“object of concentration” by Sasha at her desk

Friday, March 2, 2018
5 minutes
Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Dass

I keep telling Don that I don’t want anything to do with him but he will not leave me alone and this gives me no choice but to raise a glass tonight, at our Christmas party. Don, you psychotic mutherfucker, I almost admire only your tenacity and persistence. Almost. I almost wish I had your ability to completely ignore all signs, all cues, all “no’s” in pursuit of what I want. Almost. Ladies and gentlemen, actually – NO. Just the gentlemen in the room, because all of the women, even Helena who just turned eighty-two and is still working the switchboard, all of the women know that Don is a scumbag. Has he groped you by the coffee machine? Maybe invited you out to dinner and you thought that other people would be there, but nope, it’s just the two’s of you. Don, don’t look so shocked… you had to know that this was coming? The uprising? The reckoning?


“I can bearly remember a thing” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday March 25, 2017
5 minutes
From a fridge notepad

When this song comes on, it reminds me of you like that summer was last summer. It wasn’t. It was seven summer’s ago, and I didn’t even have a good time, mostly, but there’s something about you, there’s something about then, that catches like a bubble in my throat. I cough. Can I finally dislodge this? Can I finally blow you away?

I consider emailing you, with this song, in this coffee shop. But I don’t. I don’t need to write another chapter to that story.


“Destiny Number” By Julia at The Vancouver Public Library

Thursday January 19, 2017 at the VPL
5 minutes

I told myself I’d be married at 24 cause of my mother. She was married at 24 and that felt like the best map I could follow since she has never once said she regretted it. I also said I wouldn’t have sex till I was 24 either case of Jesus. Or the patriarchy. Save my sex for someone who loves God more than he’ll ever love me and believes in owning humans as property? Yeah, what a great fucking idea. I was young then. And committed to Christ (by choice, weirdly, I know). And in love with the idea that I didn’t have to make my own decisions cause life was already going to have too many of those in the first place. I told myself that I would have a child by 28 cause of my mother. She waited 4 years to have one after she got married and that seemed smart, and good, and completely doable. I have missed both of these “destiny numbers”(by choice, I know, I know). Somewhere along the way I decided I could trust myself to lead me through it. Sometimes it’s the worst feeling in the entire world. But it’s better than being married with a bazillion kids coming out of my ears. Age, I’ve learned, is just a number that you get to hold for a year. And then–we let it go, just like everything else.


“Hey hey hey” by Sasha in Cowichan Bay

Tuesday November 15, 2016
5 minutes
A Rufus Wainwright song

Gus makes the sign of the cross and says, “Well fuck me, I think she’s a keeper!” You feel sick to your stomach but you don’t talk about it. You mush garlic into Becel and spread it on the baguette that Mom pocketed from the restaurant. When you go there, Marla reminds you that you used to nap on the banquette at the back. Gus didn’t know that Mom was bringing you in on her shifts. He would’ve lost his shit. When you sit down at the table, Mom is nodding off and your Gina is trying her best not to cry and you are glaring at Gus and wondering if you’ll all survive the weekend.


“I’ll stop now” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday November 1, 2016
5 minutes
From a Facebook post

Crusty says he’ll stop buggin’ me when I actually wear a real bra, like, not a training bra, like this one. We’re supposed to go camping on the Labor Day weekend but if Crusty’s gonna be there I do not want to go. I will not go. I told Lou and Lou said that Crusty and I need to learn how to get along but that’s not even an option, like, Crusty is impossible. Lou doesn’t even get it at all, like, Lou doesn’t have a care in the world now that she works at Baskin Robins. “You’re gonna get so fat!” I told Lou, but she ignored me, like always.


“all that we went through” by Sasha on her porch

Saturday April 16, 2016
5 minutes
Back to Black
Amy Winehouse

fingerprints on arteries on sails
so young for this adventure
needles out of toenails out of freezer burn out of steam
the windows open in the summer and suddenly we all small
each other’s cooking hear each other’s kisses
told that you were better off
i wonder if you ever crumple up your dreams like you used to?

broken teacup broken heart broken frontal lobe
what if we could change our mind and go back and go there
would you say something different?
would you still light the fire?
would you drink just as many greyhounds?


