT INJECTIONS” by Sasha in her bed


Saturday March 28, 2015
9:39pm
5 minutes
An unknown transit newspaper

The city roars like a lion and she sleeps like a
dove
Wings tucked and coo-ing while feathers reminding us to
look up look down look deeper look through
The island calls with her harp and her pine needles
slugs leaving hope-slime
Will it be enough?
I’ll need to get a driver’s licence
Where do ambition and simplicity meet?
Let’s go there and
bring twelve lemons and our favourite books
One for me
(bell hooks)
One for you
(Dharma Bums)
It’s all we’ll need

“1951-2013” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, October 6, 2013
11:14pm
5 minutes
from Haroon Rahim Bakhsh’s memorial card

When we get there, I’ll make sure Mona knows about the car seat. Okay? I promise you, Birdie, I won’t let anything happen. Mona has the kettle ready to go, she just said to call when we’re a minute or two out so she can put it on. She’s trying, Birdie. She wants to help you, and I suppose both of us. She really is. It’s not like a judging thing. She’s truly invested in this family, and I honestly couldn’t even tell you why. She might see something in me, but quite positive it’s you she worries about. She’s maybe not had to deal with some of the same things, but I can assure you, she’s a good listener. And she understands without having to go through it all. I think that’s rare, Birdie. I think it’s nice too. If you’re still feeling uncomfortable by, I don’t know, 3pm or 4, you just let me know and we don’t have to stay. We do have to go, though, that’s part of the plan. She’s expecting us, after all, and it wouldn’t be fair to keep her waiting forever and then never show up. If you want we can even tell her right when we get there that we’re probably not sticking around. She won’t begrudge us that, but we have to at least drop in for half and hour and say hi. She’s been busy baking all morning for us. It’d be a shame to let her famous ginger cookies to go to waste.

“THIS WILL NEVER LAST” By Julia at her kitchen table


Friday, December 21, 2012
4:55pm
5 minutes
The Harbourfront Centre Season Guide
Winter 2012/2013


“Sure, I’ll call you,” she says, and winks. He’s a bundle of nerves and he’s sweating through his favourite white deep V T-shirt. Surely she’ll call. She has to. She says she will.
She’s a mermaid. Long red hair, hour glass frame, peach perfect lips.
He thinks about what she looks like in the rain, in the shower. His imagination is unstoppable.
He returned her cashmere scarf to her last week because she left it at his coffee shop, on the window sill. She left her e-mail, he he gave her his number. They met up to make the exchange and he cracked a witty joke that made her shoot hot chocolate out of her nose. He remembers feeling like he was high…
He told her he wanted to take her out for dinner. “Sure, I’ll call you.” That’s what she said and that’s what she says. Over and over he replays the image: her beautiful, laughing, winking; Him smiling awkwardly, sweating trough his favourite white deep V…

“You know full well” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday, December 9, 2012
10:56pm
5 minutes
First Kiss
Brian Doyle


Any decent guy would have called me back. I’m serious. Decency is like archaic right now. It’s like, extinct or something. Don’t people always say that? That decency is dead? Well it is. It’s like, more dead than that other thing that people also say is dead. I’m just pissed you know? Anyone who knows me, knows that when I put on my mascara, it’s go time. I don’t usually wear it that much, but like, when I do, that’s it. I’m going out, someone good looking is going to see me, the night is going to be the best and last forever, and I’m going to feel really good about myself. But like, last night, I got all ready, I was looking amazing, and Dan was supposed to call me back to sort out our plans or whatever, and I’m like, buddy, just call me back because I need to know the status. And he could have. But he didn’t. So do I not sit there the entire night just waiting for the phone to ring so I have an excuse to make use of the mascara I already carefully applied? Of course. I just sit and wait and watch Easy A on Netflix while I’m like, hoping Dan has the DECENCY to return my call and simply say whether or not he’s willing to brave this effing snow storm to come pick me up so we can go to the Ballroom and effing dance/bowl the entire night. But no. He could have, he should have, but he didn’t. So now I’m like, locking him out. I’m locking him out to punish him for this waste of a Friday that he caused. And if he wants to like, get back in, then whatever about him, he can CALL ME.