“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.

“I still can’t see” by Julia on her bathroom floor

Thursday April 25, 2019
9:13pm
5 minutes
The Black Man Speaks
Langston Hughes

We got a professional to come in and I still can’t see my face in the mirror. It’s speculated to be a ghost situation. These are not my words but the professional’s. She thinks because I used to be able to see a reflection that there’s a ghost living in the mirror now. I’m telling her, maybe there’s something in me. And she says, yes like a ghost. And I’m thinking, no, more like a brick. Not a brick growing roses in the pit of my stomach. But a brick blocking everything in there from getting enough sun. Light is needed for a reflection. The professional doesn’t answer cause she’s tapping the pencil to her teeth and it looks like she’s busy making a clink sound. Clink clink. I think, she pulls it away slowly, you might be haunted by a ghost of your past self and you can’t see yourself because you don’t recognize someone so different.

“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.

“I was supposed to have the afternoon off” by Julia at her desk

Saturday April 13, 2019
8:02pm
5 minutes
Truckin’
Ken Mitchell

We’ve been burning the midnight oil! It is the right kind of burning.
The burning out part is coming, surely, and if it comes in the afternoon, we will take it off, let the smoke rise, and take a nap.

This is trying to be something with too many metaphors. What do you call that anyway, a poem?

We’ve been working on our RELATIONSHIP. We’re not up watching TV, I’ll tell you what. Since B has come back from his work trip in Nevada, he’s been saying, no one is safe, not even us. Between you and I, I think he caught a bug, but I love the man, I’ll tell you, so I’m willing to put the long hours in if that’s what he needs! Even if it’s a bit strange. I mean, what’s he worried about? Me leaving in the middle of the night if we’re not up the whole time discussing our needs?
B never needed anything before. I find it refreshing!

“You would hide your bitten nails under the table” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 12, 2019
8:46pm
5 minutes
The Intellectual
Benny Anderson

You would hide your bitten nails under the table. That’s what you’d do. You should’ve sprung for a manicure. Can’t remember the last time you did that. One of those places called “Chic Nails” or something, with TVs on the wall and so many tiny bottles to choose from. Flushing forty bucks into the toilet, but whatever. Lots of guys like that. Groomed nails. Whatever. You look at your hands and you see your childhood, your bad haircut and your ill-fitting jeans, cuffs rolled up. You have child hands. Drove your mother crazy, how you bit your nails. She tried everything. Told you she’d give you a dollar for every week you went without biting. “It’s nasty, Viv,” she’d say. You’re nasty, Viv. Why’d you say yes to this date anyway? He probably likes fishing. He probably has a hairy neck. He probably has pepperoni nipples.

“under his dark eye-lids” by Julia at her desk

Thursday April 11, 2019
10:23pm
5 minutes
Faces Of The Sun-Man
Rienzi Crusz

He’s staying up late again eating stale Cheetos cause somehow that makes him feel better. He is bothering himself and it’s punishment, maybe for letting himself get this alone. Loneliness is worse when you hate yourself on top of it.

The Cheetos in the bag turn his fingers fuzzy. He is careful not to smear them on any of the furniture. She wouldn’t let him hear the end of it. Too bad she’ll never know one way or the other what he’s up to since she broke his heart into a shape that no longer fits inside his chest.

He thinks about wiping them underneath him, just to see. And maybe to spite her. Who buys a white couch anyway? Stupid fucking white couch. This is a place where liars sit, he thinks to himself. This is where liars pretend they’re going to be just fine.

“good-luck puppet” by Sasha at her desk

Monday April 8, 2019
6:41pm
5 minutes
Fetish
Pierre Reverdy

“Good luck,” you say, brushing my hair out of my eyes.

“Thanks,” I pull back a little. You grimace. “Thanks,” I say again, and I mean it this time. I really do.

“Are you nervous?” I want you to go and find your place in the stands. I don’t have time for this. I need to warm up.

“A little. Not really… I need to – ” I see Alisha already on the field doing drills. “I need to start – ”

“I know. I’ll go. I’m sorry.” You put your hands in your pockets. “Have a good game.”

You lean in to kiss me and I lean in to hug you and you end up kissing above my head.

“good-luck puppet” by Julia on L’s couch

Monday April 8, 2019
2:21pm
5 minutes
Fetish
Pierre Reverdy

Meda says I’m not allowed to carry her around anymore. Says the face is chewed off too rough and it’s scaring the cat. I tell Meda that the cat does not get a say in this.
“You’ll give her nightmares,” She tells me, “don’t you care about that?”

“Oh I’m sorry does the cat find herself screaming in the middle of the night, unable to get a single thing done the next day, Meda? Does she get behind on all of her chores, Meda, all of her living?”

