“Addiction” by Sasha at work

Monday February 25, 2019
5 minutes
We Need to Talk
An interview with Anne Hallward

Dishes aren’t piled in the sink. In fact, Maxine’s three bowls (one broke), four plates, and half dozen mason jars are neatly arranged on her shelves. The sink drips, and a mark of rust has settled in the basin. Nursing is hard work, and Maxine isn’t home a lot. She works sixty hours a week, sometimes more. Sundays are her special day. She spends Sundays reading The New Yorker and drinking creamy coffee, lazing in bed with sweatpants and wool socks. She does one line of blow at six thirty, before Bill comes over. They’ve been sleeping together for just over three months, and Sunday is their night. Maxine doesn’t want a relationship. She deals with enough shit at work, the last thing she needs is more chatter at home. A good high fuck a week is perfect for her.

“off the grid gypsies” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 6, 2015
5 minutes
From a text

The bread is rising in the corner and Penelope is singing the song that she always sings. Burt, her Dad, my Mother’s second husband, rolls a cigarette. Mother washes dishes until her hands start to hurt. “Della? Come help?” I pretend I don’t hear her and it works but only until Burt realizes what I’m doing. He throws his slipper at me and lights his smoke. “Go outside, Burt!” My Mother shouts. Since Wren was born, she doesn’t like him smoking inside. Didn’t seem to matter with the rest of us. Burt grumbles a bit, grabs his slipper and says, “Go help yer Mom.”

“Don’t stare at The Nude.” by Sasha her kitchen table

Wednesday January 29, 2014
5 minutes
God Loves Hair
Vivek Shraya

“What are you doing?” I ask, poking my head into her room. She’s just turned thirteen and would much rather me leave her alone. I can tell this from the way she’ll barely look me in the eye, from the way she paints black nail-polish across the batik of her name on her door, from the way she prefers earbuds tucked in than my voice telling her stories. “I’m writing a letter.” She barely looks up. I leave it at that.

We wash dishes, side-by-side. She washes and I dry. Sometimes our forearms brush up against eachother and she apologizes. “For what?” I ask. She’s turned on the radio and it’s set to the Jazz station. She doesn’t change it. I think about how her father loves Jazz and wonder if he plays it for her when she goes to see him in the Yukon every July. “Mom,” she says, draining the sink and dumping the leftover bits of broccoli and rice in the compost, just like I’ve taught her to do. “I’m writing to a guy in Texas…” I take a deep breath. “Oh?” I say, trying to be the open-hearted woman that she usually forgets I am these days. “He’s in prison… He’s…” “What?” “He’s lonely…” She looks at me and I see my own eyes, ripe and full and I sit down at the round table and she sits down too.

“here’s the part where I encourage you” by Julia at her desk

Friday, June 21, 2013
5 minutes

You had on those bright yellow dish gloves and you looked ridiculous. You didn’t know I was writing about you. You didn’t know I write at all. I was watching you try to fight with them to get them off. You could have bought a size up but you’re a boy and sometimes I forget this. You also looked very cute. Your sleeves rolled up past your elbows and your eyebrow furrowed because you do that when you’re concentrating, even it’s not a hard task. I like that furrow. That little crinkle you get. I think you were humming something by Rihanna, and you might not have realized it but your joke singing actually sounded pretty good. I think if we ever got to that stage, I would like for you to sing to me. Mostly when I’m tired and falling asleep on the couch in front of Letterman. Or if you ever came home from picking up some calamari salad with chives, you could do it then.