“What? What’s wrong?” by Sasha in Cowichan Bay

Monday, March 28, 2016
5 minutes
From some sides

“What’s wrong with you, Loretta?”

Biddie is superstitious. She pours some salt from the shaker shaped like a chicken into her palm and tosses it over her shoulder.

They’ve been in this Highway Diner for what feels like seventeen years. Loretta can’t tell Biddie what’s wrong. It’s far too complicated.

“I’m just sad I didn’t get to say bye to Malcolm and Lilly… Especially with Lilly’s concert coming up. I’m just… sad.” Loretta wishes they hadn’t thrown their cellphones out the window while doing war-cries.

“They’ll forgive you, Lo. Promise.” Biddie eats a mouthful of flapjacks and a bit of syrup drips onto her chin.


“electro hypersensitivity” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday March 14, 2016
5 minutes
Common Ground Magazine

My mama has been shut in doors for almost thirty seven years. She thanks her lucky stars that there weren’t any complications with my birth, and Kenny’s, because then she’d a had to get on outta there. She blames it on electro hypersensitivity but it’s not. It’s agoraphobia through and through. She has the script that she rattles off, “I have a disorder where the electricity fields from the wires snaking all over the damn place give me crippling headaches and heartburn”. Kenny and I roll our eyes and she doesn’t even notice cuz she’s so committed to the story. She’s lost everyone, you know. Except for us. The house smells like a chicken coop.


“This is a key aspect” by Julia on 5th

Thursday March 10, 2016 Trees Coffee
5 minutes
From an email

I have broken all the rules this week. Ate the cheesecake. Called Robyn. Drunk Dialed Robyn. Ruined everything with Robyn. Told Sidney that I didn’t want to tutor her in Spanish anymore because I didn’t think she was taking it seriously.
Ate the cheesecake (there were two). Bought the dress. Mixed black and brown. Sat on the public toilet seat at the Flyer’s game. Joked about hypocrisy. Judged Tina for being a hypocrite. Was a hypocrite. Didn’t correct the douche bag at the 7/11 when he called me Sir. Lied in my journal. Lied in my sleep. Killed a bathroom spider. Ate the cheesecake (there were three).


“This is a key aspect” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 10, 2016
5 minutes
From an email

You are always in my mind when I’m making decisions. I promise you that. But sometimes I just have to go, “This is what I need to do. No matter what.” And not let anything get in my way. I know that we’ll always work it out, I have faith in that. That’s why I love us. I know that, even if we swim around in shit for a week or two, we’ll always work it out and it’ll all be okay because we’re inventors. We come up with ways to make the worst situations the best situations. Like… remember the time that we got into that fender bender on the way up to your aunt’s place? Shit. It was hailing, we couldn’t drive, you had forgotten your parka and CAA was taking a dog’s age to get there. But the stereo worked and so we listened to that Neil Young song… Whattaya call it? This is a key aspect of who we are, of how we work, of why I love you.


“How cool would this be?” by Julia at her dining table

Friday February 26, 2016
5 minutes
Overheard on Yew St.

You and me
midnight hiking!
Nothing on our backs…
but the idea…
that we couldn’t….
And the wouldn’t
Gone long and far because
We chose to set it free
Not worth
But now is
because we chose to give ourselves
over to the truth
So no more lies
If we say so
We can could do-
We can anything:
Anything anything
Until we decide–
Stand firm–this


“SUPREMEBEING” by Julia at her dining table

Thursday February 25, 2016
5 minutes
Treasures & Travels Blog

You yelled in the car ride over to Tessa’s gallery opening and I had to beg you to pull over so I could get out before you killed us both with your rage. When I got out of the car I wiped my eyes, reapplied the lipstick I had chewed off and walked so fast ahead of you it may have seemed like I was trying to lose you. For the record: I was. I forced a smile to peel onto my lips and I strut through the trendy studio space like I invented the idea of putting so many pillars everywhere. Tessa was happy to see me and she hugged me tight and said How are you though?! I lied through my teeth and said Your art makes me want to be a better person. She was thrilled and then she left me alone. You finally entered the gallery and by that moment I thought you had decided not to come at all. I was planning my way home in my head and how when I finally got back, if you were still awake, I’d just walk straight to the bedroom and close the door. You saw that I saw you and even when I turned my back to you, you came right over to me and kissed me so sorry I forgot for a second how scared I was just minutes ago. I didn’t mean it, you cooed in my ear. I didn’t mean any of it.