I realize I am yelling now and the good-luck puppet appears to disintegrate further with each decibel. Meda isn’t looking at me.

“I am not trying to be cruel about the cat, Meda, I’m really not. I don’t want her to suffer. Much. “

“The room is dingy” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday April 7, 2019
9:35pm
5 minutes
When She Leaves Me
James Wyatt, JR.

The room isn’t exactly dingy, but it’s nothing fancy. You starfish on the bed and sigh. I check out the bathroom. I start running a bath. I don’t have tub in my studio apartment. It almost deterred me but then I remembered my budget and how I promised myself I’d finish my novel this year and the more I paid in rent the less I could write because I’d have to work at the bar and good grief am I really forty two years old and pouring pitchers of beer…

“Shall I join you?” You call from the bed.

“If you’d like!” I call back.

“What would you like?” You say, appearing in the doorway.

“The room is dingy” by Julia on her couch

Sunday April 7, 2019
8:49pm
5 minutes
When She Leaves Me
James Wyatt, JR.

They sat there on the curb
him, in his own piss, her holding blood. Where could they go at this desperate in the morning. He shivers.

“If we go back now, we’re fucked”

“Nobody is going back. Nobody is even talking about it, do you hear me? “

“I said ‘if.’ To remind us that we could go back and we’re not.”

“I can’t do this by myself.”

“I’m not going. “

She pushes open the door to the room. It stays open, falls off the track.

“Nice”

“Throw your bag over to keep it shut.”
She coughs.
“We’re fucked.”

“‘small healings’ take place every day” by Julia in her couch

Wednesday April 3, 2019
8:29pm
5 minutes
The Human Elements of Psychotherapy
David N. Elkins

Earlier there was a chance to take the regular route home (a shortcut I had found a few years earlier to maximize the usage of my time), and a fork in the rode that would lead me to the water. I almost went the usual route, the reliable path, the pace I had already established. But something (water) caught my attention. It had “been a minute” since I had visited (a phrase my students taught me. ‘A minute’ could mean a week, a year, a while. All very fascinating) and I was more drawn then decided. I saw all of the neon shorts running and it seemed like a good idea even though it would add 4-6 minutes to my commute home, depending on the abundance of runners, and other stoppable fixtures in nature. Immediately I was drawn into a labyrinth. Upon my exit I saw a seal up close. Wild!

“My brother finds out this Friday” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday April 2, 2019
9:11pm
5 minutes
From an email

Is it better to assume than to make an ass out of myself? Don’t answer that. I’m nervous. I get chatty when I’m nervous. I mean, common problem. Are you writing this down? I just said I was nervous. Really know how to make a speaker feel listened to. Please don’t write this. I don’t represent myself well on paper. I’m often misunderstood. Not in a whiny way. Out of context. People can’t formulate their own opinions anymore because there’s not enough data. Things are being hidden away, we’re getting tricked, we’re falling…falling for all of it…

You know people will believe what is being fed to them especially when it’s not shoved down their throats. I don’t blame them. It’s quite logical. More efficient if you think about it.

“concern also has been expressed” by Julia at the bus stop

Friday March 29, 2019
6:25pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

I made a scene at dinner. Call me premenstrual, or incapable of having a nice night out, or insensitive to the needs of the room. Merel has said that about me before. She has said “read the room” and I think she means like a book. So does that mean let the book tell me what I’m experiencing? Am I not supposed to draw conclusions?

Someone asked a specific question and my face turned hot and my eyes filled up and my voice got loud. I don’t know that I was entirely inappropriate, all of us casually at the Cactus Club for happy hour. I am not happy! But the rest of them turned very small. I didn’t want small I wanted bigness. I wanted a fight or a debate or a hug or something.

I am most hurt by silence. By the fear I’ll go off the handle. One person agreed with me. And one person probably now thinks I’m the devil.

Merel says I shouldn’t make assumptions about the intentions of others. But I read the room and I still have to decide if I like it or not, don’t I? Merel would tell me to breathe before thinking anything at all.

“Is it the beginning of a poem?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 28, 2019
10:02am
5 minutes
The Poet Always Carries A Notebook
Mary Oliver

Forest walk. Billy runs ahead. His back legs are starting to go. Happens to German Shepherds. He still runs like he means it. Runs like he’ll live forever. Ferns are shooting out in every direction. I forgot for awhile that it’s spring. Stream under the second bridge is rushing. Stop and close my eyes and breathe in the damp sweetness. Feel Billy’s nose at my fingertips. Start a poem today. Just start. Haven’t written in too long. Fixing the leaky roof. Volunteering at the shelter. Banality. Bathes. Cuddles with Billy and falling asleep.

