“The bit about the doorbell” by Sasha in her living room

Saturday October 19, 2019
9:13am
5 minutes
Someday Is Today
Alethea Black

The doorbell rings and Ange stops in her tracks. Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit. Fe wasn’t supposed to arrive until this afternoon. “I’ll be right there!” She calls, running up the stairs and shutting the bedroom door.

Fe is on her phone, talking in Spanish. Ange always says she’s going to learn, but the Duolingo app on her phone goes unopened for the most part.

”What language do you dream in?” Ange asked Fe one of their first morning’s together.

Fe thought about it for awhile. “I’m not sure,” she eventually replied, picking sleep out of the corners of her eyes.

”It’s probably Spanish. I think I read once that we dream in our mother tongues.”

As she opens the door, Ange asks, “Why don’t you have your key?”

Fe cocks her head and glares at her. She’s cut her hair.

“The phone doesn’t ring” by Julia at her desk

Friday October 18, 2019
9:12am
5 minutes
Low Noon
Jim Ralston

When we took the phone of the hook we realized we liked it better just us three.
Bobbi cried less. I think it’s because she didn’t feel like we were going to
leave her to answer somebody else’s call. It should have always been this way
but when the phone rings, it’s another agonizing reminder that there isn’t
enough time in the day to keep up with everything being thrown at us. And
answering is sometimes the only thing we can control in a sea of chaos that
goes around buzzing whether we want it to or not.

And then it was quiet. Alistair finished his will and Bobbi napped in his
arms. We were afraid of this infinite reminder that one day we
would no longer hear his sound. How terrifying it is to think of your family
losing one member of its voice. Again, to things we can’t control no matter
how hard we tried.

The phone doesn’t ring now. We can connect it later if we want, but for today
while both Bobbi and Alistair are breathing, we don’t even think about what
we might have missed.

“Light like sugar cane.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Oct 17, 2019
11:11am
Daybreak

Gerry Lafemina

Light like sugar cane through the kitchen window and you’re wild with belief, whirling dervish of possible outcomes. You dream of rivers and oceans over and over, research water metaphors, read poetry written by women who came before their time. You meditate on the round stone in the park garden, grown over since summer’s ripe peach, sun is still here though, sun is still here. You were once groped by a man on a crowded train, ass and vulva, rubbed top to bottom, or bottom to top depending on who is telling the tale. You said nothing. This haunts you more than the time you cheated on the first man you actually loved, more than stealing fifty dollars from your grandmother’s handbag, more than lying to your friend about why you couldn’t make his birthday dinner (a new beau who turned out to be a sour stale egg, barf barf barf). You looked the groper in the eye, though, that’s one wee bit of action you took. You made it clear that you saw him, in his unshaven violence, in his hand violating the body of a woman, of a fawn.

“I cried during the silent walking meditation” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 15, 2019
7:19pm
Reunion
Halina Larman

Alice left Jim on a Wednesday. It was a long time coming. At least that’s what everyone said. It wasn’t dramatic. It was deliberate and soft. She had packed a black suitcase, as she knew that she needed to actually leave, not just figuratively leave. The suitcase had been Alice’s mother’s. It was worn on the bottom corner, but still zipped up. Their other suitcases, stored in the basement next to the box of Christmas ornaments and wrapping paper, belonged to Jim. At least she thought they did. It was the division of things that most overwhelmed her. Not the conversation, the “leaving” conversation. The division of their items, their life, parsed out in “I’ll take the immersion blender and you take the coffee grinder?” The older Alice got the more she didn’t care for things that she could turn on, hold in her hand, or cart around. She cared for the feeling of her blood pressure lowering, the October wind bringing her closer to herself.

“Everybody froze.” By Julia on the 4

Wednesday October 9, 2019
6:11pm
5 minutes
The Man At Table Five
Alison Clement

it is common, the ice off his tongue. this is what happens when one is bad at keeping oneself warm. everybody else freezes. and here we are thinking that our cold doesn’t hurt anyone but that is not true. there is proof in the quiet, and in the glaring lights.

earlier when we encountered it, we took it on as our own and had to remind ourselves not to do that but what about the ones who do not walk in pairs? who do not count breaths, who do not know how to seperate?
we can say it’s not our responsibility but that is another great convenience we like to cling to.

when a driver flashes their headlights at another behind the wheel it is usually a warning of something to be mindful of up ahead. a signal to slow down, or that the surfboard has come loose from the roof mount. it is not legally required, but there is an unwritten code.

