“You know I’m fallin'” By Sasha at her desk

Sunday March 5, 2017
5 minutes
Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac

I pull up, into my usual parking spot. I didn’t have time to put make-up on before leaving the house and dropping Tam at daycare. I never used to even wear make-up. Look what you’ve done to me, Gurmeet. I put on “Prussian Pink” lipstick and a bit of eyebrow pencil and I can’t believe how fast my heart is beating. I brought my travel mug today, because it usually allows us an extra minute or two of conversation. Steven asked why I’ve started wearing perfume again. I shrugged it off. I said, “I don’t know, Steven! When did you stop flushing your shits?” I think he got the hint. I don’t even like Tim Horton’s coffee. But here I am, walking in, knowing that I’m going to see you, knowing that you’re going to ask me about Tam and if I want an Old Fashioned.

“American singer-songwriter” by Julia on her couch

Friday April 15, 2016
5 minutes
from a Lenny Kravitz Google search

Performing in the bar, local bar, playing to crowds who love it, come back each week, bring their friends, become family. That’s what I really want. I don’t need stadium. I just want to entertain and share my music. I don’t care if I’m not rich. I’ll have artistic needs being met. I’ll get to share an experience, make people happy, help the bar make a bit more cash that night, drink for free. That’s it. I’m far from it. I’m not a flake or anything; I know that I’ve got a long road ahead of me before I can be that ready. I’m not delusional. It’s the dream though. I don’t necessarily envision it with a band or just me and my guitar. I don’t play the guitar yet. Doesn’t mean I can’t learn. Never too old to learn something new.

“Let’s roll, babycakes” by Julia at her dining table

Thursday April 14, 2016
5 minutes
overheard on Arbutus

I want you to beg me to stay when I tell you I’ll be sleeping at my mother’s place tonight. I want you to get on your knees and apologize for being a dick so I can forgive you and then apologize for being a dick back to you. I’m angry but I won’t be later but I don’t know how to turn this thing around before later is later. I feel like I’ve pushed all your buttons and there’s no easy rewind let’s pretend that never happened one to press. Why don’t you come with one like that? I am at the door with my overnight bag and I want you to throw me a banana if you’re not going to try to keep me from going. Let me know you still care about my potassium intake even when we’re hating each other. Even when you’re secretly glad that I won’t be sleeping beside you tonight to remind you of this stupid fight we both engaged in when we were both enraged about the thing we won’t remember in the morning.

“Don’t turn off your computer” by Julia at Platform 7

Wednesday April 13, 2016 at Platform 7
5 minutes
from the update installation screen

For the first time in a month of coming here, the man with obnoxious voice and even more obnoxious ponytail is not working in the cafe that I am borrowing as my office. I don’t mean to say I miss him-I don’t- but I’ve come to expect him and now things feel a bit off.
I spilled coffee into my laptop bag, and into my laptop keyboard, and onto my table, and into the self-deprecating narrative that I’m the kind of person who spills liquids on all the things that should never get wet.
I waited in line for the single-stall bathroom for the duration of “Another Day” from the Rent soundtrack because I could hear someone doing a million weird things inside and I didn’t know how long was reasonable to wait before I decided to stop waiting.
Nothing else bad has happened. I don’t think it’s obnoxious ponytail accent’s fault for not being here- I was just trying to connect some dots that don’t need connecting while my computer updates itself and tells me not to shut off until it’s done. It’s done now. It doesn’t take long to restart or update but I always think it will. Maybe that’s a reminder for me when I make excuses for staying married to bad habits…

“No I’m glad you did.” by Julia at her dining table

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
5 minutes
from a text

This cute 17 year old just offered me a toke of his spliff and then told me if I wanted he would buy me chicken wings and show me the place that will change my life. I took a hit and I said “yeah alright” to the wings because I’m no idiot. I think he knew I was older but assumed just by a year or two and not a decade + two but I’m not in the business of walking people through life. If you have a question, ask it, if you think I’m a radiant and sexy 19 year old who will still be taken in by a high schooler’s charms then that’s what you think. Who am I to tell him I’m a little too old for him or that I’m in a relationship? He didn’t ask maybe he doesn’t want to know. Maybe he doesn’t care. I’m not going to be presumptuous. Maybe I’m going to kiss his soft baby lips after he buys me chicken wings. Maybe I’m going to give him my phone number so he can text me how much he needs me.