“tired, bearded men” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday March 24, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Ways To Take Your Coffee
Leath Tonino

I pour another pitcher of beer and bring it to another table of tired, bearded men. These men don’t have manners. One might grunt and I might interpret it as a “thank you” but who really knows. One might look me up and down, lingering on my breasts, and I might narrow my eyes a little before walking away. Back behind the bar I look out at the full room, all these tired, bearded men drinking their beer and talking and stinking. Mari comes and stands beside me and says something in Spanish that I don’t fully understand.

“Everyone deals with breakups” by Julia on her bed

Saturday March 23, 2019
6:39pm
5 minutes
Love Running
Joseph Holt

Maggie got her heart crushed again. Did you see her leaving the cancer benefit? She was wasted. Nobody is a better friend to that girl than the bottle. She was supposed to give a speech too, but she made Alison deliver it on her behalf and told her to tell everyone she had a medical emergency. I don’t know if she keeps going for the same types of women—you know, the ones who disappoint her— or if she’s stretching herself thin and she’s actually the hard one to love. Everybody goes through it but somehow she’s enduring another breakup every month. Maybe she should just be by herself for a while and figure out what she wants. And if she stops working a little bit so at least they have time to really get to know her before they dump her.

“as the cells of his scalp” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 21, 2019
7:36am
5 minutes
Candlelight
Tony Hoagland

Take out the trash to the bin in the garage. Wheel the bin to the curb. The neighbourhood is still sleeping. Mandy and the boys are still sleeping, too. Jacob was up in the night crying. Mandy went to him, and then came and got me. He was dreaming about monsters again. “No more scary movies,” Mandy whispered as we climbed back into bed forty minutes later. Thank God for the coffee maker, wooing me towards the kitchen when the alarm goes off. Thank God for coffee. Mrs. Henderson across the street in her quilted housecoat and winter boots. She waves.

“How are you holding up?” I say, and then regret breaking the silence, fracturing the stillness of this Wednesday morning.

“apartment door was closed and triple-locked” by Sasha on her couch

Monday March 18, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
The Langoliers
Stephen King

Paul doesn’t know when he started checking. He can’t answer Shauna when she asks. He sits quietly, top button of his green shirt buttoned, hands folded in his lap.

“I’m not mad,” Shauna mutters, which is a strange thing to say.

“Is it getting worse?” Paul keeps his eyes on his sneaker laces.

“I would say so…” Shauna takes her hair out of a ponytail. She needs a haircut.

“I guess it has,” Paul blinks ten times.

“I just wish you’d come to me before all of this,” Shauna gestures to the apartment door, closed and triple locked.

“apartment door was closed and triple-locked” by Julia at her desk

Monday March 18, 2019
8:56pm
5 minutes
The Langoliers
Stephen King

I can’t have you look at me that way
With eyes dripping pity
Boy you never looked less pretty
I don’t want your face to say
You knew better all along or
This is a self-inflicted song
Weeeeeooooo the wound is pulsing
Weeeeeooooo the pressure rushing
I’m not cut out for this
Can’t handle a setback or a twist
Where’s the paper I signed up for
Can’t recognize my signature from a blood stain on the floor
Weeeeeooooo the ground is home
Weeeeeooooo this place is normal
Maybe I was wrong once or twice
But I never kept the knife jabbed in
Who are you to know my sins
Can’t have judging eyes
No one look at me

“with some bullshit approach” by Julia in her room

Wednesday March 13, 2019
10:26pm
5 minutes
Created By
Richard Christian Matheson

LEEDS
with some bullshit approach, too, that’s why I’m pissed. If his lies were at least creative I would be able to give him that. It’s disappointing how unclever they are. I thought he was more of a man that that.

MNERA
You want him to lie to you?

LEEDS
Yeah, with some attention to craft, is that so much to ask?

MNERA
Wanna know what I think?

LEEDS
You waiting for me to answer that, seriously? Just say what you think, Mnera, for Christ’s sake.

MNERA
You’d be surprised at how little you’d want to hear it if I didn’t ask you.

LEEDS
Okay I take it back. You happy?

“He had to warm the guy up fast” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday March 12, 2019
8:53pm
5 minutes
The Obsidian Chamber
Preston & Child

So Ray is playing ball this year and he’s got one hell of an arm. I was warming him up in my backyard last night and that kid almost took my nose off. One hell of a pitcher. He looks like he’s having fun too and that’s in spite of Rory coming to every practice with his stupid lawn chair trying to get inside that poor kid’s head. Surprised he wasn’t on my porch hollering at me. Ray gets all of his attention. His other kid, well shoot, I don’t even know her name. She don’t play ball, that’s all I do know, or Rory would be splitting his rage between the two of them. Maybe she’s better off. I can’t tell, really. Ray seems to have his head on straight but at his age he could just be showing his shyness. He doesn’t want to be like his dad, so there could be some intentionality behind it as well. Either way, that kid’s arm. I’ll tell you, if I were hitting against him this year I’d be out at the batting cages every damn day.