“Everybody froze.” By Sasha at her kitchen counter

Wednesday October 9, 2019
11:30am
5 minutes
The Man At Table Five
Alison Clement

Looked to the sky and there it was. Giant ball of orange and gold, burning and spewing. Coming down on us. Falling here to earth. Everybody froze. Looked up. A communal gasp. Nobody said a word. A universal silence. Something spiritual. Something profane. Something shared. Something unbelievable. Stars don’t often fall this fast, this low. But they sometimes do. Here it is. The thing we’ve all wondered about. The thing we’ve all waited for, without knowing we’re waiting. There’s no sense in running, in moving to another place somewhere close. The reverberations will be felt everywhere. The buckles and ripples can’t be escaped. And then it’s here, and the frozen moment is broken. Everyone is moving. The birds are calling. The dogs are howling. Human beings trying to take flight.

“Gladys was a hefty Puerto Rican” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 7, 2019
7:20pm
5 minutes
Anything For Love
Ruth L. Schwartz

In this dress she wore, she swore she
would not conform to the pressure of
being beautiful like this or that as
if some magazine might be the deciding
vote.

Gladys in her big swooshy dress, covering
the curves and equalizing the line that
leads her all the way down to the floor
and back up again. She stood tall.
She wore the bright pink like a medallion
to ward off the evil eye.
The evil kind of eye that keeps a person
small.

My baby, Indie used to hide underneath it
and count the love on her kneecaps with
slobbery kisses and giggles.
Gladys let her and only her go under,
see what was beneath the fabric.
She liked the love adding up on the
tongue of two year old on a mission.

This is the way she felt beautiful.

When Gladys came by the house she would
bring us cookies baked from scratch,
her own personal recipe and tell us
if we didn’t eat them she would eat
them and what kind of friends let friends
lose track of fallen crumbs.

“I can’t help but reflect” by Julia on her couch

Sunday October 6, 2019
6:53pm
5 minutes
from an email

Last night I saw you in my dreams. Time had past, Too late, I kept thinking. Your house was big and beautiful and uncharacteristic of you in its excess. But this was your home, and the taps sprayed intruders with a blast unless you controlled the pressure with a knob. I got soaked. You showed me, “Like this” and it only happened once.

I went to pick up your baby girl and then my eyes wouldn’t open all the way. I couldn’t see her at all. I couldnt manage the pain of coming all that way and not even get to hold her. Too late, I am too late.

When I went to the kitchen to cry, I asked God to give me back my eyes. Instead your husband came in and asked if I was hungry. I felt like if I ate with him it would take too long and I’d keep missing out on you.
But he and I shared our lunches, mine leftover saffron noodles, and his leftover peppers with thick sauced beef.

“verde y amarillo” by Julia on her couch

Saturday October 5, 2019
11:22pm
5 minutes
@quenoteam
Javier Rupérez Instagram

It’s bees I’m talking about, Lydia. Honey’s bees, you know? They’re the ones doing all the work and getting none of the reward. It’s something I’m just learning about now since Kiki came home with that school project and needed an adult to fact check her research. That was the first time I even read anything about these bees, Lydia, and how was I supposed to help her if I never knew nothing about them? I helped her make it colourful, you know the poster board that she needed to decorate? We put some nice yellows and greens and purples too. I thought cause the bees are attracted to bright flowers it would be a nice touch. Subtle. Kiki loved it, she kept saying, but this is so pretty I want to keep it in my room!

“How could God?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday September 26, 2019
8:02am
5 minute
God Never Blinks
Regina Brett

Snaking through the aisles of the Seven Eleven, Rory catches a familiar shape out of the corner of his eye. Steve. Shit. Steve. STEVE. He grabs a pack of gum, a bottle of orange Gatorade, a bag of Salt and Vinegar Miss Vicky’s. The man behind the cash has the eyes of someone who has seen a lot. Takes one to know one, Rory doesn’t let himself think. Steve won’t see him. Steve will get a can of Diet Pepsi, maybe a Mars bar. He’ll be lost in the forest of his thoughts, of his hangover, of his wish for love. Rory pulls his debit card from his wallet. Taps. Tap. Tap on his shoulder. Steve. Eyes of someone who shares a secret.

“As a consequence” by Sasha on the couch

Saturday September 21, 2019
9:31pm
5 minutes
quote: Ferrucci

You beg her to think about consequences and she says that she doesn’t believe in morality, or ethics, or anything like that. Okay, you say, unsure where there is to go once someone says something like that. Maybe that’s judgement. Maybe that’s difference. Who knows. You wonder what her mother would say, wrapped in pearls, her curly haired beauty a wild, hedonistic animal. Something crashes outside. Raccoons, she says. She goes to window to see. It’s dark outside. Could be cats, you say. No way, she says.

“Please, just think about cause and effect, think about consequences,” you say again. Sometimes in the saying of something a second time, it lands. Not this time.