“Seems stressed always.” by Julia at Platform 7

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at Platform 7
5 minutes
from a text

You can find me in the poorly lit coffee shop scratching at my scalp, tiny flakes of dandruff floating into my keyboard as I type a letter to your mother that I will likely never send. I have escaped the confines of our bachelor apartment, spent the $2.75 on a coffee that reminds me that people are dying in places all around me, and have been here since the place opened. Miller is working a double and doesn’t ask me to leave or buy a sandwich. When he sees my crumpled forehead and my dandruff start to pile up in between the space bar and the track pad he knows to keep his distance. I am writing a letter to your mother and in it I am breaking up with you and I am breaking up with her. I am telling her why first so you can’t spin the story. I don’t want her to think less of you but I think she should know the truth. It’s taken a lot of my energy to think of the right words. I already have the right reasons. They’ve been living inside of me as long as your Taco Bell leftovers have been sitting in the fridge, collecting mold, being avoided like the plague.

“Each person comes into this world” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday January 31, 2015
5 minutes
from a quote by Osho

I’m inspired by THIS GIRL
She leaves her stuff unattended
She’s not restricted by fear
like the rest of us

A Mac laptop
Three books
A handful of pens and an
Orange highlighter

They beg me to steal them
Especially the pens
They looks like they have out-of-this world

She’s gone for longer than
a pee
She’s gone for a solid
walk around the block

Back like nothing happened
Like I didn’t touch the soft
supple aluminum of her

Computer’s head

“I am not sure at all” by Sasha in her garden

Thursday July 10, 2014
5 minutes
from a quote by Erica Jong

You think you’re so cool with your street art and your tattoos and your ironic name. “Joan”. Your parents didn’t know that you were going to get that haircut, okay. They didn’t. When you were a baby they probably thought that “Joan” was a sophisticated, pant-suit kinda name. They definitely didn’t think about the fact that, twenty three years in the future, you were going to take MDMA like calcium, and forget the difference between “high” and “low”. I’m sorry, I know I’m being aggressive, but… I’m so fucking angry at you! You come in and you say, “Americano,” but I know what you really mean is, “I’m better than you.” And, you are. Or, your art is. How street art can be in a gallery, earning you sixty G’s a year is really beyond me, but… So are a lot of things. Joan. Next time, say “please” or “thank you” or chuck a quarter in the tip jar. Please. Thanks. Oh, and my name is Andy. Like, Warhol.

“you want to be chosen” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar going East

Tuesday June 3, 2014
5 minutes
This American Life podcast

They’re both wearing V-neck T-shirts (black and blue) and cardigans over top (grey and lighter blue). Haircuts like men, like the popular haircut for men right now, a bit combed over, part spread like margarine. Mancuts. They’re scholars. They’re studying feminism, all the waves of it, all the ups and the valleys of it. The taste of it. They’re wearing scholarly shoes (black and brown). Their shoes speak to their intellect. They write with HB pencils, practising impermanence, erasing away the “his” in herstory. When they fuck, it’s lighter than their bodies, it’s light like sparkles, carried by the air. When they sleep their dreams are mirrors of one another. “I’ve learned it’s better to make them like you and then tell them how what you do is a little bit weird,” one says to the other.

“I ordered a half sandwich” by Sasha at The Holy Oak

Saturday February 1, 2014 at The Holy Oak
5 minutes
The True Secret of Writing
Natalie Goldberg

Walked up to the counter and thought, “this is the first day of the rest of my life.” The guy in the orange toque said, “What would you like?” “A reformation?” He didn’t get my joke, or whatever it was. I ordered a half sandwich (tuna), sat down and waited. When the guy came with the sandwich I said, “sorry for being weird. I’m having a rough week…” He smiled. He started to walk away. “I’m just… I got evicted. I’m pretty much homeless as of next month. And my family’s not from here so it’s pretty…” he turned around. “Sorry to hear that,” he said. I felt like an asshole. I felt like a walking “over-share”. I ate my sandwich. A minute later the guy came back. “Here’s the other half,” he smiled. “I think you need it more than I do. Tuna is the best.” I started to cry. “Shitshitshit,” I said, blubbering mayo and bits of fish and celery. “It’s okay…” He gave me some napkins. He looked sorry for me. He looked gentle and sweet and like he probably has really soft flannel sheets. When it was time for me to go, I left a twenty on the table. Even though it wasn’t the kinda place where you tip.