“This song.” by Julia on her couch

Monday March 11, 2019
6:01pm
5 minutes
Freedomland
Richard Price

Might be the thing I tell you
Might be the first thing I say
Baby you’re not going to well up
Your eyes don’t work that way
Might be the thing you remember
Might be the last thing you hear
Darlin’ I can’t stop myself thinking
That I’ll be the one shedding these tears
Some of these days will be dipped in summer’s haze and we won’t be able to see the cracks
But when it gets cold and the winter wind blows, we’ll be left with all of the cruel facts
Might be the thing I tell you
Might be the first thing I say
I wish it were different but now I’m a lingerin’ even though I cannot stay
I’ll miss you the most in the mornin
Cause that’s where our bodies would meet
These blankets with only me will get so lonely without you beside me

“Roads here are nuts.” By Julia on her couch

Thursday March 7, 2019
8:20pm
5 minutes
From a text message

Earlier today the damn weather forecast never said nothin’ about no snow. No rain in there neither and somehow we had both, now didn’t we. Nobody spectin’ a downfall or downpour or whatever. Nobody out dressed thinkin’ it’s back to winter out here. Not after all them sunny days we got. We was laughin’ cuz Spring was tryna tell us it was ready. Yesterday I saw all them robins scurryin’ about too so what’s up with that! It got me real angry when the man opened the door for me this mornin’, saw the skies and said, “Just miserable. And you haven’t got an umbrella?” Wanted to punch his rich little mouth right offa him. I said, “It’s snowin.’” with a hook in my voice that told him I was it was feeakin’ news to me too.

“There are certain cautions” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 6, 2019
8:51pm
5 minutes
Prescription for Nutritional Healing
Phyllis A. Baluch, CNC

There was yellow tape outside your old house
off Gibson there, that house where you hid your first stolen watch.
The watch that belonged to your uncle there, Dominick?
You remember him?

He slapped you so hard it sizzled. Left a bacon stain on your cheek and you were fourteen so he ceased to exist to you from that day on. You took his favourite keychain too. But he found that.

I walked by cause I always do even though you don’t live there anymore. I know you did. The bedroom door where you scrawled your brother’s name: backward and spelled wrong

“I can feel it changing!” by Julia on the 19

Tuesday March 5, 2019
4:23pm
5 minutes
Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller

It’s as if we never faced off that one night in June-you with your clever excuses and me with my tone trying to remain bigger than you.
I honestly thought you’d have more to say, the sand beading little reminders under your feet.
Where did you even go?
I swear I watched the you I knew get wiped away clean like two eyebrows drawn on, finally private enough to die.
Where did you even go?
I can’t speak for the me I was that night, edging closer to a storm, betraying my wisdom.
I hate seeming so small, fragile.
I went back in time, if you were wondering.
I landed on a year of my life that I am embarrassed about when looking at photographs.
Puffy bangs, sun-kissed cheeks,
all of the wrong teeth now missing

“He thumped his chest” by Julia on her couch

Sunday March 3, 2019
8:01pm
5 minutes
Casual Vacancy
J.K Rowling

The colour of the room struck her as “underwhelming”
The glow of the yellow hall lights cast a sickly feeling throughout the apartment and she realized it was not this place alone
The whole street seemed to be cloaked in bad light and she wondered if it was her issue to overcome, or her city to leave
She tried to remember if this was ever a true problem back home
The walls were warmer, she concluded, more exposed brick and architectural appreciation
She couldn’t help but think that the people who put up with a light so unsettling were not to be trusted
She didn’t trust women with bare ankles during the winter months either
Both seemed to happen a lot here

“scratched plastic Fisher Price drum set” by Julia on her couch

Saturday March 2, 2019
9:10pm
5 minutes
(Lady)bug
Ilyssa Goldsmith

It was hard to read about the babies she found laying on the floor with dog shit. I read the case notes on some of these households and decided maybe this social work stuff isn’t for everyone. Maybe I’m not strong enough to witness that. I think I’d want to get too personal, with them, you know? Ask them if anyone’s hugged them lately from the bottom of their hearts and waited the requisite 6 seconds to synch up the heartbeats. I would want to sit there all day and say I’m here, okay, for you, I’m here right now and I have nowhere else to be. I’d bring them a gift basket and say it’s just what I do for everyone. Or maybe I do it for everyone. See the resources right now don’t allow for any kind of extraneous measures. No radical acts of kindness and those workers are fighting fires that won’t ever go out. They’re tired. They don’t have time for everybody.

