“We invite you to read” by Julia at the desk

Wednesday May 13, 2020
8:34pm
5 minutes
Canada Council For The Arts Newsletter

There’s a man over there singing on the bench

when someone passes him he stops singing and says “Hello!”

And when that someone keeps going instead of stopping what they’re doing

the man says “Hello! Goodbye! Good Hell!”

By the time the person has realized what he’s said, he’s started singing again

Should I have stopped?

They wonder

Should I have taken ten seconds out of my day?

What if he was going to want to talk to me for longer than 10 seconds?

What if I would have been the only conversation he had all day?

The worry doubles and the man keeps singing there on the bench

He doesn’t wonder if the passersby are having enough conversations

He doesn’t ask of them anything actually

He is inviting them to smile

He is inviting them to read the room and see a thing and it’s a giving, actually

He is giving what he can and at some point it’s the singing

And at some point it’s the song

It’s the smile, the stopping to notice

The noticing

The engagement

The opportunity

He gives to whoever might pass not picking based on any other statistics

Gifts can be like that sometimes

“let’s get to breakfast” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday January 24, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
From an infomercial

We were never sure of much, were we? We were sure of the skyline, condo buildings and smokestacks, voices ballooning out of windows, bass wafting through tailgates. We weren’t sure about the future. We couldn’t be. We weren’t sure about where we’d get breakfast, and, once we got it, what it might be. I thought that might feel like the world was our oyster but instead it felt like the world was our can of tuna, ninety nine cents at No Frills. One thing Annie taught me was how to score a deal, how to comparison shop, how to be smart about every dime.

“I watch a news clip of” by Sasha in her garden


Wednesday July 9, 2014
9:02pm
5 minutes
We Should Do Something
Laurel Leigh


I watch the news clip again and again and I can’t believe he said it and I can’t believe it’s real.

“Are you sure?”
“Yes.”
“How sure?”
“I went to the fucking doctor.”
Silence.

She’s crying and he’s on the other side of the road, wringing his hands, hanging his head, shuffling his feet.

“Rebecca, you’ve gotten yourself into a very delicate position…”
There are other ways I can think of putting it. There are others ways I can think of. There are other ways that a man can turn away, can run, can forget to return your phone calls or your iPhone charger.

“I’m sorry. We should’ve been more careful…” Is what he says.
I’m drowning.

“Why don’t you meet me at Frans for breakfast and we can talk this out in person?” He’s whispering, which means she’s close by.
“No I will not fucking eat pancakes while you tell me to get an abortion!” I scream and I feel his silence like a knife in my ribs. I hang up the phone.

I call my mother.