“I didn’t hear that part” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday November 13, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 84

A lavender couch underneath a window. Spider plants, succulents and African Voilets line the sill. She sits in a caramel leather chair, perhaps Moroccan. Paintings on the walls, all in blues, greens, purples. An Indigenous etching of two women paddling a canoe, a Georgia O’Keefe flower, lily pads on a lake. I take it all in as quickly as I can. I can’t get enough. I’m dizzy.

“It’s so good to meet you,” she says.

“Yes. You too.”

“A first session is a time for us to get to know one another, to see if this is going to be a good fit.”

WRECKING BALL. OH MY GOD. If this is a good fit? It fits! I’m well fitted! My core is getting stronger by the minute! You mean this might not be –

“You seem distracted. Is there something on your mind?”

“Um – …”

“You’re flushed.”

“Yes. Well…” A silence longer than the GO Train ride to Union Station.

“We’ll look into this right away” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday November 8, 2017
11:20pm
5 minutes
vistaprint.ca

You’re running again
feel it
feel that
it’s your feet
they’re tired of carrying you
they’ll do it
they’ll always do it
but they’d like to rest
they’d like you to get
that wart on the side
of your foot checked out
it hurts
it hurts when you run
and you’ve been running again
do you ever thank them
your feet
your tired aching feet
they might carry you further
if they knew you cared
it doesn’t need to be big
not a singing telegram
or anything balloon related
but a rub would be nice
a rub with oil if you have it
if you have the time
You’ve been wondering why
it feels like you’ve slowed
and if we’re going to look
into this right away we need
you to first look into this
we on behalf of your feet
the representatives you chose
before you started running
before you started moving
so fast and maybe too fast
we’re not mad but we do
want to make sure you know

“We’ll look into this right away” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday November 8, 2017
10:56pm
5 minutes
vistaprint.ca

A: Hello? Hi, I just wanted to unsubscribe from –

B: Hello, and thank you for holding. We’re so sorry to hear that you are unsatisfied with our services and would request your feedback as to why you would no longer like to receive our emails. A representative will be with you shortly.

A: Oh good God.

B: Hello, and thank you for holding. We’re so sorry to hear that you are unsatisfied with our services and would request your feedback as to why you would no longer like to receive –

R: Thank you for holding. Rebecca here.

A: Rebecca. Hi. How are you? I just, I want to unsubscribe from the mailing list and I can’t believe that this requires a phone call, who even calls anyone anymore –

R: Could you please tell me you nineteen digit PIN?

“Then he yawned and returned to his deckchair.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday November 2, 2017
11:32pm
5 minutes
Life & Times of Michael K
J.M. Coetzee

RUDY: “I love you, Nina. I love you. I love you. I watch you and I’ve never felt such love. I don’t want to sound – … I’ve never loved someone like this before. I’ve never felt such – … Shit, Nina. Would you look at me? Could you please – … I don’t want to be inappropriate, I don’t want to be – … I… I can’t find the words to tell you how I feel, how I want to – …”

GEM: No. You can’t say that. She will sue you.

RUDY: Sue me?

GEM: Sue you.

RUDY: SUE ME?

GEM: Rudy. Yes. She could sue you! It’s bad conduct, or whatever. It’s a misdemeanour.

RUDY: It is definitely not a misdemeanour.

“keep this info handy” by Julia at her desk


Sunday August 20, 2017
10:01pm
5 minutes
the Shaw pamphlet

Mom gives me the phone card passcode so I can call Nanna in Berlin. She lives there now. She said it’s nicer than Whitby. I tell her that I probably don’t have time to call her cause I have finals this week and she doesn’t let me finish my sentence. She doesn’t think school is a good excuse not to do anything. Probably because she only finished the 8th grade. Probably because she knows when I’m talking out of my ass. Mom tells me to keep that info handy and maybe taake a photo of it on my new fancy icamera. I tell her it’s not an icamera, it’s an iphone, and it’s not fancy, it’s a 4s, and life is not as easy as she thinks.
When I ask Mom why she cares so much if I call Nanna or not, she laughs for longer than is necessary and comfortable. “If you have kids,” she says, “and they don’t call me, I will always blame their mother first.”

“intimate questions” by Julia on C’s couch


Friday June 23, 2017
10:34pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

S gives me the idea
to interview my dad.
She’s interviewing hers.
She says she’s learning a lot.
I have always dreamt
of sitting down with
my father and talking with
him about the good stuff.
Like the time he crashed
the car, or the time he fell
in love with someone
who didn’t want him back
or the time he had his limp alcohol poisoned body
dragged home by his
parents who had to fetch
him from the underage
party at Lindsay’s house.
I want to know that he sees
himself in my mistakes and
that I’m not the only one.
That maybe I got some
extraordinary traits from
him beside my wild
curls and my penchant
for chili peppers.
I’d like to ask him if he’s ever regretted his anger
or if he’s ever had to
break up with an old
friend too.
You know
the good stuff.

“happy, noisy, Elephant” by Sasha on the 41 bus


Wednesday May 31, 2017
4:43pm
5 minutes
Snip Snap Pop-Up Fun
tiger tales


“One day, when you’re a bit more grown up, I’m going to take you to the Land of the Elephants. We’ll ride on their backs, and teach them to sing our songs.”

“Will Michael come too?”

“Nope. Just you and I.”

“Who will feed Scooby?”

“Michael and Mommy.”

“Will we bring backpacks or suitcases?”

“Which would you prefer?”