“which are past their upright peak” by Julia on L’s couch

Wednesday February 27, 2019
8:46pm
5 minutes
Tulips for Barbara
Ann E. Michael

Casey was not the most popular in high school. She had friends on both sides which automatically put her in the middle. Her fiery red hair was a constant conversation; love it hate it, sorry you didn’t luck out you’re so lucky. People knew who she was and liked who she was and that seemed good enough. For a while.

When Casey ran for president of the student council, she put up posters of her dressed in funny costumes, a tutu, giant bows, an 80s ensemble courtesy of her mother (even though she didn’t need a reason to wear any of it). She played up her small town charm and people either loved it or hated it, of course keeping her right in the middle. She hoped to win so she could stand somewhere other than on the sidelines. Casey wanted to be big.

“Addiction” by Sasha at work

Monday February 25, 2019
3:40pm
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.

“hitchhike into the wilderness” by julia on her couch

Saturday February 23, 2019
8:27pm
5 minutes
Trail’s End
Sy Safransky

I have hitchhiking thumbs and you’re busy singing that Beatles song
“If there’s anything that you want, if there’s anything I can do—“
And I want to tell you that all I want is for you to please shut the hell up
I’m trying to get us further down this nightmare highway but you never learned to read the room
I half expect us to get stuck cause of you putting out that vibe that is so different from mine
You are having fun, I guess I can’t begrudge you that
Maybe thanks for keeping it light
I admit the accent you do is pretty cute
One more
Hour won’t kill me
“With love from me, to you”

“The silver-haired man’s name” by Julia in her bedroom.

Thursday February 21, 2019
10:48pm
5 minutes
Girl Underwater
Heather Sellers

remember the days your legs could keep up with your mind
remember your mind could outsmart your whole body
your body could surprise you
now you have to beg your thoughts to slow down and stop screaming
you’re waiting for an old fashioned kind of goodbye
begging your legs to take you off running
please, feet, carry me one more step, one more step

“the snow falling like confetti.” By Julia in her bed

Wednesday February 20, 2019
10:31pm
5 minutes
The First Morning
Edward Abbey

I can’t ask you to stay cause then you’d know I thought of you leaving
And the truth is, swear to God, dot my I, i didn’t know what you going would do to me. I thought I might never recover. The thought alone could kill me. But I don’t want to put the idea in your head now. We are happy. Don’t think about it at all, no need to invite excuses to this party. Ups and downs baby. Ups and downs. I watched you leave in my mind like lightly falling snow, disappearing into the leaves. Dissolving into the wind.
It was soft the way a gentleman would do it. And it still broke my heart all the same.

“It’s comfy and cozy.” By Julia in her bed

10:43pm
Wednesday February 13, 2019
from a text

Salesman sells the bed
well says that’s where it’s
comfy cozy and did you see?
It’s big enough for three..

We say we ain’t looking for a bed that fits more
than two,
just us we and our four feet
that’s what we like to do

salesman sells the bed by sayin’ you’ll regret it if you don’t try
So we go home right away
and try to conceive
that night

We were happy with our elbows
meetin’ in the middle space
our noses in each other’s mouths was our funny
little place

But salesman’ got us thinkin’ when he was sellin’ us that bed
That we could have a spot for two or one for three instead

“Are you Joaquin or River?” By Julia on the 2

Saturday February 9, 2019
6:29pm
5 minutes
From a voicemail message

Hey River,

I miss you. I’ll start by saying that. I’m listening to an old tape of you snoring. I used to hate you for it when we shared a room. Recorded you one night to show you just how loud it was. Now all I’m wishing for is to hear you breathe again. I wouldn’t care if it kept me up this time.
I’ve been thinking about you lately. Someone asked how I was doing as if it hasn’t been a lifetime since you left. I fucking miss you every day. Maybe I should have said that. I said, Things are good for me. And they are, you know, most days. I’m working so much you’d be real proud. Wish you could see how much better my chops are now.
Anyway, I know you’re with me so I’m not here to whine. Send me a rumble when you think of it.

Love, Joaquin.

“the two men ceased exchanging words” by Julia at Ocean Village

Saturday February 2, 2019
3:42pm
5 minutes
Marlarky
Anakana Schofield

Milo is not talking to RJ because RJ is hugely unreliable. He said he was going to be around for a call after Milo finished breaking up with Bex. RJ wasn’t around because he was at the bar drinking like he usually is, trying to pick up vulnerable women who are suffering from insane amounts of self-doubt. RJ likes being the one who puts them back up on the ledge. He likes being the soft thing they fall into. Milo is even more mad at RJ because he refuses to admit he was wrong. RJ never learned to say he was sorry, or that he recognizes how his avoidance of reality effects the people he says he loves.