“always easier to leave it at home” By Julia at The Vancouver Public Library

Tuesday February 23, 2016 at the VPL
5 minutes

Been fucking trying to leave it at home. Been fucking trying not to swear anymore either but as you can see, things have been a little bit rough these days. My asshole of a manager has decided that not only are we no longer allowed on our phones during work hours, but now we have to write a fucking positive message about the “team” each night before AND AFTER our shift. FUCK. How do you not swear when your life is a complete fucking joke? Tad, his fucking name is TAD. And Fucking TAD has so many fucking brilliant ideas for community building, such as embodying bullshit in the most unappealing human way this century has ever seen, or for making us walk through the back doors before we sign our lives away for 4-8 hours in a “light” and “baggage-free” way. Fucking Tad likes to tell me, “Leave your bad attitude at the door, Tegan, this place is a “frown-free” zone!” I want to fucking punch him with a fork. In the throat. Repeatedly. Until fucking forever and ever Amen.


“to be euthanized” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee

Friday February 19, 2016 at Culprit Coffee
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday February 18, 2016

the politics are closing in
closing up closing down
shut in shut up shut
the voices are loud again
trumpet blares and speaker flares
bass line like boot stomp
bass line like poison

the aftertaste of something you
didn’t mean
said too loud
too sweet
the stink of a lie
heavy on handmade lips
heavy on furrowed brow
laughlines like fingerprints
smudged in ink
in soot
here’s my identity baby

your thoughts
curling smoke around the hope
for something more
you are deserving of all
that goodness
you are
your mother
holding your hair back
holding her hair back
squatted over the porcelain tea cup
shut up shut down
bass line like boot stomp


“that you already know and like.” By Julia at her dining table

Monday February 22, 2016
5 minutes

I am having a party
putting up balloons
decorating the whole house with streamers
and pictures
to celebrate the journey
to congratulate for not giving up
giving away loot bags at the end of the night
filled with moments of strength
examples of accepting imperfection
some vulnerability tossed in for good measure
I am inviting all my past selves
Like a reunion
But better
I will tell them
And they will show up
wearing their sorrys
and their lessons
on their sleeves
carrying abundance and respect
in each jean pocket
I am saying farewell to fear
Sending her off on vacation
Killing three birds with one stone
honouring growth
A goodbye party for that which no longer serves me
And a good excuse to celebrate
Because the hill was high
but I’ve climbed it


“tossing rolled oats” by Julia at her dining table

Sunday February 21, 2016
5 minutes
from a recipe

Karma comes calling, knocking on my door, middle of the night, full intention of awakening, startling me from my sleep. In the form of a dream, in the guise of a nightmare. I get the message: loud and clear and painful and frightening. I don’t know what I did but I’m paying for it, I can assure you. Tossing in my bed like rolled oats in a bowl of coconut shreds. I am not good at the thing where I see one thing in my head and compare a real life thing to that to express myself, describing something. I am maybe suffering the consequences in more than just sleepless nights. Feeling inept, not having the right words to say, to feel, to communicate. I am being punished by Karma in a way that doesn’t feel so obvious. I know how she rolls. In and out of view, thinking she’s gone for a little bit, then rushing right back in to remind me that I am not rid of her yet and that I am not safe in my alone. I am least protected when I leave the comfort of crowds and people with worse problems. She knows that and comes in when I’ve shaken off the possibility of seeing her at all today.


“So sorry mine is late” by Julia at her dining table

Saturday February 20, 2016
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I didn’t want to hand in a piece of shit and to be honest that was exactly what I was doing because once again I didn’t do the proper thing of giving myself enough time to complete an assignment.
I wish I was better at keeping my shit together but for some reason mine is the type that crumbles upon contact like a gluten free brownie and then it’s everywhere and there’s a huge mess so it’s better not to touch that shit in the first place because its disaster is a bit unpredictable. These days.
So as I was shaming myself for becoming a useless sack of wasted potential, hearing my mother’s voice ringing in my ear saying “you see you do very well even when you don’t try but imagine if you only applied yourself once in awhile you could be thriving honey really thriving,” I start formulating a half smile that depicts my insides as accurately to my English Lit teacher as humanly possible.
“I’d rather accept the consequences than try and prolong the inevitable again so here it is in all its tarnished glory and tied with a stupid little punctual bow.”