“smooth even the toughest” by Sasha on her bed

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
5 minutes
the back of the Aveda foot lotion

I see a familiar face across the street. I knock on the window, hoping you’ll see me but you keep walking. You must be listening to music. You must be on the phone. I see that you’re wearing burgundy pants and I silently congratulate you, because that was probably a big deal. I think about texting you, about e-mailing you, about sending you a tweet. I sit on my hands. I call my best friend, Molly. “I just saw him.” Molly is making soup. I can tell she’s holding the phone between her shoulder and her cheek because buttons keep getting pushed. “Oh no. What did you do? Did you sleep together? You slept together.” The sound of the soup bubbling. I imagine how foggy her glasses must be.

“He blushed and sat back down.” by Sasha at Ideal on Ossington

Thursday February 21, 2013 at Ideal Coffee
5 minutes
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
David Eggers

He asks me to watch his computer and his jacket, red and blue plaid. He goes down the stairs to the bathroom. I have the undeniable urge to slide over the restored church pew and read whatever his screen says. I don’t even care if it was something anti-climatic, it would be so clandestine. Beirut play on the coffee shop stereo and we all, every one of us, bob our heads, unquestioning and assuming only the regularity of the heartbeat of the song.

He returns. His hands must be a bit wet. Can’t have had time to dry them. He smiles a sideways, “thank you.” I realize that I know him. Oh my god. We danced together at a bar once, twelve hudred and a handful of days ago.

“What do they think they’re doing” by Julia at R Squared

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at R Squared
5 minutes
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
J.K. Rowling

a man comes up to you at a coffee shop and he’s like, want me to change your life? and you’re like, no, thanks, I’m good, but that’s because you’re just too scared to say YES. YES AND (it’s all the rage these days. you’d be surprised at how many movements this thing is a part of). he’s like, want me to fix your problems? and you’re like, no, thanks, I like my problems. what? you like your problems? are you nuts? do you also eat pieces of shit for breakfast and watch the home shopping network in japanese? try again. no one likes their problems. you can’t possibly. when someone tells you they will fix it, it’s like, just let them you know? no one has to be a hero. but like, that guy, the one who comes up to you in the coffee shop, he’s the hero. because he doesn’t even know you and he wants to help you. not because he’s saving your life. woah, there, he didn’t go as far to say that he would. did he? no, no, that’s too nice for a stranger. strangers don’t do that. let him fix your problems. worst case scenario is he actually can’t and then what? well then you’re just the same as you were with the problems you always had. it’s a win-win. you could buy that guy a sandwich if you felt like it. but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. he hasn’t done anything for you yet…

“ho-hum classic.” by Sasha at Cafe Pamenar

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at Pamenar
5 minutes
Wellman’s Chrestomathy of 22 Answers

ho hum doldrum she likes to make the rhymes
she does it all the thymes
(ohhhh, wordplay!)
When she writes in public she feels much more legitimate. Writing at ones’ own desk is just plain old sad. Write at overpriced coffee shops, goddamnit! Take yourself seriously, for goodness sake! Spend $43 on a poopspresso! Look cute in a striped shirt and black rimmed glasses! And, for the sake of the people, have a Mac! Instagram yourself writing, for legitimacy. Or, at least, your inspirational “spread”, including but not limited to – a book of Plath’s early work; said poopspresso latte art; your painted nails; a stubby HB pencil with assorted nibble marks…
ho hom bo bum she likes rhythm in her words
like her music
like her footsteps
ho hum bo bum do dum
doesn’t matter if it makes sense
better if it doesn’t
no one needs to
(Get it? See what I just did there?)

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

Friday, December 21, 2012
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…