“Show them yourself, your highness” by Julia on the 99

Monday October 16, 2017
10:39pm
5 minutes
from a dream

She opens the door and stands back as she gestures for me to enter. The door is covered in cobwebs. I’m supposed to be impressed? She clears her throat and then starts down the foyer. Her heels are click clacking and I imagine what her tongue looks like when she’s disappointed in someone. I don’t want her to see me looking around so I don’t but I clock everything. Listen for grandfather to signal me the hour. Even time is shrouded in mystery here. She brings me to a tiny room and shows me in. She waits at the door while I put down my bag. I think I’m meant to gasp or cover my mouth in honest surprise. She glares at me with anticipation and I’m still not sure if I’m allowed to speak. Suddenly the door slams shut and she is nowhere to be found. I am acutely aware now that she was waiting for me to leave. The lock thuds in the door. I understand how it looked like I was staying. She sealed the deal for me.

She is giant and bossy and funny as hell.” By Julia on her couch

Saturday October 14, 2017

11:22pm

5 minutes

a text

Kitty tells me to say that that I’m the baby and she’s the mum. I say, I’m the baby and you’re the mum. Then she tells me to say I’m addicted to raisins! I say, do I know what addicted means already? And she tells me to just say it already. I say I’m the baby and you’re the and mum and I’m addicted to raisins. She tells me, okay now say you’re trapped in a lemon peel. And I say oh no I’m the baby and you’re the mum and I’m addicted to raisins and I’m trapped in a lemon peel. Then kitty bursts out laughing. She is laughing so hard she gives herself hiccups. She tries to give direction between giant gulps of air. I tell her to take a second and catch her breath and she tells me to hurry up and be funny. I tell her she’s being a bit bossy and she shrieks at the top of the lungs, THAT’S BECAUSE I’M THE MUM.

“She is giant and bossy and funny as hell.” By Sasha at the casita

Saturday, October 14, 2017
2:10pm
5 minutes
From a text

Darla, you gotta meet her. She’s giant and bossy and funny as hell. When you get her going she will not stop. She will make joke after joke until you really have to say, “Darla, you must be quiet. You must stop talking!” She must be close to six feet, and she’s got the biggest breasts anyone has ever seen. It’s problematic only for those of us that come up to her nipples and have a bard time seeing her face. She has this great bit about how both her parents are half a foot shorter than her, her father being shorter than her mother and how maybe her Mom actually fucked the big friendly giant.

“a friend, and all around super amazing person” by Julia on the 84

Thursday October 12, 2017
9:44pm
5 minutes
from the bunz faceboook page

I’m

Vouching

For you

Like you deserve it

Like you’ve earned

some kind of love

like this

Thank you

is something you

can say to me

if you’re looking

for words after

all this is over

Thank you

will never get old

I can’t say I’ll

forget that if you

weren’t who you are

I wouldn’t be thinking

twice about helping

you but you’re lucky

I already love you

You get the friend

discount of me not

slapping your ass all

the way to next Tuesday

Some people would

be through with you

Some people would

ask to see your

transcripts

and driving records

“I’d be fucking rocked if I were you.” By Sasha at Casa Violeta

Wednesday October 11, 2017
12:10pm
5 minutes
From a text

I know it’s good news. I know that I should be happy. I know that you’ll act like you are, that’s for sure. But under that veneered surface smile congratulations, you’ll be wondering what it means for you. You’ll be wondering if it will mean that we have to move again, or be separated again, or … again again.

“I don’t have to take it,” I say, and you kiss me on the cheek.

“I’m just going to run to the bathroom real quick. Let’s talk about all the options, babe.” You say.

“Okay, I say… again again.

“All in your head” by Julia in her bed

Monday October 9, 2017
11:55pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Tim Hortons

Imogen and Harriet are grinding their hips and Imogen likes Harriet and Harriet knows that. The music makes Imogen want more than what she has. Harriet doesn’t want to waste the song. Imogen thinks arching backs and swaying thighs is proof. Harriet wants to be free and enjoy each second because she doesn’t know when she’ll get another one.

