“I do not know how to smile” by Julia at Oak and Broadway

Sunday July 8, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
From a text

I want the world to know that I wont be smiling from here on out. I wont be laughing either, in case you were curious. I have been smiling and practiced smiling and I have done a good job but now that’s over. No more giving away for free. That’s what I’ve been doing. And at first that felt good but then they started taking my smiles for free which is different than receivng them. Smiles shouldn’t cost anything and I’m the one who’s giving and paying. Forced smiles have cost me the most. When someone thinks they’re entitled to my smile, my good, my honest light. That’s when it leaves me dead and wondering. Maybe I should be saving them all for the children. They never take something worth so much for free.

“seemed to love us anyway” by Sasha on her couch

Friday, March 16, 2018
7:23am
5 minutes
Beauty: 1976
Ruth L. Shwartz

I have lots of keys to lots of very important places and for once in my life I feel like I’m worth something, Rudy! Can you understand that?! I spent forty-six years doing everything for everybody and then you just, I mean, I just woke up one morning and thought, “That’s IT. I’m DONE.” I’ve got keys to the storage locker, and Mom’s place, and Wendy’s cottage and the Dawson’s whose dogs I walk when they go out of town to visit their kids in Sherbrook! I’ve probably got even more keys than that! It’s a lot of keys! I’ve earned them! I’ve earned the trust to have them! RUDY!

“change of plans” by Julia on F’s couch


Wednesday July 5, 2017
9:23pm
5 minutes
From an email

Change of plans, I don’t love you anymore.
Pack the tiny cooler bag your aunt gave us before we rode our broken car all the way to Saskatoon.
Find yourself a couple of crackers
to eat on the way.
I wanted it to be you.
You are not the only one disappointed here.

Change of plans, I don’t love you anymore.
Take your collection of
play things
all the broken bobby pins
you didn’t ask to break
the pen lids, all twisted
into useless
the cloud of sugar lint
in your pants pockets.

“we’ve never properly met though.” by Julia on her couch


Sunday April 2, 2017
9:12pm
5 minutes
from a text

Cara breaks up with Ian because he always forgets to call her when he finishes work. She doesn’t like that he goes straight to the bar without mentioning where he’s going or when he’ll be home. She’s done having dinner ready for him but still eating alone.
Lydia breaks up with Dawn because she never wants to have sex with her. She doesn’t like begging for it, and she doesn’t want Dawn to feel uncomfortable. She’s done feeling like she’s asking for too much from her girlfriend, whom she loves and lives with.
Greg breaks up with Julie because he cheated on her and doesn’t know how to trust her if he can’t trust himself. He doesn’t want to hide it and he doesn’t want to tell her. He’s done pretending like things are fine when he’s responsible for making things..not that way

“so that we can contact you” by Julia on her couch


Friday November 4, 2016
9:46pm
5 minutes
from a contest information sheet

Paulette: Yeah, that’s just the thing, you give them one high five and they’ve already saved your phone number to their contacts list and found you on Facebook! Ha ha ha, you know it’s true! You’re jus–we could be having lunch tomorrow you’re right–no we won’t! Definitely not and–okay you too. No you too, I mean it. Goodnight Jerry. Goodnight. Goodnight.

Paulette throws her cellphone into the waste bin beside her bed. She tightens the belt on her robe and pulls the flask out of her gym bag.