“Backpacks. More mobile.”

“My thoughts exactly.”

“Will we fly in two or three airplanes?”

“I think it takes two… but we’ll sort out the details closer to the time.”

“Do the elephants talk?”

“Yes. Absolutely.”

“Do we speak their language?”

“We’ve got plenty of time to learn.”

“it will be a tight squeeze” by Julia at her desk


Saturday May 27, 2017
10:47pm
5 minutes
http://www.onceuponachef.com

She sits on a bench near the water with her sunglasses on
She stares down the sun
She waits for a change in the air to speak

“Let me say out loud all of the things I need to do”
“Again?”
“It helps me. Please?”
“Okay so 8:30pm is dinner…”
“More like 9. 9pm is dinnner. By the time we pick up the food, lay it out, set it up–”
“–Fine, 9.”
“Fine, 9. And then I have to review my materials.”
“And that’s going to take a long time?”
“It’s going to take as long as it takes. But I can also do it in the morning.”
“Okay, that doesn’t sound like a lot to get done!”
“I’m not finished listing.”
“Okay…”
“I have to make sure I have a change of clothes. I need something for every weather system because I won’t be coming home. I need to make sure my bag is big enough for everything. I need to lay out what I’m wearing. I have to shower–Goddammit! I have to shower too?”

“I waited twenty minutes, then thirty.” by Julia on the skytrain


Monday May 15, 2017
3:27pm
5 minutes
GHOSTLY WOMAN
ZOË BOSSIERE


AJ: Jesus fucking Christ, Tannis, will you close your gaping mouth for even two fucking seconds?
TANNIS: Why are you being so fucking icy with me? What did I fucking even do?
AJ: NOTHING, JUST SHUT UP.
TANNIS: SERIOUSLY?
*silence
*silence
*silence
TANNIS: I’m going to go ahead and assume you need me to sit with you but you are too afraid to admit that you’re fucked up because you know that when you put it to words, it automatically becomes true, but just so you know, I have a teeth cleaning appointment in 2 hours so my support for you is going to be limited.
*silence
*silence,shuffle
*shuffle,silence, deep breath
TANNIS: Oh when the saints…go marching in…oh when the–
AJ: Okay, okay, I’m fucked up.

“I had some excellent excuses for letting go of that wheel” by Sasha at her kitchen counter


Wednesday April 19, 2017
7:11pm
5 minutes
Year Of Yes
Shonda Rhimes


When I start working for Mary, she’s shaking and scratching but still won’t let go of the wheel. I’m there to help her, at least that’s what her daughter Clea said in the second interview. I didn’t meet Mary until after I was hired. Maybe Clea didn’t want her condition to scare me off.

“How many attendants has Mary had over the past few years?” I asked.

“We need someone who is the right fit,” Clea evaded the question, smiling.

“Of course,” I folded my hands in my lap and knew what I was getting myself into.

“You know I will oh baby” by Sasha on her couch


Friday March 17, 2017
10:46pm
5 minutes
Never Had A Dream Come True
S Club 7


“It’s fine, I’m not mad,” Louise says stirring a sugar cube into her coffee.

“I hear you, it just sounds like maybe there is anger in there somewhere, and I want to address it before it becomes resentment…” Yaris squares his jaw and pouts like a puppy.

“I’m irritated, but I’m not angry. Or mad.” Louise drinks. “Shit!” She says, “it’s hot.”

Yaris goes to the bar to get her a napkin.

“You have a lot of repressed feelings, Lou… I just want you to experience the release of sharing them.” He sits, and she rolls her eyes. “Resistance is normal. Change is hard.”

“Who died and made you Deepak Chopra?!” Louise is yelling now, even though she wishes that she weren’t.

“Let it out, let it out!” Yaris puts her hands palm up on his thighs.

“We barely know each other!” Louise hisses.

“I’m striving for intimacy, my dear. You are putting bricks on a wall that’s already so high.”

“Fuck you, Yaris! Is that even your name?! It’s a brand of a car. A car! Fuck you!”

“Clear eyes” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday February 18, 2017
7:47pm
5 minutes
Friday Night Lights

“What would you like for dinner?” He said.
“Pasta?” She said.
“I thought we were getting off wheat?” He said.
“Pizza?” She said.
He smiled.
She kept her eyes on her books, sure that if she moved them that she’d lose what she’d learned.
“Salad?” He said.
“Sure.” She said.
She was unenthused though.
“Soup?” He said.
“Yes! Soup!” She said.
It was still cold out and she needed the nourishing warmth of something hot and filling.
“Lentil?” He said.
“Sure.” She said.
He watched her, so focused, and he thought about the first time he met her. He thought about her clear eyes.
“So rare,” he’d told his mother. “So rare to see such clear eyes.”

“Can you bring your shredder?” By Sasha on the couch in Mississauga


Friday December 23, 2016
12:00am
5 minutes
From a text

Viv: George! Bring me the shredder!

George: You’re supposed to be resting?

Viv: Screw resting. I have shit to do!

George: Okay, okay. Hold on… I’ll have to unplug it and –

Viv: It’s an emergency!

George enters the bedroom, where Viv is propped up. He kisses her on the forehead.

George: The doctor said that for the first two weeks you are supposed to rest, my love.

Viv: I know. I am resting. I’m rested. And now I’m going to shred that whole filing cabinet!

George: But all the stuff from your taxes?

Viv: Who needs it!

George: What if you get audited?