“He shone with Heavenly Courtesy” by Julia on the 144

Friday September 13, 2019
3:30pm
5 minutes
Courtesy
Hilaire Belloc

I’m not asking for any kindness.
I never wanted kindness and I’m not asking for it.
Do you think I’m sitting up late at night crossing off names or putting tiny robotic checks next to the ones who opened the door for me?
I don’t need to keep track because nobody is ever doing anything out of kindness but out of fear that one day they’ll be punished somehow for not being kind. It is self-serving and I want none of it.
They talk about it like it’s some new age book, as if we’ve never considered things like this before.
How do you measure the absence of expectations? Is there a way to determine who did something without thinking that someway someday they would get their precious heavenly courtesy back?
Nobody gives away anything for free and I don’t want that kindness shining in my face like a flash-light illuminating.
There are too many awards and rewards and systems based on punitive response for there to be a thing called kindness.

“He can fix anything” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
2:04pm
5 minutes
Easter Morning
Jim Harrison

Jer is one of those guys who can fix anything. Sink dripping underneath? Jer’s got it. Car door won’t lock. Call Jer. He even knows how to fix a broken heart. When Kelly left, Jer brought Jemima a scribbler, a new pen, a pepperoni stick and a Toblerone bar. All she needed to write out all her ache, have some protein and a bit of a treat.

When I first met Jer, he wasn’t in the place he is now. He was still drinking, I guess that was a big part of it. He was a fixer for others, I guess, but not really, and certainly not for himself. It wasn’t until he was able to show up and sort out the stuff inside of him that needed fixing, no… healing, that he was really able to start helping other people… the people around him that he loved and saw him through.

“sometimes come last” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday September 5, 2019
8:03am
5 minutes
Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball
Vicki Churchill

I watch the water drain from the bath, legs pulled up, hair dripping down my back. “Stay on that brink and do not concretize,” Pema writes. I close my eyes and taste the sleepy morning. Earl needs a walk, but I’m thinking about crawling back into bed, in my towel, and getting a bit more sleep. The doctor’s appointment this afternoon will be a relief. Dinner with Margot will be a relief. My mother coming to visit next month will be a relief. Earl drinks in the kitchen, splashing water onto the tile. I stand up, the water all swirled away, and see myself in the medicine cabinet mirror.

“translator, teacher” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday September 2, 2019
7:32am
5 minutes
from a bio

Mike was the first teacher I had who actually treated me like a human being, you know what I mean? Like, he valued my ideas, and how I found my way through them… to them… Not just my ideas, everyone’s. Even Amanda Ramsey, who didn’t seem to have very many. I remember the first day of class, when he said that he didn’t believe in “Mr.” this and that, we were all equals and we should call him “Mike”. “Not Michael,” he said, “my mother is the only one who can call me that.” He winked at one of the guys, like they could possibly already have an inside joke.

“and create a platform” by Sasha on her living room floor

Thursday August 29, 2019
2:02pm
5 minutes
from the Arts Council of New Westminster

Liam lost his job in November and has been looking for something, anything, since then. He had to borrow money from his brother. Ed works in tech. He loaned Liam ten thousand dollars at the same interest rate as the credit union. Liam took on some odd jobs (cleaning out a storage locker of an old professor, painting a bathroom, alphabetizing files for the old professor’s husband), and went on thirty two interviews before he landed something with a start up no one has heard of but most will know in six months, once the app takes off. Liam likes that dogs are allowed at the office, and that Misty, the German Shepherd with one eye, licks his fingers under his desk after he eats Doritos.

“She has even lost one leg” by Sasha at her counter

Sunday August 25, 2019
10:09pm
5 minutes
Fetish
Pierre Reverdy

Pam grabs Maxine, her passport, her laptop, and a Cliff bar. Standing outside in her Rolling Stones T-shirt and underwear, Maxine meows and scratches her. They watch the building burn. “Shit,” Pam says, pulling down her T-shirt, trying to cover her bum. Rudy, from the basement apartment comes over and puts his arm around Pam. She’s not into it, but doesn’t shrug away. They are losing everything, so might as well feel “in it” together.

“Nice kitty,” says Rudy. He has bad breath.

“I’m going to go back in… My photo albums… My mother’s engagement ring… My external hard drive…” Pam keeps listing things and Rudy shakes his head and keeps his arm firmly where it is.

“we should not trust the masses” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday August 15, 2019
10:02am
5 minutes
Discourses
Epictetus

“Do not trust the masses”, Domenic says, drinking his dry white wine and scratching his chin. His beard is turning grey. I haven’t seen him since I was a teenager, and he looks the same but a bit more pickley.

“I don’t, I’m just trying to – …” Domenic puts his hand on my hand, rested on the tabletop.

“You must follow your own sense, or one day you’ll wake up and you won’t know how you got to where you got to. That is not a good feeling. Take it from me.” He finishes his wine. My mother tops him up. She’s been sitting quietly across the table, watching.

