“I peel carrots and potatoes” by Julia on her bed

Wednesday April 1, 2020
5 minutes
Ordinary Life
Barbara Crooker

Things I’ve Learned Today:

  1. It takes me 17 minutes to peel a butternutsquash
  2. Working out is most effective when hydrated
  3. 3 puffs is my max right now
  4. I don’t need to bother with underpants if I wear a long skirt
  5. Cutting carrots is always an extreme sport for me and I count my lucky stars when my fingers go unscathed
  6. sometimes I zone out completely when I’m slicing and again, count my lucky stars
  7. I have many lucky stars
  8. Birdsong is a salve
  9. Cookies in coffee is my happy place
  10. Cheese is a temptress and I must avoid her advances at all costs

“since I let myself think about” by Julia on her couch

Sunday December 1, 2019
5 minutes
I Never Liked Your Friends
Alexandria Maillot

mushrooms and pizza crust
mountains of cheese
decadent pudding
vanilla milkshakes
black cherry yogurt
mint chocolate
driveby burger dorritos
hazelnut cream sea-shells
nutella filled donuts
double-baked almond croissant
lemon meringue pie
zia’s easy cheesecake
zia’s tiramisu
zia’s porcini mushroom gnocci
zia’s sweet-milk tarts

“Cut cucumber halves crosswise” by Julia in her bed

Monday May 29, 2017
5 minutes
The Silver Palate Cookbook
Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins

Thanks for doing the shopping and buying the cucumber. I dont know what made you think to, but i’m sure glad you did. I really wanted it. I was going to make us a cheese salad, you know with at least three different kinds? Goat and feta and all those guys. I didn’t want to ask you cause I didn’t think you cared one way or the other.

“Share the love” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday March 9, 2016
5 minutes
From the sign at Platform 7

Tonight I realized that I have never asked Bettina what she did at home in the Ukraine, like what she did for work or whatever. I felt like a complete asshole. I’ve been working with this woman for months and I really don’t know anything about her. I take her for granted. I really do. She sneaks me chunks of cheese and cucumber, and I basically act like she doesn’t matter. She’s here, working two jobs in a country where she’s a stranger everywhere, she’s not running into people she went to kindergarten with at the corner store… So I said, “Bettina, I can’t believe I’ve never asked, what do you do at home, in your country?”

“I work with the orphan”, she said. “I study education, medicine, arts, everything in university and then I work with orphans whose three to six years old.”

“that you already know and like.” By Sasha on the 9

Monday February 22, 2016
5 minutes

I arrive at his apartment above the bike shop, with the deck that looks like a pier and the tiny plastic, dancing monkeys on the old reel-to-reel, with the roommate that is only a voice on the other side of the door, who I’ve never actually met. Ben meets me at the front door, shirtless in old grey sweat shorts and a brown hat. He whispers in my ear when I hug him,

“I’m really high right now”.

Ben has recently broken up with his girlfriend of five and a half years, Sonja. She’s in Paris doing an internship at a gallery. I imagine her to be really beautifully, thin, knowing an a whole lot about Marina Abromovic and fancy cheese. Ben speaks of her often. He clearly still loves her. I know what he’s doing, replacing the woman’s body beside him in his bed. I wonder if I’m the only one.

“Was she already dead” by Sasha at the Dundas/Jane Toronto Public Library

Saturday April 19, 2014
5 minutes
Her Room
Anja Garbarek

I live on Virtue St. I have a solarium filled with plants, and sometimes cats. Two of them. I have a collection of china dolls in the hutch in the dining room and a fifteen road signs stolen from a wide assortment of places that decorate the walls. My favourite sign says “MOOSE CROSSING” and Herb sound it in Jasper when he was working the Western Parks. He brought it all the way back for me, even though he hitchhiked most of the way. Herb lives in Espanola now and doesn’t come around much, but when he does, he usually brings cheese from the dairy farm close to him. That’s a real treat. Cheese that’s not purchased at a supermarket is one of life’s greatest delights. I live on Virtue St. I took over the house when Mum died. She bequeathed it to Bethany but Bethany didn’t want it so she signed it over to me without even a blink of the eye. She doesn’t come around much, either. Vancouver is far away.

“Would you trust a mouse” by Julia at her kitchen table

Sunday November 10, 2013
5 minutes
alive magazine October 2013

My lover and I used to have a regular visitor. He was tiny and he was fast, but we learned to love him because he was ours. Something we both shared and something we both knew to be true. I had seen him first, out of the corner of my eye, and I was accepting of his presence because he stared at me the first day with such confidence and unapologetic stillness. It was amazing. And so I didn’t scream, or jump, or chase him. I welcomed him into our home, and I knew my lover would be equally as accepting. When I filled with the finest cheese, peanut butter, and cookies. We didn’t want him to think we were the greedy type. My lover lined the basket with a gingham fabric that once used to line our picnic baskets, and on occasion, the inside of our coat pockets so we’d match. Oh how we forget the beautiful days that bonded us, even in clothing. We took care of our new housemate as if he were a cat, or a puppy. Lots of love and lots of witty banter.