Viv: What asshole is going to audit someone on their deathbed?

George: Touche.

Viv: And when you bring the shredder, my dear, could you please bring me a glass of sherry?

“Does anyone have any questions” by Sasha in the bath


Sunday November 27, 2016
6:33pm
5 minutes
Overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

A: If you could be any colour what colour would you be?

B: Um, red? You?

A: Blue. Obviously.

B: Why is that obvious?

A: Because of my eyes and the colour of my sweater and jeans?

B: Oh. Right.

A: If you could be any animal, what animal would you be?

B: Hm… That’s a hard one –

A: Why, because you hate animals?

B: No. Because I’m a veterinary assistant. And I love animals.

A: Oh, right. I forgot that… So?

B: I guess a dolphin? Or a grizzly bear?

A: Those are very different animals. You have to choose one.

B: A grizzly.

A: Really? I was going to say a warthog.

B: That’s just mean.

“With a couple of girlfriends” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday November 26, 2016
8:51pm
5 minutes
Overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

“What are you hoping to get out of this position in regards to personal growth?”

Genevieve squints at me and re-crosses her legs.

“Um, well, I’ve always wanted to work in the charity sector, you know, like, give back?”

She doesn’t move a muscle. Didn’t they teach you about mirroring body language in your HR trainings? Are you capable of nodding or saying “Mm-hm” or something?

There are five seconds of agonizing silence. Are you waiting for me to say more? What more is there to say? I thought that this job was mine? What is happening?

“You aren’t really a people person, are you Becky?” Genevieve pulls her Blackberry out of the pocket of her blazer and starts typing furiously.

“Am I supposed to answer that?”

“she honestly does not have those impulses” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday November 16, 2016
8:48pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio


I used to say no when I was younger
Labelled difficult
Used to feel everything so strongly
labelled irrational
emotional
sensitive
weak
My sister is 7 and I am 5 and she is having her first Holy fucking communion
I am 5 and she is 7 and she is wearing white, hair in a bun, dressy shoes, holding a rosary
holding attention
getting gifts
for being older?
For having hair that cooperates into a bun?
I am 5 and she is 7 and I have to smile in photographs because my dress is being cute and that is my only job too?
I say No to the photos and to the people fussing over her and to this stupid fucking dress that is not cute enough to keep me from scowling
Labeled younger sister
labeled difficult
irrational
sensitive
jealous
I am 5 and my sister is 7 and everybody loves her more than me
and no one explained this part to me
and nobody warned me about the shadow
and nobody told me I was allowed to feel anything
Nobody heard No and thought
that’s right
let’s not betray ourselves
let’s feel what we feel
and still love each other

“Hey hey hey” by Julia on the bus


Tuesday November 15, 2016
8:48pm
5 minutes
A Rufus Wainwright song


I forget if I’ve already told you…that I can’t do this? I have mentioned that to you, right? Well at any rate, I can’t, and I won’t, and if we have to have this discussion again we most certainly will not ever be doing it. Not ever because that will be breaching all of the serious codes and I do not go back on the promises I make to myself. I mean, hey, yeah, I used to. Up till even last week I was still showing up all lie-faced and comfortable. But since I’ve made the positive changes in the direction of my one bright and shiny future, I have been signing a lot more verbal contracts with others and myself and I’m actively avoiding saying yes to things that do not bring me joy or help or heal or offer positive light. So this thing we’re doing, this date, or this donut, is not for me. This is not for me.

“We have a Christmas cake box?!” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday June 20, 2016 at Starbucks
7:30am
5 minutes
overheard at Starbucks

Isabel calls me from the front lawn. I can see her pacing back in forth in front of my house from the kitchen window. I watch her kick a chestnut around, her feet shuffling on what appears to be a tightrope made of dandelions. I’m not coming anymore, she says, okay? I really can’t do it this time. She doesn’t know I am watching her. My curtains are drawn just enough. Is everything okay, Iz? What’s going on? I watch my sister kick the chestnut out of reach. She would have to leave her sacred shuffling space to go get it. She stands there frozen, staring at it. Oh, yeah, I’m good! I’m great! I think my stomach is acting up. Had chocolate again last night. I couldn’t find the right wrapping paper so maybe it’s all for the best anyway.
Isabel, I tell her, I have Christmas boxes here. Do you want to use one of mine?

“She wants to keep the baby.” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 10, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
from Facebook post

-So we’re going to do this then? Is this actually happening?!
-Well you’re not exactly doing anything, are you.
-Sam. What the fuck. This is my baby too.
-How do we know if this will even be a baby? What if I change my mind-aren’t I allowed to do that?
-Woah. Yes..I mean, of course you… But I thought we talked about it. I thought we made the decision together?
-Yeah, if I remember correctly, I told you I was pregnant and you said you wanted me to keep it. The end.
-That’s not true, Sam, you wanted the same thing! Where is all this coming from all of a sudden?
-Where is it coming from? How about there’s a living thing growing inside me right now and everyone around me seems to be an expert on the situation but when I say something, it’s “coming out of nowhere.”
-Okay. I… didn’t realize–
-No, you didn’t realize, that’s the first smart thing you’ve said.
-I’m sorry, babe, I really am…

“Grab whatever looks good” by Julia on the 84


Wednesday May 11, 2016
7:52pm
5 minutes
from a text

Knock at our door, Lizzie quickly throws on one of my shirts. She slides over the peephole cover. She opens the door without wasting a breath.
Robert is standing there. We haven’t seen him in years. Lizzie goes to hug him, he stops her.
“We don’t have time for that right now. ”
Lizzie grabs him again and this time it’s not optional.
“You do not get to come here and pull this shit on me again. Tell me right now what is going on. ”
I’m on the bed, inching closer to Lizzie’s night side table. I don’t want to cause a commotion. I want her gun in my hands and nobody else’s.
“You guys have to leave. They know. They know about me. About us. We have to grab whatever we can and go. Now. ”
Lizzie sees me moving closer. She offers a tiny nod in approval. I see it. Robert doesn’t.
“Who is they, Robert?” Lizzie asks, conjuring up all the softness inside of her.