“I believe that we can have our own sense, and be contributing members of society,” I look up at the starry sky.

“the only identifier” by Julia in the floor of a hotel room

Wednesday August 7, 2019
10:33pm
5 minutes
Orange Socks
Kate LeDew

it is cold in here
I
I
I
am glad I brought a sweater
the people
will
b
e
coming home soon
I have identified the
pro
b
lem

it is me and my hugged wound
laying
together as if
ol
d
frien
ds

we are In sep er able

or so they say

they
they
they

it does not compute
spelling in this
lan
gua
ge

is
hard enough already
already hard
alredy enough

e nu f f

I
I
I
have stopped asking questions because

no

body

knows

any thing
anything
any things

“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.

“Aida drank her father’s unsugared coffee” by Julia laying

Sunday August 4, 2019
8:21pm
5 minutes
A Dull Yellow Presence
Mona’a Malik

Aida lays with her left eye in her palm, pulsing, pushing. Her father is across from her in his easy chair, perusing the daily flyers. That’s the only thing he enjoys reading. The last book he finished was in 2000. He doesn’t remember the title, but the year is easy to recall.

Aida doesn’t like to be gaurded, watched. She feels like her parents keep taking turns on “Aida Duty” and neither of them really want to do it. Aida clears her throat, a bit strained.

Her father leans over and passes her his cup. She takes a sip and shudders.

“I can’t handle this” by Julia in Baden

Thursday July 25, 2019
11:29pm
5 minutes
What Every Body Is Saying
Joe Navarrro

It’s the dreams, Bev, I’m telling you. I get paralyzed in my sleep cause of what I’m doing in my dream and then when I wake up, I can’t move for real.
Take today’s for example! I was napping, right, probably too late in the day for one to be honest, but I got myself into a deep sleep. And in the dream I’m floating 50 ft in the air on some circular device, like one of those snow dishes that you slide down a hill on? And it’s attached to this tiny tiny thread. But long-cause it’s above the ocean. Yeah. All water below and up there I’m having a picnic! Little basket and everything! But then all of a sudden the wind starts turning me upside down and back again at least 6 or 7 times. I am holding onto the ledge of the dish thing, right, holding on for dear life, Bev, cause this shit is unnatural! Then somehow we get down and I have no idea how it works, but we’re safe, and I’m thinking, I do not want to go up back there again. So Elliot gets off the device, right, cause she was up there with me in the dream, right and since she’s down, she’s not scared anymore. But then suddenly I get launched all the way back up!

“found the conversation a burden to listen to” by Julia in Baden

Wednesday July 24, 2019
11:29pm
5 minutes
Lonesome Dove
Larry McMurtry

Hurley wakes up early fries a couple of eggs

Shirley’s getting twirly cause she’s got her new legs

Izzy’s feeling dizzy with her head in her hands

Lizzy’s way too busy with those chaotic plans

Hurley’s loving Shirley when she twirls from her heart

Izzy’s missing Lizzy when she plans them apart

“It Helps To Ask” by Julia in A’s bed

Tuesday July 23, 2019
11:33pm
5 minutes
ECK Wisdom on Inner Guidance
Harold Klemp

A: For alone time?

B: Yeah, I have to ask.

A: Yourself?

B: Yeah. I have to check in.

A: With yourself…

B: Because my permission matters to me.

A: Oh, okay, it’s about your permission.

B: No, MY permission.

A: That’s what I just said.

B: But the emphasis was wrong.

A: Not how I intended it, the emphasis was correct for how I intended it.

B: But you weren’t getting the full scope of what I intended.

A: Okay, you know how you need your thing for you?

B: I… yes.

A: Do you see?

B: I… yes.

“beauty care products that deliver” by Julia in Baden

Sunday July 21, 2018
10:39pm
5 minutes
Live-clean soap label

You could go in there, Lamby, and ask them to test their luxury soaps and they’ll let you! You don’t even have to tell them you have sensitive skin! I think they hope you buy something, but mostly they don’t care at ALL.

I went in there last weekend and saw a soap that had raspberry seeds inside it. For a scrub. It was so pretty. I also saw a corn on the cob face toner. No seriously, Lamby, the toner was yellow. They told me how it worked but I was in such shock I didn’t retain any of it! It was expensive too. So I asked to try it and they let me and I don’t know how they do it but having it on my face just felt right.

Everybody who works there walks around wearing lip liner and cold heart. It’s very thrilling.

“Bishop Family Bees” by Julia in J and R’s attic

Saturday July 20, 2019
12:17am
5 minutes
Honey Child Apothecary

I know about growing bees
I know about spreading honey
I know about brushing a bee away
I know that bzzzzzz growing is the wrong word bzzzz
keeping
my
lips
sealed
don’t want to let out the wrong words
wrong words get me in trouble
wrong words get the bzzzz going and no one thinks it’s the buzz word that does the damage
if that’s too on the nose
I DON’T GIVE A SHIT
I’m done with the passiveness, the persistent preocupation of politeness
This is a family bizzzness
OKAY?