“never showed me where the wreck lay.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday January 31, 2019
1:36pm
5 minutes
Foe
J.M. Coetzee

Hunting for treasure like yeah yeah yeah I’m bored okay I’m bored. Jimmy made mistakes all the time and no one yelled at him must of been because he had those baby blues. I get a stiff leg every now and again and I’m not so quick to get up I need a minute nothing wrong with slowing down a little. I’m bored by Thursday and by Saturday I can’t believe that there’s still another day left in the week. Didn’t used to be that way I was a way cooler guy when I was younger enjoying the moment and all of that jazz. You see enough people lose everything get laid off get screwed over and you start to go what’s the point right what’s really the point.

“The coach was bullshit.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday January 30, 2019
11:56pm
5 minutes
Created By
Richard Christian Matheson

It wasn’t my fault. Coach was bullshit. I tried telling Stevie and Jay from the get-go that Coach was a turd, didn’t know what she was talking about, didn’t know her ass from the ball… Nobody listened to me! We had a good reputation, man, I mean, we weren’t seven time champions but we gave Crescent Hill a run for their money every year! When Coach Peterson retired I knew we were effed. I’d seen Coach Jenkins sniffing around the court, trying to butter up the team, trying to use her jokes to make everyone like her. I’m not gonna fall for that shit!

“I’ve got questions.” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday January 29, 2019
10:06pm
5 minutes
From a text

I wonder a lot
about the way you sway
the way you say my name
the way you drink champagne
You can say so much with such little pieces of you
I could have asked a better one than Why
It seems we’ve all become experts at that one
How is a good one
When is another
You’re not bigger than the ocean
but you act like it
I have questions about that
About the hours you keep
the thoughts you believe
the stories you yell
Bigger than the ocean
While still
so much smaller than this

“As the cab works its way” by Julia on the 2

Monday January 28, 2019
6:06pm
5 minutes
Hello, Goodbye
Brady Emerson’s

Cab driver is talking my ear off on the way to the airport. It’s 3am, he must be lonely. I am leaving this city and I’m not going to look back. Do I tell him that? Do I say, listen, I tried my best, I worked hard, I made out with a stranger on my softball team? I don’t know what else I could have done. Maybe committed to the white walls in my apartment, hung a plant or two on the balcony. I never did end up going to the Indian place I said I wanted to try. Do I say, listen, some cities don’t fit the way you think the way expensive shirts get donated to Goodwill when they don’t slim your shoulders as promised. Do I say, I am too tired and angry and mad at myself to talk to you right now?

“As the cab works its way” by Sasha at her desk

Monday January 27, 2019
4:01pm
5 minutes
Hello, Goodbye
Brady Emerson

As the cab works it’s way around the corner, I press my face up to the glass. Mama will make me clean it with vinegar and newspaper. She always knows when it’s me and when it’s Bailey. The dog doesn’t have to clean up after himself, but he gets put in the laundry room until he whines enough that Mama feels bad. Daddy packed a larger suitcase than usual so I asked him how long he’d be gone for this time. “Not sure, honeybunch,” he said, sad like the day Grampa Jones died. How he could not be sure, I don’t understand but I shouldn’t have to given that I’m only just starting Grade Four. Mama knows that Daddy might be gone until the snow comes, so she hugs Bailey in bed for a long time and I have peanut butter and jelly for dinner.

“The road ends at a washout” by Sasha in the bathtub

Sunday January 27, 2019
9:18pm
5 minutes
Nomads
Poe Ballentine

Dear P.,

I move to Alaska because I want to live at the end of it all, where the road meets the horizon, where the sun feels like a star and it doesn’t rain as much as it does here. I’m twenty seven and I don’t know my ass from my mouth, but at least I’m not afraid like everyone else is, afraid to leave home. “Home” is a word that feels strange in my mouth, foreign, like “Barcelona” or “beloved”.

I’m sorry that I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye. I know that was a long time ago, but I never stopped thinking about you. Riding bikes around the track at St. Mike’s, shooting the shit, pretending we were big shots. Alaska takes a part of your heart when you’re there for long enough. A part of my heart that’s shaped like you. P. I’m better now than I was then, in almost every way.

“I was acting like a” by Julia on her couch

Saturday January 26, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
The Only One She Told
J.E. McCafferty

Liar liar pants on fire
Said last time I thrived on dire
Fought my battles walked the wire
Fakery began to tire
All those people believing deep
held me up as the grim reaper
Wished I could have climbed much steeper
But I was a dream-catch eater
Held the wish to drown the mole
We couldn’t take any souls
I swear we tried, we did not know
Then god opened mouth and ripped me whole

“law of human psychology” by Sasha at her coffee table

Thursday January 24, 2019
10:01pm
5 minutes
A quote by William Pickens

“Shit, it’s uh, it’s um… It’s – …”

Mika forgets her new phone number. She’d started to rattle off her old one and then stopped part way through. “I had to change my number because… You don’t need to know that, um – …”

After twelve years of the same ten digits it takes a while to update. Mika thinks about the brain and plasticity and how memory works.