“flat-out rejected” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday May 10, 2016
9:09pm
5 minutes
http://howlround.com/submitting-like-a-man-we-have-a-winner

I told him how I feel and he said nothing. Well that’s not entirely true, I suppose, he did say “Ciao.” Like I said, you can call me sometime other than for Halloween and he said, Okay, ciao. With this weird sliminess that I wasn’t expecting from him. And he never did call me. And then he stopped coming for brunch. And I swear he came to that terrible restaurant too many weekends in a row for him to not have had an ulterior motive. And once he helped me clean behind the bar when we were understaffed and I got slammed. He manned the glass-washer. And he made me a couple coffees. And when I tell him to call me, he says, “Ciao”? I guess part of me wondered if I was supposed to learn the “don’t assume shit lesson” because I assumed he liked me. Because he acted like he liked me. He tipped huge. He asked me for opinions on his flooring. And he introduced me to his friends? He even came to eat at the new shitty restaurant I was working at after I left the first one.

“I am in a meeting ” by Julia at her desk


Monday May 9, 2016
11:07pm
5 minutes
from a text

-I don’t want to have to tell you again that I’m keeping them to put salad dressing in. Fucking salad dressing for when I decide to make a salad for lunch and need a small container. To transport the dressing.

-Why can’t you just put it in on of your glass jars?

-Because they’re too big. You don’t know how heavy my bag is.

-Okay fine. You’ve got an answer for everything.

-Because I have a perfectly good reason why I’m keeping them. I thought it through, it’s not like I am collecting them because it annoys you.

-It really does annoy me. Everything you keep–

-Let me keep what I keep.

-Okay. You keep what you keep.

-Thank you.

-But seriously they should be thrown out. They’re one time use. For travelling soy sauce.

-Exactly.

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


Wednesday, April 6, 2016
11:24pm
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.

“Night night” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday, April 7, 2016
11:21pm
5 minutes
From a text

Hey. Can you talk? Ugh. I just hung out with Brian and it was… I don’t know – it’s just like, I like him, you know? I liked him. But then he just… I’m not gonna lie, I was thinking about him too, like, I was excited to hang out again, I had a good time the other night but… He’s weird, man… I don’t know…

Jen? What are you doing? Are you in the bathroom? No, no, it’s fine.

But, like, after what happened last time, when he ghosted, when he… I think he might be a closet player. You know those guys who just – yeah – who, like…

Did the toilet just flush again? Are you sick?

Maybe he’s one of those guys who pretends to be the caring, sensitive, easy-going, kinda, like gentle type but really he’s this weird, awkward, asshole player?

Shit, it’s the other line…

I’m gonna let you go. Night night.

“Seems stressed always.” by Julia at Platform 7


Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at Platform 7
5:12pm
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.

“WIN $5000” by Julia at Platform 7 Coffee Brew Bar


Thursday, March 24, 2016 at Platform 7
2:36pm
5 minutes
from a nofrills receipt

Leda sends me a photo of her vagina and asks if I have the same rose-looking ‘thing’ on mine.

I send her back an image of a desert and tell her there are no flowers blooming here. You don’t use it you lose it. Pft. Everything turns to dust.

She texts back a hands up emoji, praising my perfect timing and accurate representation of whatever my sorry situation is right now.

I text her asking why she’s asking about her rose-thingy and use many ellipses to demonstrate that I have been left hanging and my curiosity is in fact sparked.

She texts back a photo of our matching tattoos and says she wanted to know if she should be worried or if we were fine.

I text Leda saying that I’ll get back to her but if it doesn’t hurt, it’s probably fine?

She texts back asking for a picture of my vagina to confirm that our genes are fine.

I text back a photo of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.

“The earth’s insomnia” by Sasha at Studio 1398


Wednesday March 16, 2016
9:08pm
5 minutes
Moonlight
Lorna Crozier


Julie and Mel stand on the steps of a Church downtown.

J: Want a smoke?
M: Naw…
J: Why not? You too good for this now?
M: Naw?
J: You fuckin’ quit.
M: Nu-uh.
J: You did! You fuckin’ quit!
M: You know what, Julie? You’re a bitch!
J: What?
M: Yeah! You’re a fuckin’ bitch who talks too fuckin’ much and I’m sick of your bullshit.
J: Naw. You’re grumpy cuz you quit smoking.

Pause.

M: So what if I did?
J: I knew it! I fuckin’ knew it!
M: Yeah, I did. I’m tryin’ to get things back on track, okay?
J: Good for you! I’m proud a’ you! Really.
M: Shut up.
J: I am!

Pause.

M: Really?
J: Yeah…
M: Thanks. Thanks alot, Jules.
J: Yeah, man. You’re welcome! Onwards to health and vitality, man.

Julie finishes her cigarette and lights up another. Mel watches her, out of the corner of her eye. A few moments pass. A car goes by blaring hip hop. They both bop their heads.