“shoved me into the bathroom” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday July 16, 2019
7:52pm
5 minutes
A Head Full OF Ghosts
Paul Tremblay

Hands around my hips
pushing me towards the open door
Is this the life
I always dreamed of?
Molson on my breath
and All Dressed chips
I wish I’d eaten something
better

We’re up against the sink
graffiti on the walls
Is this all there is?

“Why aren’t you into this?”
Who are you?
“Shit, I’m sorry…”
Down on my knees but he
pulls me up and back
and mouths and breath
and eyes and my mother
used to say that I had
a strange nose it didn’t
come from either lineage
it is all my own

Someone flushes in the
other bathroom
We laugh

“What’s your name?”

“I do love his quips.” By Julia on her couch

Monday July 15, 2019
10:05pm
5 minutes
A Working Theory Of Love
Scott Hutchins

Réal makes dinner
for June at 9:30pm
It is too late to eat
but he says it’s
because he’s
European and it’s
true but also a bit
of a challenge
June used to eat
at 5pm before Réal
walked into her life
wearing an apron
and a smart watch
He says the best
things happen at
night and to him
that means sex
and food and wine
and massage
June likes all of
those things so
she is happy to
have them even if
she still hasn’t
gotten to bed
before midnight
since she met
Réal two months
ago

“Forced Kate to go to karaoke” by Julia on L’s couch

Friday July 12, 2019
11:06pm
5 minutes
From www.grubstreet.com 

Kate doesn’t want to sing so she stays quiet
This is her usual approach

inside she knows it is because she just isn’t brave enough to try but
no one else has to know

she feigned being sick at Brett’s birthday party when Alistair suggested they go to karaoke after everyone had already gathered for dinner at Bar Nuovo

she also uses her phone as a distraction whenever possible: texts, pretend phone calls, “emergencies” or better known as “friends in crisis”

“A federal statutory holiday” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 6, 2019
7:51pm
5 minutes
From a Wikipedia page re: Canada day

Mona is grateful for Canada Day because it means time and a half. She doesn’t know about colonization or the traumatizing effects of fireworks on refugees from countries where there’s war. She’s ignorant to the questionable politics. She doesn’t even know how much she likes it like that. Mona stocks tampons and pads, adult diapers and lube. She wishes she could listen to music, her own music not the bullshit they play in the store, but she makes due.

“Hey Mona, how’s it goin’?” Says Jeremiah. Jeremi-ahhhh.

“Hey…” She’s holding a box of ribbed Trojans.

“Are you going down to the lake for fireworks tonight?” He looks at his high tops.

“I don’t know…” She touches her braid.

“two mirrors facing” by Julia at the studio

Monday June 24, 2019
6:59am
5 minutes
from an old vision board

I stuck a mirror in my makeup bag in case your aunt doesn’t have any mirrors,
or in case I can’t go a few days without looking at myself.
You are cool with this no electricity, no running water thing, and I am cool.
I am very cool about it. I have only thought about how I will dry my hair once, and the answer is AIR.
So that’s cool.
I have never showered in a lake before which I think I’m going to like.
Unless your aunt and her people all go down their naked together?
They’re not going to ask to shower with us are they?
Never mind, don’t answer that. I am very cool.

I also packed some pads. I’m not looking forward to having my period
on a paper plate again, so I’ll just..free-bleed..so all good.
Oh the plate? Yeah that was at a different cottage with running water and stuff
just the pipes froze over and we couldn’t use any of it.
I was bringing my blood on a plate out into the snow and burying it like a squirrel.
I don’t know if squirrels bury things like blood, but if so, we are all cool, all of us.

I wrote a note to our former selves because I’ve heard that living without
wifi for more than 24 hours really changes a person.
I wrote: You love each other, just because you can’t upload a picture of this
doesn’t mean it’s not happening!

“We’re happy to accomodate you” by Julia on her balcony

Tuesday June 18, 2019
6:23am
5 minutes
from AirBnb

towels, here, for your bodies, for your long hair, for your face, wash cloths too.
toothbrush, if you need us we’ll be baking mini quiches.
you can try them, they’re for you.

breakfast will be served in bed unless you specify otherwise. we will leave a tray for you outside your door unless you allow entry.
We wish to honour your privacy. We are most willing to accomodate you during your stay. Anything you desire.
We will not engage in sexual communication unless invited.
We will not call you afterwards unless you leave your phone number in the drop box by the front desk.

lunch is available upon request. if lunch is being eaten on the terrace, there will be a time limit.