“I love failure!” by Julia at her dining table

Thursday February 18, 2016
5 minutes
from a text message

I love failure. I do. I didn’t before but I love it now. Like a long lost sister, or a cousin you used to fight with. I think before there was this understanding that I could make it pretty far in this life without actually leaping, jumping, risking anything. I think I wore a lovely outer mask that said, I am confident I am going places, but on the inside a traumatized child had the fear of how much longer were we going to play make believe. I think, now, maybe for the first time, I can hear both voices at once. Things are suddenly less hard than they used to be. Because living truthfully and unafraid of being wrong? That’s the most freedom you’ve ever felt. Because it connects you with the spirit of your surroundings, the integrity of your self-love, your deepest soul. It’s such uplifting necessity. I do not understand now how I thought feeling confined in my skin, trapped in all my conjured narratives, was easier than letting anything go; than lightening my load; being kind to myself.


“this music has more religion in it than any church” by Julia at her dining table

Wednesday February 17, 2016
5 minutes
from a YouTube comment by GB3770

I pray at the church of kindness, I can’t settle for anything less than that as my temple. I don’t believe in a God that won’t invite us all to play, that condemns for ignorance, that promotes the weak and bludgeons the strong. I don’t believe in a God that withholds, that accepts money as the only currency, that won’t forgive us for very arbitrary, yet non-negotiable acts. I bow my head at the alter of generosity. It’s the only home I ever feel safe enough to lower my shield in. It’s the only thing that moves me to a state of rejoicing. Don’t give me that hearsay scripture, that haunting, beautifully crafted by poets rule book. I worship at the church of soul music. The kind that lifts your skin off your bones just enough to make room for grace.


“World’s Greatest Dad” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday February 16, 2016
5 minutes
from a picture of Joe’s t-shirt

I liked him because he thought my name was Vanessa.
I liked him because he’d make excuses to talk to me.
Because he’d serenade me in the funniest ways and always show up in my doorway without a reason.
Because his smile hasn’t changed one bit since he was little.
Because he knows how to communicate me to me.
Because he can educate without agendas or judgments.
I liked him because he was charming.
Because he was funny.
Because he was the best looking thing I’d ever seen.
I liked him because he wore truth-manifesting, subliminal foreshadowing on his funny old t-shirts.
I liked that his favorite shirt used to be the one that read “WORLD’S GREATEST DAD”.
I liked him because I believed he believed he would be.


“Is the client’s wish achievable?” by Julia at the salon

Monday February 15, 2016
5 minutes
From a treatment plan at Black 2 Blond salon

I haven’t asked for permission since Charlie left. She used to make me feel like if I could just stop waiting for other people to validate me, I would start excelling in my own life, at work, in everything. Charlie knew how to get what she wanted, waltzing into corner stores and convincing the cashiers to give her something for free each time she went in. It was inspiring. But it also seems like it required a particular person to achieve such positive results. I didn’t think I could get away with it–just based on my demeanor, my fear of not being liked. Charlie used to say, it’s out there for the taking. Every single last bit is there for you, you just need to start acting like you deserve it. I’ve been doing that. I’ve been working hard and being free. It is almost better that she’s not here to watch the progression. I’m getting better but Charlie would be pushing me for more extreme results. She was good for motivating but she didn’t understand that everyone has their own pace. It feels good. To do what I’m doing. It’s faster than I thought I would..


“She said my mistakes made her feel confused” by Julia on her couch

Sunday February 14, 2016
5 minutes
Dear Mr. You
Mary-Louise Parker

I braid my hair long down my back and I glance down to see which flower I want to put in. I let the blooms speak without forcing them to make themselves available to me. I feel the sun peaking out of the clouds just to watch what I do, see what I choose, why. Little purple one, I think. I don’t want to make the wrong decision. Marissa doesn’t like it when I choose wrong. She yells, stomps her feet, says I didn’t teach her anything and her whole life is a joke. I hate to think of angering Marissa or showing her that I haven’t been paying attention. I’m trying. I really am. I feel like she has her minions looking out on all corners of this place to see that I’m doing what I am supposed to. She’s blackmailed the trees, she’s sleeping with the whole sky it seems. Nobody crosses her. Everybody fears her. I listen to my belly, rumbling on luck near empty. Little purple one, woven into the base of my braid. I do not question myself in this moment. I hear wind chimes in the distance congratulating my bravery. Last time Marissa saw me right after a big decision, she scanned my whole body up and down looking for where exactly she might have failed me.


