“Fine then, you get out.” By Sasha at her desk


Saturday May 13, 2017
9:34am
5 minutes
Oil and Water
Robert Chafe


Budgie makes the sign of the cross whenever I mention Anton.

“We’ve been dating for almost three months,” I say. “You’re really going to have to come around.”

Budgie never liked when I made a new friend, let alone went on dates with someone. Scared Henry McAlister away, in fact. He’d be sitting in the window, like a statue when we left and we got home. Did he move when we were out eating burgers and seeing a show at the Dominion? No one knows.

“Humph,” Budgie says, opening a can of 7Up.

“You should really stop drinking that stuff,” I say, wiping a layer of dust off of the coffee table. “It has about twelve teaspoons of sugar in it, Budg, and it’s not even ten o’clock!”

“What can I do for you?” by Sasha on her couch


Monday March 2, 2015
10:21pm
5 minutes
From a Pattison subway ad

He sits too much.
He knows this is true.
He eats too many chocolate chip cookies.
Hard to resist.
Hard to resist.
Betty forwarded an email article about “Standing Desks”.
Maybe he should get one of those.
His doctor says he has high blood pressure.
No more egg yolks?
No more custard before bed?
He goes for a walk or two and then thinks:
I’d rather be sleeping.
He reads a few passages of the Bible…
(Betty highlighted them and tagged the pages with post it notes)
He decides he’s going to take Betty on a date to the Planetarium.
“Why would we look at fake stars when we can look at real ones?” She says.
He hadn’t thought of that.
Damn.
He takes Betty on a date to the park and he brings a blanket.
“Why did you bring this blanket? It’s going to get dirty!”
Betty drinks all of the hot chocolate.
“It’s cold,” she says.
It’s cloudy so they don’t see any real stars.
He kisses her, though.
That hadn’t happened in awhile.
A kiss that makes them both remember a time before the toilet seat being left up.
A kiss that keeps them warm, inside out.

“INSERTED” by Julia on her couch


Sunday August 17, 2014
10:19pm
5 minutes
from a receipt

I haven’t known what day it is since last week. That’s not usually like me. I usually know dates and times and names and faces. Lately I’ve been forgetting. I can’t tell if it’s later in the week or earlier? I can’t tell if I have something I need to get done, or not? Maybe because I’ve been doing nothing for so long it suddenly feels like there’s no way I could still be doing only nothing. Haven’t I scheduled some amazing plans yet? Haven’t I figured out something great to do with my time? Surely I’ve missed something! But that would be even worse, knowing that the one and only time I did have plans, I forgot to write them down, or just got the dates confused and ended up doing something mundane instead! Maybe it’s a defence mechanism so I don’t have to go ahead and deal with the dates I know are approaching. August 21: our last night. August 22: our last day. August 23: The first day without you in months. August 24: the first Sunday without cuddling you in the morning because we made sure to observe No Alarm Sundays every other weekend.
I don’t know what day I’m on because I’m in preparation for a longing that can’t be cured simply just by making other plans..

“Important Numbers:” by Julia at Amanda’s house


Saturday May 10, 2014
2:19am
5 minutes
A 2013 calendar

These are the important numbers in my life:
1) 13-good luck and baseball jersey number
2) 20-birthdate and baseball jersey number
3) 1-the easiest, loneliest, and baseball jersey number
4) 0-the number of bones I have broken
5) 5-the number of minutes it takes to write a pocket-sized story
6) 2-the number of siblings I have and care about
7) 1270-the number of unread e-mails in my inbox
8) 2-the number of couches I own and hate
9) 33-the number of pairs of shoes I own
10) 16-the date we decided to try again
11) 12:34-the time I always seem to look at the clock

“Maximize your chances” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday April 23, 2014
12:56am
5 minutes
http://www.zerve.com

I was the kinda kid that wanted freckles, I wanted to be better at football and I wanted parents that cared enough to stick around. My Nana raised my brothers and I. She was the kinda lady that always had a bed for you and some leftovers staying warm in the oven. My Dad was busted for some criminal activity at the lounge he was managing and had to spend sixteen months in a minimum security prison. My Mom was “following her heart” and find Jesus on some farm in the Midwest. My oldest brother Donny went on a lot of dates. He was only allowed to go out on Fridays and Saturdays, though, so he had a wait list of girls… Or so he said. I’d watch him get ready, clenching his jaw as he looked at himself in the mirror, rubbing hair gel between his palms and smoothing it over his head. Donny wasn’t even the best looking of all of us, but he tried the hardest. He spent an hour lifting weights and doing pushups and sit ups in his room every night before bed. I knew it because Paul and my room was next to his and Karl’s and we could hear his grunts and he struggled and counted – “fifty six, fifty seven, fifty eight…”