The two of them remember this night differently.

“All in your head” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore

Monday October 9, 2017
11:56pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the Tim Hortons

“It’s all in your head,” they said. “You’re making it up,” they said. “You’re so sensitive,” they said. “Meditate,” they said. “Take a yoga class,” they said. “Try no screens after dinner,” they said. “Drink this tea,” they said. “Go to a healer with long white hair and small eyes and breath that smells like mushrooms,” they said. (They didn’t, but they may as well have). “Don’t eat sugar,” they said. “Don’t eat nightshades,” they said. “Don’t think negative thoughts,” they said. “Re-position your bed according to the Mayan calendar,” they said.

“Your name is the strongest” by Sasha in the living room at Black River Farm

Sunday, October 8th, 2017
8:15am
5 minutes
Milk and Honey
Rupi Kaur

I will never tell anyone that I’m here, I whisper as I exit the elevator and walk left, then right, then left. Never ever, cross my heart and swear to die. What an effed up saying. I wonder why we used to say that all the time. If Al knew I was here he would tease me into eternity. Dad would mock me until I wept silently in the bathtub, a bottle of Shiraz cradled in the crook of my arm, never touching my lips, just there. In case. Dr. Noreen Sandhu, is written on the door. Is there a waiting room? Is this just, like, her office? Should I wait outside? Oh my God. What am I doing? Deep breath deep breath DEEP BREATH THIS IS WHY YOU’RE HERE, CLAIRE. THIS IS WHY. I give a very small, basically inaudible knock, just to test the waters. NO answer. Okay. Hm. Okay. I try the door handle and at first it feels locked but then I realize it’s just a very, very heavy door. I push with all my might, after all I have been going to Pilates most Tuesday mornings and my core is getting stronger, I can feel it even if no one can see it. I told Yolanda that my goal was to feel stronger. I don’t care about how things appear on the outside, I’d said. She’d scoffed. Eff her. I am achieving my goal. I am a goal achiever. A GOAL DESTROYER. I AM A GOAL ORIENTED WOMAN. A manifester. “Claire?” The smell of sage, lavender, ylang ylang. Doctor Sandhu, with perfectly chestnut skin, a deliciously large nose, excellent knockers and wearing a turquoise tunic and white tights. Oh my God. “Claire?” She says again, and for once in my life I am speechless.

“Babysat while Christian went to bingo.” By Sasha at Black River Farm

Saturday, October 6th, 2017
8:12am
5 minutes
Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years
Sue Townsend

When Christian went to bingo, Dominique and I babysat Felix. He would pay us ten dollars each, which at the time we thought was a hundred. Mimi would save hers. Right into her bank account it would go. She couldn’t get there fast enough. Christian had to tell her, repeatedly, that she ought to buy herself something. “It’s okay to spend a little,” he’d say, smiling. I would make lists of what I wanted – the newest YM, a watermelon lipgloss, a journal with a sparkly peacock on the front, a set of fine-tip sharpies, an extra large toblerone bar, my own matte scotch tape, Guatemalan slippers, a mini flatiron… The list would be so long that I wouldn’t be able to choose what I wanted first. Sometimes I’d cry and Mimi would console me. By this time, Felix would be drinking out of the toilet or scratching the wallpaper off the walls in the den and we’d have to call the bingo hall and Christian would have to come home early.

“how on earth an idiot like that could be trusted” by Julia at the bus stop

Friday October 6, 2017

10:19pm

5 minutes

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou

Wally took off work early again and decided to pick up Dallas and Dax from school even though they still had two periods left. Of course the school doesn’t think to notify me since one of their “guardians” is given my permission. I don’t like him going around there trying to be the hero for two teenage boys who are desperate for their father’s time. He buys them double cheeseburgers and milkshakes while I have whole chicken thawing on the counter. I told him he can keep his privileges if he keeps his drinking under control. I really didn’t want to drag my kids through court to prove to them that their daddy is a fuck up. So far he’s been okay, but I know he’s still polishing off a 24 every two days. That may seem like a small amount compared to some, but these are my kids.