“I worry for a moment that he’s coming back” by Julia on the 4

Saturday February 13, 2016
5 minutes
The Valley
Joan Macleod

I have this spine tingling hair whispering feeling that I won’t be alone here for long. The way I know when my body needs to throw up: the cues, the signals, the deep understanding of when things are in order and when they are even slightly off. I read the room, literally, spiritually and I know that if I want it I have to move fast. I can do it safely if I do it now. I can avoid being caught in the act, avoid improvising a reason, response, defense, if I just focus and mind over matter everything. I scan my surroundings, two doors, one camera, three potential stations for pick up, four paths to and from said locations to confuse and distract. I choose route two and I walk with a clip to station one. I pick up necessary tools in completing future steps with most ease and comfort. I scoop my hands into the deep bag, careful to only pull out enough to fit in both of my hands when cupped.


“Help us fight the flu!” by Julia at her dining table

Friday February 12, 2016
5 minutes
from the elevator at VGH

I am sitting motionless but moving on this perfect log facing the perfect sun peaking out behind the perfect mountain. Everything is wonderful. Everything around me is alive and I am still alive to experience it. There’s a difference between living and not dying. I come out here to remind myself exactly that when things feel uneasy. I ask myself, am I still alive, or am I living until I die? I am hoping to find clarity around that; peace, even. Asking myself as often as I can if this life is holding space for me or if I am holding space for it. It should be the former, shouldn’t it? Should. Huh. I know, I’m working on that too. Working on coming to perfect stillness and looking at perfect views and thinking so many imperfect thoughts. I am alone but not lonely. I feel supported from the moment I open my eyes to the moment I decide to keep them closed for the night. And I am not dying. Not yet. Not today. Although if the timing were right, this wouldn’t be such a bad last spot to be in; not a bad last feeling to have–one where I am myself inside myself inside a moment of deep desire to understand.


“Action plan” by Julia on the 99 bus

Thursday February 11, 2016
5 minutes
from a sign at Commercial-Broadway station

Okay let’s stay on this path let’s pick all the berries and watch the sunset from here cause it’s safe here under the canopy of jungle under the protection of soft light let’s pack our tiny bags full of notebooks and truth juice to sustain us but not delay us to suspend us but not limit us we can sip sparingly and save some of that for tomorrow and when we get to tomorrow let’s write a new song about the afternoon or turn dusk into the chorus we can sing it out cause we know the words and bang on the drum of our chest cavities to keep the rhythm going to keep the music alive let’s stay on this path and pray to the star gods to keep us happy and in love in case tomorrow’s tomorrow surprises us.


“imagining our future.” By Julia at her dining table

Wednesday February 10, 2016
5 minutes

When I think of our children, we only have 2, you win, I see one with little curls, one with glasses, and both with big innocent loving smiles. How bad would it be if I pictured our kids frowning? They’re not, though. They’re so happy. They have your heart. They have your never ending optimism and your family first attitude. They have my temper, both hilarious and terrifying. I like that they snarl at things as much as they laugh. They don’t give up when enough is enough. They don’t understand “enough.” Maybe I shouldn’t be proud that they’re miniature versions of a trait I’m trying to eradicate. But I am. Anger is an emotion that creates change, carries it, lifts it up, and shoots it to the moon. I think Alanis said that. The part about anger being the vessel for moving forward.