She sees a flash of Kyle sledding. She blinks. She sees Izzy there, too, eating snow off to the side.

“Miss?”

Mika digs out her notebook. She knows she wrote her new number down in there.

“law of human psychology” by Julia at the bus stop

Thursday January 24, 2019
4:08pm
5 minutes
A quote by William Pickens

Lynn was excited to drop her psych classes and start taking theatre. She knew she belonged on stage, or with actors, or in a daydream maybe. She had never done anything for herself in her short life. Both her parents were doctors, one therapist, one orthopaedic surgeon. She was supposed to be a doctor too, and they said the field of medicine is up to her. That was all that was up to her. She started seeing the theatre kids around the halls, wearing black, singing in unison. Lynn didn’t remember the last time she let herself sing outside of the shower. It looked incredibly freeing! Maybe even spiritual. All this time she wished she could tell stories to audiences willing to hear them. She pictured herself being blinded by he stage lights and glowing from the inside out. If she left psych she would have to pay for everything else on her own. Lynn couldn’t wait to start working as a relief receptionist at the ESL centre to finally be in control of her own destiny.

“What Jesus was doing” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday January 22, 2019
6:52am
5 minutes
Love Thy Neighbour
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Sit still. Don’t fidget. Don’t pick your nose. Sit still. Sit stiller. Pay attention. Sister Judith is falling asleep. Don’t laugh. Don’t giggle. Don’t kick the pew in front. Jesus is watching. Mother is watching. Don’t elbow Russell. Don’t look at Russell. Russell is picking his nose. Ew, Russell! Sit still. Sit still. Hands to yourself. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Stand up. Sing. Don’t sing too loud. Mother is watching.

“he fell like the rain,” by Julia at the Rivendell Cottage

Friday January 18, 2019
11:22pm
5 minutes
In The Beautiful Rain
Tony Hoagland

Her eyelids sank, heavy with dust
collected in the creases
So
many
damn
intricate
feelings
Sleep stretched out like a cat before her and she put her hand out to scratch under its chin
The night and all its bigger shadows
loomed in and around, sort of stalking
Her mouth a steady waterfall pointing ground-ward
He, on the other hand warmed up another cup of tea in the microwave
Flipped the pages of his book like punishment
Pushed the bed so far away
it
turned
into
the
couch

“I met Luke after my marriage ended.” By Sasha on her couch

Thursday January 17, 2019
10:17pm
5 minutes
The Ghost of a Boy
Piper Vignette

I didn’t mean to meet Luke. I was minding my own business. I was keeping my head down. Ever since I left Allison, to distract myself from the crippling guilt and regret, I’d become obsessed with Ayurveda. I read every book I could get my hands on. I mentored with an Ayurvedic doctor. I cooked lentils, rice, cauliflower. I cut out onions and garlic. I was in the co-op weighing red lentils for dahl and there he was – wearing wire-rimed glasses and a red sweater with worn elbows. He looked like he’d just woken up. He was staring at me.

“What are you gonna do with those?” He asked, a sparkle in his eyes.

“Dahl.” I said. I wasn’t interested in a flirty bulk food section exchange. I hadn’t flirted with a man since graduate school.

“I met Luke after my marriage ended.” By Julia on M’s couch

Thursday January 17, 2019
1:33pm
5 minutes
The Ghost of a Boy
Piper Vignette

You could say I manifested it; the end of my first marriage the way it is written. By that I mean death, and not
some fault of our own. We might have stopped trying. Stopped listening. Stopped seeing Love in the reflection of each other. I think we were lucky enough to preserve our relationship before it got so sad we committed any of those aforementioned acts of betrayal. I think those are worse than cheating anyway. Sex is something I can justify as “not personal”. But I suppose you’re right, if I claim to have manifested my late husband’s death. I guess that is a fault of my own I should be less light-hearted about. My intentions were that he would die and leave me while we were still in love. I didn’t know it would happen so soon or that it would work so well. If I believed in manifesting at all (before this) I would have made sure I had pots of money and enough hair product to last my entire lifetime. I would have manifested some inner peace.

“the host raised his glass” by Julia on the 4

Tuesday January 15, 2019
6:54pm
5 minutes
Notes on Surrender
Krista Bremer

Petra was a beer lover. She was the kind of person who knew better than to cheers another with an empty glass. Even if she wasn’t thirsty, she would pour herself a sip of something to seal the deal. On the night of Kat’s engagement she had already drank her share before the thing even started. Still reeling from finding her boss dead in the foyer that morning, she knew she would need a little help getting through her best friend’s party.
Dylan wasn’t the nicest guy in the world, but to leave the world lonely, just steps away from the Naloxone?