“before we found our planet” by Sasha on the couch at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday October 4, 2017
10:01am
5 minutes
The Enemy Stars
Poul Anderson

Before we found our planet we chased shooting stars and solar flares before breakfast. We did not know the saltiness of addiction – heartache – betrayal. Before we knew the taste of first kiss, we knew blue, the true meaning, gold, the weight and scope of it. Some might call it alchemy, but we call it morning.

Turning the page, our children (by which I mean all the children here not the ones I’ve borne, in fact, I cannot tell the difference, all their faces are innocence and power, curiousity and wisdom)… Turning the page, our children laugh at the nostalgia for a time before time. They wrinkle their little brows at Milky Way and ask for a glass of water.

“Vampire bats also appear” by Julia on the 84

Tuesday October 3, 2017
6:52pm
5 minutes
Dust
Charles Pellegrino

Kinney and I are taking her boys trick or treating tomorrow night. They refused to go with Chet and I don’t blame them. He looks like Beetle Juice to me too. K thinks we should dress up as vampires or something. She doesn’t want to go as Mom for Halloween when she goes as Mom for everyday. I’ll wear your clothes and go as you, I tell her. I don’t want to be a bat. Fine, she says her eyes dead in thought, you give me your fishnets and I’ll go as you. I don’t wear those anymore, I say, but Kinney doesn’t care. She’s dreaming up a costume that has less to do with me and more to do with her enacting some fantasy of me. In her mind I’m the fun one. In her mind that means wearing fishnets. I don’t want to burst her bubble.

“Know this place?” by Julia on Fa Fa’s couch

Friday September 29, 2017

9:12pm

5 minutes

from google maps

There’s a light that keeps switching on by itself. Demi said not to worry about it cause it was just the spirits entering the space (????????). It is bad enough that a light goes on by itself but one that’s delivering ghosts to my living room? No thanks Tom Hanks. Demi has a couple crystals. She says they help. Help what, I don’t know. The light just went out again. If you had to hazard a guess, would you say that means they’ve left or they’ve fallen asleep? I’m referring to the spirits obviously. I don’t know what’s worse that one is coming and going

or many are coming and staying. How many spirits can this place hold anyway? I’m wondering about capacity, like how much can my own spirit handle. How many before I have to call the fire department.

Demi says they won’t bother me unless I invite them to. She did not mention how to avoid doing this.

“Thank you for delivering your promise…” by Julia at her desk

Thursday September 28, 2017
6:41pm
5 minutes
from an email

I want to start by saying your work is very good. And I mean very good. You surprised me. I didn’t think you had it in you. I want to continue to be honest with you, and you have given me a lot to think about. When you first started here you had a hot head and your inexperience hung off of you. I don’t know if you were always this determined but whatever you’ve done to change your energy has done wonders for you. It actually makes me want to support your artistry. Before, I didn’t want anything to do with you. I didn’t like being in the same room as you. I found you entitled. And obnoxious. And when not checked regularly, slightly violent in your approach. I don’t see that anymore, but I do think it’s important for you to know what I did see before you decided to change your mind. I want to thank you for delivering your promise to me about “giving a fuck” as you put it. I am impressed by that and that now your work speaks for itself without your shadow lurking near by, ready to sabotage all of your light. I hope you know that I wouldn’t say all of this if it weren’t true.

“Did you try to reply to my email about confidence?” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday September 27, 2017
10:12am
5 minutes
from an e-blast

Krista: I know this seminar will suit you, Jeanie. I specifically designed it with you in mind and you’re not getting any younger so I–

Jean: No I’m not getting any younger. And believe it or not, that is not one of my concerns.

Krista: Oh sweetie, of course it is. It’s everyone’s concern.

Jean: I don’t know how staying young will serve me.

Krista: It’s a figure of speech, relax.

Jean: Well you used it, and you meant it, so. I’m not interested in discussing this with you.

Krista: Fine, but all I meant was that you could use some of what I teach and you’re only running out of time–

Jean: See! Again with the absolutism! I swear to Christ you do not listen.