“imagining our future.” By Sasha at the UBC Learning Exchange

Wednesday February 10, 2016
5 minutes

I imagine our future as orchids
as shooting stars
as bits of sand when
under a microscope
the whole universe

I imagine our future
can’t help myself
I’m a dream junkie
arm bruised with pockmarks of
maybe and when

I imagine our future ceilings
catching wishes in open laughter mouths
I imagine our future claw foot tub
warm water swirling down the memory drain
I imagine our future babies
All cheeks and nerve


“the globally inspired” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday January 24, 2016
5 minutes
From the front of a flyer

Full moon brings out the wild
the smell of mushrooms and old leaves
the rabbit ear soft longing for comfort and
change no difference there just the swell of the waves and
the fingers in the sand

If I could I would binge watch you
and your evolution
Every moment a new stop motion picture
slow exposure
A few sun blasts


“starting in the same spot” by Sasha on the 16

Wednesday,January 20, 2016
5 minutes
Overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can hear your voice through the floorboards, rattling the light fixture that hangs above the kitchen table ever so slightly. The reverberation travels through the light, into the top of my head, down my spine and into my bum, squishy on the seat cushion, on the brown chair. Your voice has the resonance of an oak tree, the pitch of a double bass, the starting spot of the clouds before the sky clears.


“Hard to hand over the reins” by Julia at Our Town Cafe

Friday November 27, 2015 at Our Town
5 minutes
The Vancouver Sun
Friday, November 27, 2015

They play the kind of oldies music that I love here. I can’t help but tap my foot and sing along. It’s a crowded place. Not the best spot for open expression of who I am. If my father could see me he’d be so embarrassed at how little tact I have. He always hated when I’d check to see if I had food in my teeth in a knife while sitting at a restaurant. He thought it was classy. I thought it would be less classy if I spoke to someone with spinach hanging from my gums, but no, what I was doing was inappropriate. I couldn’t tell you how many times my dad has embarrassed me just by being narrow minded. I never told him that I didn’t want to be seen with him, even if he told a bad joke, or said that people with dreadlocks shouldn’t work at a housewares store. I even remember one time he came skating with my grade 4 class and fell on the ice in front of everyone. I was 9 and sure, it was a big deal then, but I did not act like I was even a little bit bothered because I bet he was way more embarrassed than I was. In fact now that I think about it I was really just worried that he might have hurt himself and there wouldn’t have been room for anything else…


“I love kittens!!” by Julia at Our Town Cafe

Sunday November 22, 2015 at Our Town
5 minutes
from a text

Dear Diary:

I love kittens!! Mom said if I finished reading my new book that she got me (it’s called: KITTENS) and ask Auntie Genie about the responsibilities around raising an animal friend as a pet, she MIGHT, maybe, will POSSIBLY consider letting me go to the shelter (where they keep the kittens from dying before they’re old enough to take care of themselves) and learn about some of my favourite ones. When I told her that I promised I would and would make sure I was very well informed about kittens and EVERYTHING they need before I asked her to get one, she said, Now, Izzie, this is not a YES or a NO it is a MAYBE, and it is ON CONDITION. I Know I know I know already. She is “non-committal”. Just like my father was. Or at least that’s what Auntie Genie tells me. She told me that FACT when I asked her once if he left because he was allergic to me. She said, Of course not, but that would have been a better reason.


“Maybe we shouldn’t” by Julia on her couch

Saturday November 21, 2015
5 minutes
overheard at the Eastside Culture Crawl

Maybe we shouldn’t talk about the future, about how many kids you want, or how many pieces of artwork we don’t agree on. Maybe we shouldn’t.
Maybe we shouldn’t tell each other everything just in case we wake up one time in the middle of the night and realize there’s nothing left to learn. Maybe we shouldn’t.
Maybe we shouldn’t co-own anything unless that thing is a fruit and custard pull-away tart from the coffee shop on the corner where the barista is mean to you. Maybe we shouldn’t.
Maybe we shouldn’t wait for the other one to be honest about the things we’re afraid of first. Maybe there’s pain in the waiting. Maybe there’s disaster in the lie before it becomes the truth.
Maybe we shouldn’t tell our parents, when they ask what we did last night, that we didn’t leave our beds because we were too high to stand up. Maybe we shouldn’t.


“Her face was like a spring sun halo” by Julia at Shaktea

Friday November 20,2015 at Shaktea
5 minutes
White Heat
M.J. McGrath

I scooped up her tiny face into my hands and I brought her close to mine so I could feel her nose and inhale her intoxicating smell. She smelled of cinnamon and felt comforting to be around. I liked that she didn’t have a sweet smell because when I thought of her defending herself against the world, it put me at ease to think that she’d be a little bit tougher, connected to her roots, fiery, quick.
She was sleeping still and I thought about leaving in that moment so I could remember her like that: peaceful, calm, perfect. I couldn’t bare the idea of her crying at the realization of my absence. I didn’t want to cause her any more pain than I already had.