“World’s Greatest Dad” by Sasha at the Diamond Centre


Tuesday February 16, 2016
3:05pm
5 minutes
From a picture of Joe’s t-shirt

P. is on a date at a Painting Cafe. You know, those places where kids get all messy during the day and then adults get flirty at night? One of those places. She’s never been to one of them before. Her date suggested it. She wasn’t sure at first, and then thought, “Why not?”

P: I’ve never painted before…
A: Oh, me neither.
P: Not even as a kid?
A: As a kid?
P: Yeah.
A: I guess I did as a kid.
P: Not me!
A: No?
P: My mother is a total neat freak. She wouldn’t let me paint at home or at school. Too messy.
A: Wow.
P: I had to stay inside at recess if it was muddy, snowy or raining. I had a special doctor’s note.
A: Woah.
Silence.
P: Anyway, don’t judge me if my thing looks like a six-year-old did it –
A: I won’t. This is just supposed to be fun…
P. starts painting. Silence.
A: Nice use of purple.
P: I love purple.
A: Purple Polly.
P. laughs but is very engrossed in her painting.
A: So, did you grow up here?
P: …
A: Polly?
P. cocks her head towards A.
P: What?
A: I just –
P: I’m trying to focus.
A: Oh –
P: Sorry, I just –
A: No. No…

“everyone can help themselves” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, January 11, 2016
5:43pm
5 minutes
thestonesoup.com

Mind Body Connection:
Deep breath
Okay, good
Good?
Breathing, breathing
I don’t need to be told to breathe
Well you stopped
Because I was thinking!
NO THINKING.
Are you serious?
Yes, very serious
Fine, deep f–
No swearing
Come ON, how did you know I was even going to?
Because you’re very transparent and stubborn and I’ve been observing you
Ugh
Focus
I am
Okay then do it
breathe?
Yes, breathe
okay, Deep Breath
Mhm
Breathing
yes, good, continue
I am alone on a rock
Oh, good, rock is good,
I am alone and I am breathing—
Breathing
I AM, I told you I don’t need you to tell me
I am breathing
You?
breathing in and out calmly, slowly, to encourage you
Is this even about me?
Yes, very serious.
WHAT THE FUC–
NO SWEARING.

“We talked at length about it” by Julia at her dining room table


Friday, December 18, 2015
6:36pm
5 minutes
Dispatched To The Derwent
Malcolm Dale


Greer reaches down to pull up her knee socks that never seem to stay at the knee. She leans over in her chair disappearing under the table for a moment while Brody shifts in his spot, uneasy about a lot of things, in addition to the fact that Greer is no longer making eye-contact as he explains himself.
Greer’s stupid socks keep bunching in her shoes! That’s why they never stay up, they are being pulled down but her toes or something equally as lame! She lets out a tiny laugh.
“What? What is it?”
Brody doesn’t like unexpected bouts of laughter. He doesn’t like being the butt of anyone’s joke.
“Sorry, I, it’s nothing, really. What were you saying?”
“No, seriously, just tell me!”
“It’s actually not worth repeating, but, I’m fully listening, please continue.”
Brody starts to chew on the inside of his lower lip. He Has created a patch of bite marks, raised to the touch of the tongue, a tiny graveyard of anxious scars.

“You wanna build another house?!” By Julia at her desk


Tuesday December 8, 2015
11:46pm
5 minutes
overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can’t move in with you anymore, Kev, it’s not going to work for me.
What do you mean, we just signed the lease, both our names are on it and everything.
I know.
Okay?
Yeah but I know myself too and I’m not going to be able to get on board with a commitment this size right now.
This is unbelievable.
What is? That I don’t want to live with you? I think of all people you should know how hard it is to share a house with you.
What?
Don’t pretend like this is my fault, you’re a difficult housemate, even you said that to me!
But you still signed the lease, you signed up for this whole thing with me. How are you just figuring out now that this is…that you’re not…I seriously can’t believe this is happening.
It is happening, though, so we need to both accept it and move on or something.
How do you not feel bad for completely fucking me over?
Wouldn’t you rather know this before we try to build a home together? Like this is good news, we won’t be blindsided later.
Blindsided?
I don’t know, poor choice of words I guess, but I’m not going to apologize for changing my mind.
So are you saying you don’t want to be with me either?
No, of course not, I’m totally not saying that. I feel like we’ll be better off if we just live in separate houses.

“Read. Think.” By Julia at her desk


Monday December 7, 2015
10:12pm
5 minutes
Edible Magazine

Okay so remember when I told you that my horoscope for yesterday told me to avoid confrontation at all costs? Well I swear to God I should have listened because it was RIGHT, Leah. It was the freakiest thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I go to the grocery store off 24th every Wednesday, right? Like clockwork or whatever, it’s like, that’s my routine. But my credit card wasn’t working for some reason and like, I use it there every single time so I was starting to think it was the machine’s fault, you know? Anyway so as I’m telling this to the pregnant girl behind the counter, who is supposed to know me so well by now cause I’m like always in there, regular customer, no surprises, I bring my own bags, whatever, she starts breathing super heavily like what I’m saying to her is giving her a panic attack. And honestly I wasn’t being like, super mean, but I also, honestly, wasn’t being super nice, just cause it’s so weird for this thing not to work and like I have stuff to do so I’m getting a bit anxious, you know, just a typical reaction based on the situation, right? And as I’m like, look lady, I’m telling you it’s not my card, SHE STARTS GOING INTO LABOUR.