“the host raised his glass” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday January 15, 2019
8:41am
5 minutes
Notes on Surrender
Krista Bremer

Adam raised his glass and I thought, ‘I don’t know this man.’

I do know this man. He’s my husband of thirteen years, but in these moments, in some moments, he’s a stranger.

That’s the weird part. No matter how well you think you know someone, there are still moments when –

“Thank you all for being here. I used to try to imagine what forty would feel like, what it would look like – ”

Bert chortles.

” – … I am so fortunate to be blessed by a beautiful family,” Adam looked at me, I smiled. “Mimi, you have done it again, this meal is stunning. Thank you.” People clap. Henrietta rubs my back. I felt like I was floating above these sixteen people, gathered in our dining room, at the table I set, finishing the meal that I chose, sipping wine that I bought.

“grateful to be where we are now.” By Sasha at her desk

Friday January 11, 2019
5:03pm
5 minutes
From a Christmas card

You’re grateful I’m here. I can see it in the release of the line on your forehead, an inch above your eyebrows. It’s been disappearing slowly, and now it’s gone. Three days in to my visit. We haven’t even had sex. I have my period. We’ve kissed a lot. Made tuna sandwiches. Watched Seinfeld.

“Why don’t you move here,” you say, casually folding laundry on your bed. I’m knitting a sweater for Cassidy. James Taylor plays on Spotify.

“You know I can’t.” I look up.

You are grateful I’m here. You usually come to me because it’s hard to get away. My kids. The cat. It’s easy for you to travel. You have less baggage.

“there were also many miracles then.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday January 7, 2019
7:02pm
5 minutes
The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoevsky

There were more miracles then. That probably dates me… I know there are still miracles, but it seems like there used to be more. Maybe it’s because the sky was bigger. There weren’t so many big buildings blocking the blue. There were more miracles, like, when I was a little girl. Big ones and small ones. Acts of grace and God, acts of kindness, surprising twists and all the rest. With the buildings came less birds because the birds fly into the buildings, the buildings are in their flight path. No one thought about the birds when they built those buildings. That’s why I told your grandfather that we had to move North. We had to get away from those buildings.

“This is the beginning of the beginning” by Julia at her table

Thursday January 3, 2019
8:56pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chödrön

This is excellent timing. The beginning of the beginning.
Good. Not to worry. It’s not the end, it’s all new.
Nothing to fear! The world, at this point, is your oyster!
Don’t like oysters? Don’t get caught up in words! They’re
just words! But they are excellent words, aren’t they?
The Beginning of the Beginning! It’s exciting. What will
you do? Set a schedule? Make a plan? Cross of the items on
the list? It’s all up to you, isn’t it. It’s yours to do
with what you like. If you are looking for an example of
what to do now since it’s the beginning and not the ending
then I will offer that to you. I am planning (see!) to
BEGIN the process of the end. Confused? I understand. You.
I understand how you might be. If this is the beginning,
should I be so defeatist? I have all this time to make
a new thing at the beginning of the beginning. I could
do whatever my heart desired, after all. And that is why
I am happy to announce my retirement! I am beginning to
retire from this life that no longer keeps me tuned in!
I want to go back home. I’m as surprised as you. I only
realized today how much I hate it here.

“heaven is great, earth is great, people are great” by Sasha on the 99

Wednesday January 2, 2019
2:13pm
5 minutes
Living the Wisdom of the Tao
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

It’s okay, I mean, I’m okay. Things are okay, Brad, I don’t know what you want me to say… Everyone is happy sometimes and sad sometimes, right?! It’s not even about the balance of being happy and sad I don’t think… It’s about the quality of the feelings. Like, when you’re happy, are you really free? Is there still a little balloon in your chest slowly deflating? Don’t lie to yourself about it. No point in lying about that little balloon, she probably just needs acknowledgement! When you’re sad are you really letting yourself, like, go there? Are you crying and stuff? I don’t know how to take how you’re looking at me… We haven’t seen each other in, like, three years, and now you’re acting all concerned? Sometimes I’m really happy. Sometimes I’m really sad. That’s it.

“I can be courageous enough to feel” by Sasha on the 9

Tuesday January 1, 2019
1:23pm
5 minutes
Comfortable With Uncertainty
Pema Chödrön

She didn’t want to go. It was freezing old outside and the thought of putting on all those layers only to take them off when she got there was almost too much to handle. She thinks about her therapist saying that sometimes self care looks like staying in, having a bath, reading a book, and sometimes self care looks like getting out, being with people, having a slice of cake. Liam had said that it would mean a lot to him if she came, this being his first gig back with the band after surgery. She didn’t want to go. Sometimes being a good friend means showing up. She knows this. She knows.