Krista: Jeanie. Stop this blaming behaviour and own your life. You seem mighty hostile for someone who has nothing to prove.

Jean: You’re driving me upside the wall, okay? How am I supposed to respond.

Krista: Well you could come to my seminar. Respond with your actions not your attitude.

“Did you try to reply to my email about confidence?” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday September 27, 2017
8:42am
5 minutes
From an e-blast

Dear Theresa,

First, let me start by saying I’m delighted that you’ve joined our team. You are a welcome addition. Your intuitive approach, coupled with your intellect are benefitting the team. Several of your colleagues are singing your praises to upper management daily.

I’m writing to address the superlative questions that layer each of your emails. Please stop it. I find that several employees have this unfortunate habit, and it undermines intellect and experience. You are a qualified leader. Own it.

“DANGER” by Julia on the subway going south

Sunday September 24, 2017
3:12pm
5 minutes
from a sign at the train station

It has always been hard for Hannah to follow the rules. She was sneaking out of the house by the age of thirteen, smoking by fourteen, and driving dad’s Toyota corolla without even a learner’s permit at fifteen. I have always been more deliberate. More thoughtful. Mom told me I used to organize the vegetables on my plate by width. I don’t know if I believe her, but it wouldn’t be that far off. Hannah, on the other hand, was born wild like a balloon sailing off into the sunset. You can try to hold her as long as you can, but one slip and she’s gone, up, up into the sky, no destination close enough to see. Hannah was punished a lot as a kid and people worried about her. But I never did. I knew she would find her own way.

“I’m driving so couldn’t really see it” by Julia at Black River Farm

Saturday September 23, 2017
8:33am
5 minutes
from a text

It is not more important to check your texts while operating a vehicle. I believe this. My mother would say, PRECIOUS CARGO BACK HERE, EH? We once were with Justin, watching helplessly from the back seat, when he got caused a minor fender bender cause he was trying to text his girlfriend a shooting star emoji. My mother yelled at him that their stupid love could wait and Justin never really forgave her for that. She was fed up. She had a right to be. His girlfriend broke up with him a week or two later anyway.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way” by Julia in the car

Friday September 22, 2017
1:08pm
5 minutes
overheard at York Mills Station

All of us are tired from the rain. Maggie suggests we kill ourselves ceremoniously and Reece flips her shit about that. Maggie stares Reece in the eyes and doesn’t stop until everyone is laughing. Reece reluctantly smirks. The problem with people these days is everyone is offended by everything, Maggie tells us. Reece shakes her head. Some people actually do want to kill themselves, she persists, and I don’t know if you know this but some people actually do. I didn’t know that at all, Maggie says with mock surprise, her favourite of all the mocked anythings. Reece rolls her eyes and opens her chest to the group. Could we all just hold each other and intuit where might be a good place to travel? None of us want to fight and so we huddle close to one another, put our hands on the backs of our neighbours and we close our eyes.

“DANGER” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Sunday September 24, 2017
11:04pm
5 minutes
From a sign at the train station

“Dangerrrr!” Henry shouts and we’re off, climbing up and up and then there’s just a pinprick of light. Tim is screaming and Arthur tells him to buck up and the rest of us don’t know the difference.

When we’re all up out of the mine, Henry lays on the ground and weeps. Mona’s pregnant. They’ve been trying for three years. She’s finally pregnant.

“finally coming home” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Thursday, September 21, 2017
11:14am
5 minutes
From a text

Glen makes himself a peanut butter sandwich and wishes that Heather wasn’t allergic. If Heather wasn’t allergic he could bring this glorious sticky mess to work everyday and wouldn’t have to mess with salami or havarti. Glen always thinks of his mother when he packs a lunch. She packed his lunches for twelve years, and then when he moved out and went to community college, he began to pack his own. He followed her formula though – sandwich, fruit, something salty (corn nuts, tortilla chips, or almonds) or something sweet (a chocolate chip cookie, a few jujubes, a fruit leather). Her name is also Heather. HEATHER. He never knew that heather was a flower until after she died. His mother. Not the other one.