“Rainfall warning” by Sasha on the couch at Pascoe Rd.


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:36pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

What you can do:
Be present.
Hold space.
Actually listen (ie. refrain from thinking about whether or not your lover just texted a sexy picture of their shoulders or what you’re going to have for dinner).
Breathe deep and feel your feet on the floor.
Bring Sleepytime tea and a hot water bottle with a dog on it. Even if there’s a rainfall warning or a blizzard or you really just want to stay in your pyjamas and watch reruns of Nashville.
Stay for a sleepover and rub her back until she’s sleeping even if you are also tired. Wait until she falls asleep and then you can follow.

What you can say:
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I love you.”
“I support whatever choice you make.”
“I believe you.”

“make strong choices on the fly” by Sasha at Horseshoe Bay


Sunday November 8, 2015
11:16pm
5 minutes
from nativeearth.ca/w28series/

A: Are you even listening to me?
B: Of course I am –
A: What did I just say?
B: “You want to quit.”
A: NO!
B: Something about quitting…
A: Why is it so hard for you to just pay attention to me? Why are you always looking at the clock?
B: Do you really want to know?
A: Yes!
B: We ordered that pizza exactly twenty seven minutes ago… And, if it’s over a half hour, we get it for free. We could really use a free pizza.
A: Grrr…
B: I’m just excited about the pizza!
A: I want to quit my job of ten years and you’re thinking about pizza.
B: Tell me you aren’t thinking about pizza?
A: You love pizza more than you love me!
B: Not true.
A: True.
B: Not at all true! That would be so so sad!
A: You do love pizza…
B: I really do.

“I wanna see it up close” by Sasha at Moii Cafe


Friday October 17, 2015 at Moii Cafe
12:35pm
5 minutes
from a text

A birch tree sheds her bark
The supermoon is forgotten as soon as it fades
It’s still super somewhere

I refuse to commend your drug trips or your laundry lists
I refuse to celebrate your exploitations of bodies and sisters and dollars and oil
I refuse to vote for a man wearing a mask who has a cheese-ball for a brain
mostly cheddar a little bit cream cheese nothing sharp
no asiago

A snake slithers over the bare feet of a boy whose eyes are glued to his father’s iPhone
Shame he missed that
Shame that tomorrow that species will be extinct
A monarch lands on my arm and I cry for my unborns
Who might not have that magic

The Conservatives (Cheese-ball) cut one billion dollars in childcare funding within three hours of being elected
That’s shorter than Titanic
There are over one thousand murdered and missing Indigenous women across Canada
and no matter how deep Cheese-ball digs his fingers into his ears
He can’t pretend he doesn’t hear the singing
I wanna see the madness up close
I wanna microscope that Cheese-ball
See the ventricles of the greed
Hear the beat of the bacon heart

A grizzly bear waves to a crow
Long lost lovers

“happy hens, healthy eggs” by Sasha at Elysian


Thursday October 1, 2015 at Elysian
10:02am
5 minutes
from the Rabbit River Farms egg carton

Ryan makes eggs every morning.
“Don’t you think that’s too much cholesterol?”
“Nope.”
“Really?”
“They actually studied that and it’s totally fine to eat eggs every day.”
“What about the cholesterol?”
“Look at me!”
He’s a beanpole, he’s got that runner’s body.

When we first met, Ryan had long hair.

“What are you going to do today, sweetheart?” He asks, cracking an egg into a bowl and whipping it vigorously.
“I don’t know…”
“Why don’t you go for a massage or something?”
“I don’t like strangers touching me.”
“A walk?”
“Maybe…”
“You could get out of the house with me, just go have a coffee someplace?”
“We have coffee here, Ryan – ”
“I think that it would be good for you to – ”
“You’re right. I’ll get out. We need yogurt.”

“happy hens, healthy eggs” by Julia on her couch


Thursday October 1, 2015
12:09am
5 minutes
from the Rabbit River Farms egg carton

I just want to check in, are we okay?
No we’re not okay, we haven’t talked in months.
Yeah. So did you plan to tell me that?
Well I want you to know that I wasn’t passive aggressively ignoring you or anything.
Okay.
But I don’t have time for you.
What? You don’t have time for me? Like as a human?
Yes, as a human. Your issues are a bit all consuming. I don’t have room and I’m at the point in my life that I have to choose: other people’s bullshit, or my own well-being.
Wow, tell me how you really feel.
Yeah well you asked. So. I’m not going to lie, because it’s not something I care to hold onto.
Is there something I could be doing?
Yes.
Like?
Lots of things. Too many things.
Such as?
Such as not always coming to me with your problems. Such as not always saying let’s hang out but instead of me and you, you bring your boyfriend and you bring your PDA and you can’t leave your house without him stuffed in your purse.

“unless its roots reach down to hell” by Sasha at a sushi place on West 4th


Wednesday September 23, 2015
1:37pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Carl Jung

You’re welcome…
Thank you.
You’re welcome!
Why did you say it to start? Why didn’t you wait for me to say –
Thank you.
Thank you.
You’re dehydrated.
I’m not.
Your eyes are blood shot.
I’m tired.
Drink some water.
I’m not thirsty.
Just do it.
No!
Fine.
Fine.
What time are you going to bed?
No idea.
When you’re tired?
When I’m tired.
I love how you chew your hair when you’re concentrating.
I love how you interrupt me when I’m concentrating.
Aw. Aren’t we sweet.
You want to come to my ultimate game tomorrow?
Not really but I will if it’s important to you.
It isn’t.
Great.
Win win.
Win win.