“Get $300” by Julia on the Expo Line

Sunday June 16, 2019
9:45am
5 minutes
From a Scotiabank bus ad

Are you rich?
Yes
Are you alive?
Yes
Are you happy?
No
Are you rich?
Yes
But you’re not happy?
No
Could you be happy?
Yes
But not today while you’re rich?
No
Tomorrow?
No

Are you a wisher?
Yes
Are you a breather?
No
Are you alive?
Yes
Are you a breather?
No
Will you become one?
Yes
Will you today?
No
Tomorrow?
No

Do they pay you?
Yes
Is it enough?
Yes
Is it more than enough?
No
Is it good?
No
Is it better than nothing?
Yes
Is it everything you thought?
No

Do you dream?
No
Do you daydream?
Yes
Do you believe?
No

Are you going on a boat?
Yes
Are you going to see the world?
No
Are you going to eat shrimp cocktail?
Yes
Are you going to see a whale?
No
Are you going to watch the show?
Yes
Are you going to drink?
Yes
Are you going to find an answer?
No
Are you going to take a picture?
Yes
Are you going to remember?
No
Are you alive?
Yes
Are you rich?
No
Are you alive?
No
Are you alive?

“I now busied myself in preparations” by Julia at her desk

Thursday June 6, 2019
6:37pm
5 minutes
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë

There was much to do. Much much around and in.
I simply would not stop my legs or my hands,
drumming my finger tips on every surface and edge.
Company was coming, as it always does, without
enough warning and I was alone, as I always am
without enough time. I had yelled for Kilner to
stay home a few moments longer but of course,
his presence was demanded elsewhere, even though
I can’t imagine what could possibly be so important
at 10AM on a Sunday. He threw on his jacket and
left in a hurry, so I believed him when he said it
was urgent, and in fact, life or death. Sidney coming
to brunch was not at all life or death although it
surely felt like it. She perpetually had her nose
turned up toward the sun, as if she had asked a
doctor friend with time to spare if she might
stitch it there for her so it never moved.
I would never go to another woman’s home and run
my finger along a baseboard. It’s the single most
offensive thing you could do. Of course, I appreciate
cleanliness too, but the difference is, I’m not a monster.

“Take it you guys are out” by Julia in her room

Wednesday June 5, 2019
10:11pm
5 minutes
from a text

I got scared when it was up to me to defend you. I didn’t know how to ask for what you needed. I thought of it though. I couldn’t stop thinking of it. I was worried you’d be angry with me or worse, her. I wanted to protect us both. I also would have rathered be with you. You and your soft skin in the bed. I could let you talk me into anything. And that could be a very bad thing.

“Many toothaches” by Julia on the 84

Monday June 3, 2019
11:16am
5 minutes
Antibioticwise.ca

I tell you I don’t trust life coaches the way I don’t trust my dentist. You might be a nice person but some people try to keep you sick because your money keeps them from worrying about getting sick themselves. When you have someone else’s sick money you can live a life of luxury. Is that what you do? And I have a feeling you’re not going to tell me yes, but I have to know: what do you get out of this work. Keep me sick and keep you from worrying or heal my sick because it heals yours too. I bet you’ll say the second one. I practically gave you the answer. I don’t hold onto anything if it might help someone else. Maybe we’re more alike than my cynicism would have me believe. Maybe you’re really out here trying to make the world a little brighter.

“All skill levels” by Julia on the 17

Saturday June 1, 2019
4:10pm
5 minutes
From a sign on the street

You want to be inclusive, right, whip your hands into a circle, knot them twice.
Everybody here holds hands.
We don’t care who you are or what “level” you think you’re at or on or what have you, but we all play on the same turf here, and that’s called Right Now.
Right Now doesn’t ask you where you’re from or if you think you’re a part of a special club. Right Now doesn’t care what you did or who you screamed at or what you wished for.
Right Now has no expectations because Right Now changes every second. Right Now knows you and your right now is changing too.
So grab a patch of palm from your neighbour from another neighbourhood and close your freaking eyes all the way to the bone.

“therefore determined to find fault with her” by Julia at her desk

Friday May 31, 2019
2:10pm
5 minutes
St. Urbain’s Horseman
Mordecai Rcihler

You could say she was impatient.
you wouldn’t be saying anything new, but you could say it.
She has likely, herself, already pointed this fact out.
Not to get ahead of the discovery of flaws,
but to practice self-awareness.
You might have opinions about her impatience, or her basket,
but she has not asked to hear them.
Questions, however, she will field:

What is in the basket?
When did you first notice your impatience?
Did someone make you wait when it was really quite urgent?
What is your favourite season?

