“Aida drank her father’s unsugared coffee” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday August 4, 2019
10:21pm
5 minutes
A Dull Yellow Presence
Mona’a Malik

Aida reaches across the table and takes a sip of her father’s unsugared coffee. It tastes like tar.

“What are you doing?” He’s back from the washroom, hands in his pockets, crease between his eyebrows deeper than when he left.

“I just wanted to – …”

“That’s for grown-ups.” He sits down and stacks his cutlery on his plate, putting the paper napkin, folded, on top.

“I’m sorry, Papa.” Aida gets that sinking feeling in her stomach and wonders when her mother will pick her up. Saturday morning breakfasts with her father were court ordered. No one checked with her.

“While I watched a yellow caterpillar” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday March 29, 2017
11:24pm
5 minutes
Standing
Shel Silverstein


My sister had dance class on Thursday nights. My Mom would take her there. I’m not sure what she would do while my sister danced – did she read a book? Eat a chocolate chip cookie? See a friend?

My Dad and I would be home alone together. This was rare. It was treasured. The King and Queen would come for dinner. We would eat something my Mom had left on the stove for us.

Afterwards, when the food had settled and the King and Queen had left, we would go into the dining room and dance to Dire Straits. Sometimes I would dance on my own feet and sometimes my Dad would pick me up.

“contemporary re-imagining” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday September 15, 2016
11:30pm
5 minutes
From an email from PTC

“It’s okay,” says Papa, chopping onions. He doesn’t cry, stoically bringing his knife down in perfectly straight lines.

“I’m sorry,” I say, sniffling.

“It’s just a truck, sweetie,” Papa pours the onions in the pan and glugs on oil and throws in a knob of butter, too.

“It was so scary,” I stand up and walk close. He reaches out and puts a hand on my shoulder.

“Did I ever tell you about the time I flipped my Papa’s truck into a ditch the first snowstorm of ’69?”

“No…”

He stirs the onions, some starting to become translucent.

“See the world” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday August 18, 2016
1:06pm
5 minutes
From a flyer

pop says see the world but i’m not sure what he even knows about that because he’s never left chesterton. probably something he’s heard on tv or something, like, a thing he heard someone say that he thought sounded smart. he never finished high school even, so what does he know. sorry pop. you know a lot about how to raise pigs, and how to nurse a pup back to health after she eats too much grass. you know a lot about corn. seeing the world? don’t know nothing about that. if i actually took your advice and left chesterton, i think you’d cry for a week. not that i’ve ever seen ya… but i can imagine. it’s been you and i since mama and berg drowned, since i was three and you were twenty six. mama has finally learned how to make peach pie, the crust and everything. at least that’s what you tell me. mama had just learned to make peach pie.

“then gave it to his daughter” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday June 24, 2016
8:03am
5 minutes
The Govenlock Hotel
Sharon Butala

Isaac gives Josie a kiss on her nose, like he does every morning and watches as she gets on the school bus. He does the breakfast dishes and part way through Googles what it would take to install a dishwasher. Barb liked doing the dishes, but to him it’s torture. He’d rather run his nails on a chalkboard. It’d cost more than he has, or more than he wants to spend right now. He wipes toast crumbs off the table. Barb used to bitch at him endlessly about not wiping up, about leaving the dishcloth bunched up beside the tap instead of spread out over it. “No wonder they always stink!” She would swat at him with the stinky cloth and then usually they’d laugh and have a kiss.

“Anytime. Anywhere. Anything” by Sasha on her couch


Friday May 16, 2014
9:13pm
5 minutes
from the side of a van

“Anytime! Anywhere! You need him? Hank is THERE!” My father was a lawyer in our small town. One of two. He and Thomas Vanderhoof went to Law School together. My father was a year ahead. He handled what he referred to as the “little people”. Vanderhoof took the big fish. “Anytime! Anywhere! You need him? Hank is THERE!” Was a fifteen second TV spot that he had on the local station from 1982-1990. It haunted my grade school years and my middle school years. The cracking voice of a pre-pubescent boy, “Hank is THERE!”

“rock ‘n’ roll-tinged bar chatter.” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar


Thursday May 8, 2014
4:03pm
5 minutes
Washington Flyer
May/June 2014

“I want you to come out to McIsaac’s,” my Dad said and I was confused because he didn’t drink and last I heard, he didn’t frequent dive bars to talk to girls my age. “Okay?” I said. “May 8th. At nine thirty… It means a lot to me, Allison.” He said. I usually play soccer on Thursdays but I was so curious that I asked Nadine if she’d take my spot. When I arrived, the bar was dim and the people there were older than I had expected. I didn’t see my Dad anywhere. I looked over to the far side and saw someone tuning a guitar, dressed in boots, jeans, a plaid shirt and a hat. I ordered a beer. There was a “tap tap” on the microphone and the chatter died down. My Dad stood under a single spotlight. He said, “Thanks for coming, ya’ll… Especially my daughter Allison Daisy. Light of my life.” I sat on a barstool and listened to my Dad play. I never knew he even liked country music.

“wishing you” by Sasha on the Queen car going west


Saturday March 29, 2014
7:02pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

He kept them in the second drawer of his desk, the desk having moved fourteen times from house to apartment to house to apartment in the last twenty seven years. “I’m doing this once and for all, Dad,” she said and he grunted. “Don’t blame me if you find something you don’t want to find,” he turned on the TV. She hadn’t been to see him since Christmas. When she called, he always said, “All’s well, all’s well.” “Why aren’t you honest with me, Dad?” She asked, “I could’ve come sooner.” “I don’t wanna worry you, Christine… You’re living your life.” He stunk of defeat, his green golf shift tight across his belly. In the drawers of his desk she found stacks of unpaid bills, or overdue payments, of notices from the tax office and the bank. She called Ned. “You need to get here very quickly,” she said and Ned told her to relax.

“Featured Products” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday, November 28, 2013
6:07pm
5 minutes
http://www.pashop.com

Nell opens the door to my study. “Can I come in?” I nod. She walks over to me, behind my desk. Nell gives me her list. It’s typed this year. “Thanks,” I say. “If you need clarification, just ask,” says Nell. When she leaves I put on my glasses. I read it. She wants a blue pottery bowl. She wants an easel. She wants a bamboo cutting board. She wants a subscription to a magazine that’s entirely in French. I call her. She comes. “When did you learn to speak French?” I ask. She blinks just like her mother. “I don’t know… I’ve been practising. I want to get better…” She blushes. “Fine,” I say. I wish I’d said, “Wonderful!”

“Physically he had changed” by Sasha at her desk


Friday May 10, 2013
4:10pm
5 minutes
The Boys Of Summer
Roger Kahn


I got a head start. This infuriated you, I knew from the sound of your angry feet on the sand. I could hear you curse in Spanish, under your breath. I remember when you taught me how to ride a bike, up and down our half acre driveway. We were living in Santa Fe then, Oli had just left for the Army. You lost your temper only once, during those hours, back and forth from the house to the state road. It was when I said that I was afraid. You told me I should never tell anyone if I was scared, that I should keep that kind of thing to myself. I imagined your father, telling you that, and how you’d really done your best to stick to it. Mom said you waited outside when Oli was born and then again with me. You must’ve been terrified. You must’ve wanted no one to know. Easier to stay at arms length. No wonder she decided you weren’t for her.

I get to the other side of the beach. You’re only a few strides behind. You curse again, but this time with a smile on your face. You grab me and wrestle me to the ground.