“This is fantastic!” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Saturday September 19, 2015
9:25pm
5 minutes
http://www.food.com

I’m scratching my wrist too hard for comfort but it’s itchy and I need to.
You look down at my red flesh and you say, “remember when you used to scratch your hands raw? Remember that summer you did that? What a nervous tick that was.”
There’s a permanent furrow line on my forehead that deepens when you say things like this.
“It was a hot summer, my skin got itchy, and so I scratched it. It wasn’t a tick, Remy.”
“Well you did it almost unconsciously! Look! You still even have the scar.”
You go to reach for my left hand but I swat you away. I don’t need you making a circus out of me.
“Stop it, Remy.”
“Oh come on,” You say, “I’m not being mean to you, I’m just saying–”
I stand up from the couch and storm off to the studio room. “I think you should go.” I say, not quite knowing why.

“all-day softness” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday September 14, 2015
10:32pm
5 minutes
from a tube of hand cream

When Willa’s mother calls, she considers not answering. It would only be the second time. Bill says, “If you need to get it, don’t worry. It’s okay…” She steps out onto the porch and slides her finger across the screen.

“Hi Mom.”
“Willa?”
“Yes – ”
“They’ve come to take me and I refuse to go!”
“Mom, where are you?”
“In my chair!”
“Who is there?”
“Those men in the hockey equipment!”
“Mom, what are you – ”
“I’m scared, Willa. Please come pick me up?”
“I can’t right now. I’m busy.”
“What would you have done that time you had the chicken pox and you were visiting the Petting Zoo? What would you have done if I didn’t come to pick you up?”
“I was five.”
“I’m SCARED.”
“Did you call Roberta?”
“Who is that?”
“Your nurse.”
“No. I don’t know anyone by that name.”
“She’s been coming every day for the past six years, Mom.”

“It’s almost magic” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Tuesday September 15, 2015 at http://49thcoffee.com/
6:08pm
5 minutes
from a vintage ad for American Cyanamid Company

I have been throwing my love up, shooting it into the air, pew pew, pew pew
You have been catching some, letting some fall
I ask you, don’t you want this? Too much? Not right now? Check your box, X, x, X
I send it up in smaller doses, shoom! Shoom!
You lift your hand and grab what lands there, the rest fluttering down to the earth
I ask you again, don’t you see I’m giving you all of it? Pick ONE: Maybe, No, YES
You smile down at your hand as if you’re only noticing now that it’s tingling

“Distant, tired, but holding her hand” by Julia in the car


Wednesday, September 9, 2015
5:06pm
5 minutes
http://lennyletter.com/lena-dunham-first-short-story/

He coughed into the crook of his elbow and tried not to make too big of a deal of it. She glanced at him from the side of her eye, the way she did when she was trying to read his e-mails without him noticing. He was growing tired of her testing him and she was growing skeptical of his patience.
Maybe if you didn’t worry so much about EVERYONE else for a change, you’d be—
He hadn’t prepared himself for a blow out. Had been priding himself on containing it all and picking his battles, in fact.
Forget it. He walked a bit in front of her.
What would I be? JUST. FUCKING. SAY IT. She was shaking now, trying to make direct eye contact. She realized when she asked him if he still loved her earlier she didn’t look him in the face when he gave his response.
How fucking easy I make it for him to despise me, she thought. I never look to see if his eyes are lying.

“Distant, tired, but holding her hand” by Sasha at 49th Parallel


Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at http://49thcoffee.com/
12:33pm
5 minutes
http://lennyletter.com/lena-dunham-first-short-story/

Jenny hands me the list of what everyone wants and I give it a glance. I don’t want too appear to unfamiliar with my purchases. I don’t want to set off any alarm bells. I’ve done bought booze for everyone before, with my sister’s old drivers license, so I shouldn’t be nervous, but I am, and when I’m nervous I blush and when I blush I stammer and when I stammer I sweat. I’m doing all of these things when I get inside and the bell on the door goes.

What the fuck? Nelson works here? Damn shit mutha –

“Hey Sadie.”
“Hey Nelson.”
I put the id in the back pocket of my cut-offs.
“What’s up? How was the rest of your summer?”
“It was good. Nothing that exciting.”
“I ran into your brother at the skate park. He said that your grandpa died.”
“I wouldn’t classify that as exciting and I wouldn’t just share that in a moment of aw aw awkward small talk with – …”
“Pardon?”
“You gave me fucking chlamydia!”
“Excuse me?”
“Chlamydia… You gave it to me.”
“Not possible.”
“Yes.”
“I get tested every three months!”
“You gave it to me.”
“Are you… sure?”
“YES, I’m sure! I, unlike you, keep very diligent track of whose penis I put inside me.”
I’m crying then, all of a sudden, like a snowstorm in October.