“methodological, theoretical, practical” by Julia on her couch

Thursday November 19,2015
5 minutes
from the back of a theatre theory book

Belief isn’t strong enough on its own, she tells me, as the crumbs of her double baked almond croissant stick to the corners of her mouth.
You need to put beliefs into practice, Marnie. It’s all about practicality here.
I can’t stop staring at her lips. Encrusted in almond flakes, spewing some wisdom or advice that I can barely pay attention to.
Do you think you put your beliefs into practice, Marnie?
She notices where my eyes land on her face and instantly reaches up to swat the crumbs away. She looks embarrassed now. She keeps her gaze on me.
Have you been listening, Marnie?
Yes, I tell her quickly, before she tries to ask me if I’m sure.
Good. That’s good. Is there anything you’d like to add? I don’t want to be the only one offering ideas here. That’s not why I asked to meet with you, is it?


“store solar power” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday November 18,2015
5 minutes
from a tweet by the Globe and Mail

When we’re alone after a full day of kissing my family and eating tortelli you tell me there’s this new game you can’t wait to play when we get home. I don’t know why, but this bothers me. I can’t tell why I’m upset by this. You’re not hurting me by playing. Or are you? I haven’t figured out why my insides are twisting and my veins are pulsing. Am I looking for a reason to be mad at you? I try to delay my response because I’m worried it’ll come out naggy, or pissed off. I would much rather come to the conclusion of my feelings before involving you in an outburst. Is it because I wish I had something to look forward to when we go home? Is it because we have plans when we get home and you’re blowing me off? Do we have plans at all? I’m mad at how mad I am without quite knowing why. I rack my brain for instances to refresh my memory about why it is I can’t handle this decision. It seems like one you’ve made before. I remember that. Or something like it…


“holier-than-thou” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday November 17,2015
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Went to church when I was younger I guess, so I have this really big soft spot for budding Christians. Not the full blown ones, I have no room for those. But the ones who are starting to feel community and straight-edged living are the ones I see myself in. So many of my beliefs were centered around permission and guilt and acceptance and guilt and lying and begging and praying and guilt. Like I was sand being shaken back and forth in an hourglass. Always trying not to be wrong. Always trying to right the wrong. Always being wrong. Always feeling bad for being wrong. But there in the community where we’d raise our hands to the Lord and sway them back and forth while our eyes were closed and our hearts exploded, we felt like pieces cut out of the same felt, glued onto bristol board to form a perfect circle; the poster kids for The Lost.


“make strong choices on the fly” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 8, 2015
5 minutes
from nativeearth.ca/w28series/

Okay so I started taking this improv class-that’s what they say, it’s so cool, they don’t even finish the word. It’s every week on Tuesdays and the class is 3 hours long and it is the best thing in my entire life. It’s so funny. People really are hilarious in this class so I never feel like it’s a waste cause I’m always laughing and sometimes till I’m crying and that is the best feeling. Our instructor, Vijestica is a hobbit sized woman and she has a big laugh that starts, I am convinced, in her groin. She’s always snorting and shooting snot out of her nose because she loves to laugh and gets us really excited about our choices! In improv you learn how to YES AND which means nothing is wrong and everything is a good idea and you say yes to the first choice that comes and just keep building on that until you’re really rolling with it all and the jokes just flow and the laughs just follow. Vijestica says this is a safe place to leave the everyday at the door. I am so glad to leave my everyday at the door because working in a cubicle the size of an outhouse in my everyday is actually the thing that might kill me. It’s awful, there’s no silliness or fun, only deadlines and people telling me “nice maroon sweater, Alma,” or “Did you eat my peanut butter tuna sandwich, Alma?” Here, in improv class, we all just smile and tell each other how great and brave we all are.


“is your weapon” by Julia at her desk

Saturday November 7, 2015
5 minutes
from the back cover of Watchdogs

Is your weapon silence or is it force?
I’m asking cause I need to know.
I’m taking a survey.
Which one works better for you?
Are you using it at all?
Are you using your weapon for good or for evil?
You can decide what it is, at any point.
I’d recommend earlier than later.
But what do I know.
I’m just taking a survey.
Is your weapon strength or is it pain?
I’m asking cause I need to know.
I’m looking for the best answer.
Which one keeps the monsters at bay and which one keeps the good out?
It’s possible to keep the good out.
Some weapons only hurt ourselves.
Some weapons only become available after we need them.
You can decide when you’ll use it.
I’d recommend now or never.
But what do I know.