“Get me the hell off this bus” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Saturday September 16, 2017
9:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

“Get me the hell off this bus!!!!”

“Open the back door, please.”

“Driver, open the back door!”

Bang bang bang on the window and finally the driver stops and he doesn’t open the back door. He walks towards the back, past baby carriage and a printer in a box and a very fat man with a very kind face and children holding onto their parents’ hands and a woman in a leapord print shirt drinking a grapefruit juice box.

“What’s going on back here?”

“That was my stop! That was my stop! Now I’ve missed my stop!”

“Calm down please, or I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

“I need to buy some tango shoes” by Julia at K’s Airbnb

Thursday September 14, 2017
11:24pm
5 minutes
overheard at the airport

-I do not want to take dancing lessons if you’re not going to take lessons aiming your dick into the toilet bowl. I’m sick of stepping in the drips.
-You left BLOOD splatters on the toilet seat last week. Blood.
-Yeah because you know who doesn’t lift the seat to pee? How am I supposed to know it’s even there, Dillon?
-So this is all about me?
-Christ, you cannot write this shit.
-Write what? What?
-You only have one switch and that’s “attacked”. I’m not attacking you I’m observing. You know, paying attention.
-Fuck your sarcasm Marie, I am not kidding.
-Can’t handle the truth, Dillion?
-Can’t handle my fiancé, Marie.

“I need to buy some tango shoes” by Sasha in an airplane heading East

Thursday September 14, 2017
2:39pm
5 minutes
overheard at the airport

Marsha keeps talking about her fucking tango shoes. It’s driving me up the wall. She acts like she knows how to dance. What she does is not dancing, I don’t know what it is, but it isn’t tango. And besides, there’s no such thing as tango shoes! Put some leather on the bottom of your best lace up heels. There. Tango shoe. Marsha’s all talk. She talks and talks but nothing ever comes of it. She never actually does it. I wouldn’t be surprised if she hasn’t even taken one class. She’s off the rails.

“never been good at multitasking” by Sasha at the kitchen table


Sunday September 10, 2017
10:56pm
5 minutes
From a text

You’ve never been good at multitasking, sweet one track mind. You complete tasks one-by-one, diligent and focused. If something gets in your way, say, a phone call or the toaster dinging, you are off course, whirling into oblivion. You’ll put on some Eartha Kitt and dance around the living room. You’ll eat blueberry jam from the jar, fridge door open. You’ll call me at work, and ask if I can talk and tell me how one day you’d really like to go to space. I laugh, and say I have to get back to work. You say, “Shit. Me too.”

“Woman suspended” by Julia in her bed


Monday September 4, 2017
10:58pm
5 minutes
from the BBC News app

I don’t want to get this one wrong. Tell me the events as best as you can remember them.

Hill stares at Joan, her eyes filling up.
I told you, I did it. I did it all. One minute I was against the wall and the next minute he’s against the wall. I don’t remember what happened in the middle but I feel different. Do you get that? I feel like there’s been a shift in my spine. My spirit. I am telling you it’s like I had a different one before.

Joan jots down on her graph paper legal pad. She looks back up at Hill.

“you are the first woman I’ve touched” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday September 1, 2017
10:57pm
5 minutes
Pearl in the Mist
V.C. Andrews


When we arrived at the camp, Yaza kissed each of our foreheads and offered us a glass of golden milk. Mother declined and so I declined too. Yaza frowned. “Why won’t you drink?” She asked. Mother smiled, but without showing her teeth of course. She spoke quietly,

“We know that there is a shortage. We don’t want to – ”

Yaza interrupted sternly, “You are one of us now. What’s ours is yours. Don’t be silly.” She motioned to her assistant. “Rebecca, bring us some golden milk and a few figs, please. Lisbeth and Tabora have travelled far to join us.”

I was entranced by the colour of Yaza’s hair. I’d never seen anything like it. Grey, but a bright grey, a grey I couldn’t place. She wore her hair in three braids down her back and they swayed as she walked.