She will start with the easiest ones and work her way back:

Favourite season is spring. You did not ask why. Now you may
muse on that and wait to ask a separate question in another round.
I first noticed my impatience when the sky was falling and
nobody seemed to have any urgency about it until it was too late.
Someone the day the sky was falling did not make me wait but
was too dead to join in the urgency. And I loved him.
The basket holds a ticking heart, tick, tick ticking…

“how will I survive without you” by Julia on her patio

Thursday May 30, 2019
8:30pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the patio across from her

my sister is picking the poetry she’ll sing at my tribute concert. she’s gotten a composer to put my words to music. it’s going to be heartbreaking and strange. I never thought anyone was going to hear what i wrote and now I’m not even there to willingly give it. my sister means well. i’m glad she’s choosing the writing out of anyone who could have free reign on my books but I never wanted this. I wasn’t secretly hoping people would see them. that sounds like a lie but it’s not. I honestly wrote most of that for me. and if someone gets hurt by what I said, how will that bring me peace? I know I felt my own shit in the moment and it didn’t change my love after I felt it. how am I supposed to explain that to them now that I’m dead?

“Proven ability to develop lessons plans” By Julia at her desk

Sunday May 26, 2019
5:24pm
5 minutes
allianceforarts.com

Hi I’m here for the workshop teaching position.
I have a shit ton of experience with kids and with teaching.
I have worked with some real piece of work asshole youth
in my time, but I find that if I see them as real people and not their
attitudes, I can get them to open up. It’s easy to be shitty
when you don’t believe you matter in the grand scheme of things.
Some of the lesson plans I’ve developed have really fucked
with my own understanding of writing, and taking risks.
I mean, they say the best way to learn something is to teach it.
And once in a workshop I got the kids to teach each other something
and that shit was the real deal.
They were so open, and chatty, and they had this light, you know.
They are a lot more willing to dive in than they get credit for,
so you know, I just filled the pool with shit they wanted to
swim in. It’s supposed to be fun but it’s also supposed to be
honest. I’ve been doing it now, for Christ, 10 years now? I
started leading them when I was just out of university, and I
got to work with a bunch of 6-8 year olds.
They didn’t even have a curriculum, but by the time I left
they were all so fucking thrilled to keep discovering.

Sorry, the position is already filled? Because I dropped the f bomb?

“The emotional sensory radar of the infant” by Julia on Amanda’s couch

Saturday May 18, 2019
10:01am
5 minutes
Scattered Minds
Gabor Maté M. D

smiling at him I am smiling
at him and he is smiling
at me and we are seeing now

I am sad on the inside I
put him down for a minute
I don’t want him to see my sad from the inside out
I want him to feel alive love, the process of reacting and being present

I respond to his tiny face and his tiny laugh and his
squeals

I try to heal my insides before I pick him up again It is lifelong

I want to love him but I am
diatracted by stress
I want to see him but I am looking somewhere else.
He knows
He knows me by my smell
by the impetous behind authentic smile
He knows when I am simply using the same mouth muscles to mimic a feeling and he is sad if I am sad and he is sad if I am there but not fully
This small heart
he is smarter than me
He is not yet scrambled
naive, easily fooled into a love that isn’t.

“pretty sure I came that way” by Julia on the Megabus

Tuesday May 15, 2019
10:37am
5 minutes
Overheard on the Megabus

I didn’t think of her on Sunday, Mother’s day, which would have been the day.
She was here and there but I didn’t light the candle.
She enters the dining room on any given day. She doesn’t reserve her visits for media recognized calendar celebrations.
She’s been gone for 22 years and the missing doesn’t go away. It’s not always at full volume but I feel her without trying that it sometimes helps she’s so quiet.
She tells me things I need to remember:take the pills, leave the house, ask for help, ask for belp.
She would stock my fridge cause she knew I would starve if it were ip to me.
I taste her in evey linguni noodle. In every spoon of sauce.

“Best Western Plus” by Julia on the GO bus

Thursday May 9, 2019
7:54pm
5 minutes
Best Western

Best Western
Plus good sex in a gross room
Plus funny story
Plus memories
Plus strange mattress stain
Plus cute bathroom spiders

Best Western
Plus affordable trip
Plus more weird walls
Plus a bible missing the book of Genesis
Plus chatty front desk
Plus ratty pillow cases

Best Western
Plus lucid dream
Plus the first time someone says I Love You
Plus the first time someone needs to go get ice
Plus the chair no one has a purpose for
Plus the pens they use to tattoo a heart on their ring fingers

“to inspire his team” by Julia in J’s attic

Tuesday May 7, 2019
9:41pm
5 minutes
From a text

well the first thing would be to see his team
see his team, learn their names
names learned? check
seeing team, know each one, can have conversation with any of them
about their families?
know enough about their home life?
uncheck, box currently empty
can smile?
yes, check
don’t need a family tree to smile at someone
smiling leads to inspiration
smiling leads to conversations about family
ah, okay, inspiration comea before family
see team, check, know names, check, smile, check, inspiration?
leads to
leads
okay lead by smile
no?
lead by example
be the leader
smile