“for a variety of reasons” by Julia in a car

Friday November 6, 2015
5 minutes
Overheard at Moii Cafe

Carmen is sitting on the kitchen sink, banging her feet against the cupboard to the rhythm that she’s humming in her head. Boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
Ely stares at her with a sideways smile and his head cocked to the side. He’s in love with her. She’s the most fascinating thing he’s ever seen in his life.
Carmen feels his gaze but acts like she can’t tell. She pretends to be in her own world. She likes the attention Ely gives her. She likes that he likes her and that she could be bad, or better, and he wouldn’t even notice. She likes that he doesn’t hold her to a particular standard. She likes that he isn’t like everybody else.
Ely wants to kiss her but hasn’t felt like she’s invited him yet. His body remains tense and leaning against the counter. He casts his eyes down when it gets to be too much.
“Are you afraid of me or something?”
Carmen’s legs still going, boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
“Me? No I’m. I’m not afraid of you or something. I’m. I’m not afraid.”
“Well why are you way over there, then?”


“for a variety of reasons” by Sasha at Moii Cafe

Friday November 6, 2015 at Moii Cafe
5 minutes
Overheard at Moii Cafe

I’m angry at you for a variety of reasons. A WIDE variety. Wide like a mouth screaming. Wide like the clouds and the rain. Firstly, you ate my leftover curry and you know that the one thing I get truly invested in is lunch and I was sweaty and starving when I got home from my appointment at the optometrist and all I wanted, in life, was my leftover curry. I spent twelve dollars on it and it wasn’t even the best, but I’m practising portion control so specifically put aside half for today’s lunch. And then, and THEN, I see the take out container in the recycling bin. “He must’ve transferred it to a glass container. How sweet.” I thought. Nope. NOPE! You didn’t even leave a goddamn note, Trevor! You didn’t even leave a note saying, “Terribly sorry. Couldn’t resist your curry.”


“it could not establish” by Sasha at Liberty Bakery

Tuesday October 27, 2015 at Liberty Bakery
5 minutes
the Iphone internet connection message

Margo made good eye contact. It didn’t come easily, but she did. No tricks, like staring in between the eyebrows, we are talking about full on retina connection.

As a child, Margo always looked up – the shapes of the clouds, a crow on the high branch of a tree, the jet-stream left behind a plane. Or, she looked down – pink sidewalk chalk, an earthworm left exposed, a tumbleweed.

It was her fourth grade teacher, Mr. Rowland, who pulled her aside one day before recess.

“Margo, you never look me in the eye! I don’t even know what colour your eyes are!”

He was so genuinely concerned, so deeply invested in her connection with others, that from that day onwards, Margo changed her course. She began to sneak peeks into people’s eyes.


“Then the chicken to fry” by Julia on her couch

Saturday, August 15, 2015
5 minutes
Women Work
Maya Angelou

Hi Dad,
How’ve you been? I already hate that I’ve started this letter with a pleasantry, but I didn’t even know if I should write this in the first place and now I’m doing it so let’s just see how it goes. I actually don’t need to know how you’ve been. Sorry for asking that. I saw a chicken and waffles place on 5th and Carmichael last Friday and haven’t been able to concentrate on my life because it’s something you are somehow attached to now and forever and I’m a bit fucked up about that for some reason. I went in, I ordered a huge plate of the stuff and then cried into my fried lunch for about 12 minutes straight. I wasn’t planning on telling you that but here I am writing you a letter I didn’t plan on writing to you either.


“Then the chicken to fry” by Sasha in Pearson International Airport

Saturday, August 15, 2015
5 minutes
Women Work
Maya Angelou

I got a case of the Mondays.
I got a case of the Bad Days.
I got a case of Corona and a spliff from five years ago.
I got a real bad dog show.
I got chicken to fry.
I gotta undo a lie.
I got an itch that can’t be scratched.
I got a case of the Mondays, baby.
I got a case of the Sad Days.
I got a case of old photos.
I got a broken motor.