“But a song” by Julia at Ryan’s place in Calgary


Sunday, August 30, 2015
11:29pm
5 minutes
from a poem by Roy Croft

Sing to me little bird and I will count the promises on all the strands of hair on your head
I will love you forever
I will want you
I will help you
I will hold you
I will need you
I will please you
I will defend you
I will preserve you
I will encourage you
I will enjoy you
I will inspire you
I will charm you
I will disarm you
I will guide you
I will follow you
I will dare you
I will give you
I will remind you
I will kiss you
I will soothe you
I will understand you
I will accept you
I will protect you
I will learn you
I will study you
I will know you

“When we love” by Julia on the floor


Saturday, August 29, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
from a quote by Jean Shinoda Bolen

-And it feels like dying
-Yeah it feels like dying
-And it feels like your heart is thumping harder than usual
-Yeah
-And it feels like eye contact is binding
-Yeah it does
-And it feels like the walls are closing in
-Yeah, but those walls are lined with soft velvet
-Soft velvet lined claustrophobic walls closing in
-Yeah that’s how it feels
-But why does it feel like dying?
-Because dying isn’t bad
-But shouldn’t it feel like living?
-It does
-But
-And also dying
-And it feels like living anddying?
-Yeah it feels like both
-Because dying isn’t bad
-And living isn’t good
-Because it’s hard and also worth it
-Yeah

“the most infamous female sexual offender” by Julia at Dark Horse


Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at Dark Horse
2:23pm
5 minutes
https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/a-womans-touch-when-pedophiles-arent-men

Okay I’m a bit confused. Is it wrong to want to meet her?
No, I don’t think so. It’d be interesting to hear her side at any rate.
I feel like my mind is on a different page than me right now. I’m not convinced.
Then don’t reach out. It’s not like she’s the only one.
But she’s the most infamous!
So ask her.
I don’t know.
I don’t know either.
You think she would even meet with me?
Yeah.
You do?
Yeah.
Really?
Yes.
Okay, so then, I’m going to draft a letter.
You’re going to do that now?
Yeah.
Oh.
What?
Just, I don’t know. Maybe wait till tomorrow?
Why because you think I’m too high?
Yeah.
You’re right. I’m too high.
But tomorrow you’ll be able.
Yeah tomorrow I can edit, though.
Yeah. But draft it in your notebook or on Word or something then.
God bless you.

“Why do we do that?” By Sasha on the Spadina Streetcar


Thursday, August 13, 2015
11:24pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Spadina streetcar

Do you feel lost without your cellphone?
Literally?
Figuratively?
Do you long for the weight of it in your hand, your pocket, your purse, like you might long for a lover or a brownie?
Do you crave to look at it, to check it, to search with it, to move with it?
When do you put it down? Turn it off? Let it go?
Never?
Ever?
Do you shut it down when you shut down? Do you let it rest?
When do you say good morning?
Is it the first thing you look at? Speak to? Connect with?
One new Facebook friend, three new “Likes”, seven Twitter followers, two re-tweets, a text, five emails, a voicemail.
“Hi, it’s Dad. Just calling to say it was so good to see you and I love you.”
“Hey, it’s me. When are you coming over? Do you need dinner?”
“Hi! I heard you’re in town! Welcome back home! Wanna get coffee?”
A voice.
How does it work? No wires, waves, maybe, sound waves, web waves, waves like the ocean but in the sky, searching, searching, searching.
Touch screen, touch fingers, touch bellies.

“She locked me in a room until I said a password” By Julia at her desk


Friday, August 7, 2015
12:03am
5 minutes
from a story on The Moth

Come on Sid, I said, face buried into the wall. I’m right here. Right beside you.
I don’t want to come out, she said.
You don’t have to, I told her. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do.
Do you hear that? She asked me. Whispering just loud enough to make out.
What do you mean?
I didn’t hear a thing.
The music. It’s beautiful..you don’t hear it?
Describe it to me, I said, leaning my head back toward her.
It’s like a snowflake, dancing, and spinning, and falling softly on a bed of rose petals.
Beautiful?
Yeah. You should hear it, Ray.
I’d like to.
You’d truly feel it, she said.
It’s okay, I told her, don’t worry about me.
It’s not something I can keep, she said.

“that’d be a mess” by Sasha on the 99 going East


Monday, July 13, 2015
2:10pm
5 minutes
In The Boom Boom Room
David Rabe


As soon as you meet someone do you add them on Facebook?
No. Nope. I don’t think I’ve ever done that.
Do you follow more celebrities or real people on Twitter?
Celebrities aren’t real?
Usually not.
I think real people? But I’m not really sure. I do enjoy Amy Schumer’s tweets a lot.
Fair enough.
You?
I don’t do Twitter. I’m too much of a rambler.
Oh. I see.
Are you an only child?
Yes.
Uh oh.
What?
Only children are sometimes… selfish.
I’m not –
I’m not saying that you are. Studies show that –
Look. I feel like you’re interviewing me! This is… weird!
Sorry. I’ve been on three hundred and sixty nine dates this year –
Uh –
Yes. That means some double date days –
Oh –
I know what I’m looking for.
Okay –
I know what I want –
I can see that…

“How’s that bite on your neck?” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, July 5, 2015
10:32pm
5 minutes
Said by Joe

How’s the bite on your neck?
Itchy.
Can I scratch it for you?
Isn’t that kinda… gross?
Not to me…
Pause.
Okay, I guess.
Okay.
Ouch!
What?
You’re hurting me!
Sorry.
I already over-scratched it so you have to be gentle!
Sorry.
Pause.
It’s okay. I shoulda told you.
Is that better?
Oh. Oh yeah. That’s really good.
Pause.
Wanna also massage me?
No.
What?
I never give you the kind of massage you want.
That’s not true.
It is.
I’ll give you one back?
No.
Pause.
Stop scratching me, then.
Your bite’s not itchy?
Now that’s it’s all raw and like, practically bleeding?
Shush.
Thanks. You scratched real good.