“Mom had written bad checks” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 27, 2019
9:20pm
5 minutes
What Little She Had
Doug Crandell

“Okay so we’re back together but don’t tell Mom. She’ll flip her shit and I don’t need to see that women’s shit anywhere, do you?”
Lise was screaming on the phone to her sister, walking with pace.
“Why would I tell her when she doesn’t deserve to know? Because someone who can’t keep their hands to themselves and their opinions on a need to know basis doesn’t deserve to know.”
She was making giant circles in the lobby way, not stopping to see how her yelling was being received. Why would she? She had every right to be there, pacing, having a dramatic conversation about something important to her. So what if Lionel wasn’t the most successful car salesman. So what if he didn’t see himself working up the ladder to challenge his skills. Her mother wouldn’t know love if it slapped her upside the head. Who was she to even dare open her mouth about it.

“the moon hung full” by Julia at her desk

Saturday April 27, 2019
3:31pm
5 minutes
The Wandering Jew
David Slabotsky

she was bragging as she often does
her belly drooping over her jeans
as if she had stuffed something
down there, something she was
trying to hide
her anger was hard to ignore
since she liked making it other
people’s business
it was loud
and everywhere and fascinating
and severe
this time saying what she’d
managed to swipe from the
counter when that idiot
wasn’t looking
she got a box of Oreos and a bra
that didn’t even fit her
that seemed to make her the proudest
of all things, a thing that wouldn’t
even be useful
taking things just because she could
and because it would make more of a
story
A few of them were watching from nearby
making an assessment but they didn’t
see her life story so it felt natural
to be repulsed
they didn’t know the kind of home she
grew up in or that her first mother
didn’t want her very much

“becomes a junkyard beast” by Julia at her desk

Friday April 26, 2019
6:30am
5 minutes
Loving You Burns Like Shingles
Terri Kirby Erickson

In the swelter of August’s last days, Reid and Elliot bike their two speeds down to the lake.
Sirra and Jamie are already there, waiting.
Sirra is holding a blue bandanna, smudged with grease and soot.
Jamie isn’t looking up, and Reid starts to panic.
Elliot approaches slowly, worried about Reid who doesn’t usually show signs of fear.
Sirra passes the bandanna to Elliot, and there is a collective knowing.
Lusechee is gone.
Jamie start to sob, shoulders heaving, crumbling, heaving.
Sirra puts a hand out but nobody takes it.

“because they don’t realize” by Julia at W and B’s table

Saturday April 20, 2019
8:57pm
5 minutes
Real Roger
Harold Ober

They’ll come home
Late
Shuffle the key in the door
and shush the boots crashing into each other

Shhh shhh
Go to sleep boots

They’ll fumble with the key house and the key ring and the key to the universe
At this hour, the key is water
They’ll fumble with the water
Pour it into a cup with the lights off

Shhh shhh this is gentle

And spill most of it onto the floor
They’ll sop up the accident
the almost
the not quite
Let the fridge door slam by mistake
They’ll tiptoe into the living room
remove their coat, floor,
bag, couch,
scarf, couch,
pants, floor

They’ll creak along the dead spots of hardwood and shift their bones around

Shhh shhhh almost

“the best part of her life” by Sasha in her bed

Wednesday April 17, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
The Politician
Patrick White

The best part of Syd’s life was the three weeks in the summer she spent at the lake. She’d overlap with her brother and his family for the first few days and then they’d head back to the city. Richard, her old mutt rescue, loved their time at the lake, too. They’d fall into an easy rhythm – rising with the birds and sun, going for a short walk with a mug of coffee in hand, a swim, some food, another walk, reading on the deck, another swim, some food… The summer after the divorce, the first time she came to the lake without Henry, she thought she might get lonely so invited different friends up on weekends, but now she cherishes these slow easy days, following her nose, drinking in the sunshine.

“pulling its guts out” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday April 16, 2019
12:19pm
5 minutes
Identify Hunt
Elaine Bougie

“I need fries. Right now. And mayo. Fries and mayo. Right now.” The server (tall, tattooed, thin-lipped), nods and walks away. “And a gin martini. Dirty,” she calls after him.

Jane slumps on her bar stool. It’s only Tuesday. Jesus Christ. Her feet hurt. Her skirt is too tight around the waist. Rebecca was going to meet her here but texted to say that she has a migraine and needs to go straight home. Lies. Jane knows that Rebecca uses her migraines as an excuse when she’s sleeping with someone knew. Migraine, my ass. Since Marnie had the twins five months ago she’s never able to meet, so Jane doesn’t even bother to text her anymore. It used to be the three of them, Tuesdays and Thursdays, drinking their stress away, laughing into the wee hours.