“you are the first woman I’ve touched” by Julia on the bed at the YWCA hotel Vancouver


Friday September 1, 2017
9:57pm
5 minutes
Pearl in the Mist
V.C. Andrews


In the dream, she is following me with her eyes. Crowded room, music bump bump blaring. Her gaze settles in her face like a perfect egg yolk cooked sunny side up. I feel like I am melting and she keeps herself affixed to me. She is wearing a simple black tank top. But the thinness of her straps are driving me wild. The way they sit grooved into her collarbone. I picture sliding one strap off her shoulder, slowly. She never breaks contact.
Suddenly I am licking her up and down, spreading her knees with my free hand. I am taking my time and sucking slow. She breathes like a goddess. I cannot stop kissing her Soft. In the dream she comes and I keep going. In the dream she kisses me with tongue and doesn’t say a word.

“drove up to the prison” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday August 30, 2017
11:49pm
5 minutes
This American Life episode 282

I never thought that I would, I mean, I never knew that… Wait. Can I start over? I don’t know… I’m not good when I’m on the spot. I finished high school, even started community college something but I can’t… I’m nervous. If Jay was here I’d be… I’d be… I drove up to the prison last Saturday, for visits… Went all alone. Sometimes his mama wants to come and I’m not gonna deny her that, she has the right to see her son. She doesn’t drive so… It’s hard. It’s hard.

“He presses a button” by Sasha in her bed


Tuesday August 29, 2017
10:02pm
5 minutes
From VO sides

He presses a button and the ceiling opens. Tens of thousands of butterflies swirl like soft serve ice cream. All shades of purple and blue, all moving and swimming and flying and wow wow I’ve never I’ve never. I smile and it feels really good because it’s been days since I smiled and that’s not normal for me. Jim looks over. “I told you,” he says, and it’s true, he did tell me and I didn’t believe him because who would who really would if they said what Jim said I mean Jim says a lot of stuff and it’s not always true. I never knew that a place like this could be be be here. I never knew that Jim, of all people, would have the key, hanging around his neck like something he maybe got at a garage sale. The sky turns dark and the butterflies disappear I can’t imagine where they go and Jim says, “We had better get back.”

“finding my people in unexpected places” by Sasha on her couch


Monday August 28, 2017
11:50pm
5 minutes
Bad Feminist
Roxane Gay


I’m watching the fiftieth video of the day. I can’t stop. I can’t stop this insane addiction, I’m not judging myself but it’s just the truth. I am obsessed with the purple paste that these Queens use to cover their real eyebrows. And then the whole new set that they draw on way up on their foreheads. OBSESSED. If I could just just watch the eyebrow stuff I might, I really might. Who knew that these would be my people?

“He presses a button” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday August 29, 2017
9:27pm
5 minutes
from VO sides

i watch him from the corner of my eye
he is sly
a man on a mission to push all of my buttons
coming for me like a dart
flying through the air, straight for wherever he aims
did i mention he has great aim?
taught to throw a baseball at the age of three
and now the target is me
i can’t avoid it, it’s the end,
i’m nothing but a machine
when he wants laughter he strikes the soft above my knee
says something unexpected in that charming sort of way
if he wants to knock me over
he hits below
buckle and shake until i make peace with the ground
i am onto him
looking for any kind of reaction
reaching out and teasing with a smirk
hovering right above my button
i am defenseless
yet feeling tension
will he won’t he
no sir yes sir

“finding my people in unexpected places” by Julia on the 99


Monday August 28, 2017
3:50pm
5 minutes
Bad Feminist
Roxane Gay


In the bathroom stall at the gym, I stick my fingers up myself to help stimulate my bowels. My cousin, Trina, taught me this trick one day during the commercial break for Days Of Our Lives. I was eleven and she was thirteen. “You’d think twice a week would be enough but it’s not. You’d also think you should stick your hand up the back but this is way more forgiving!”
Trina showed me a lot of things. Like how to make out with the silky skin in the crook of my elbow for practice, or how not to move the shower head from my clit the second I started to like it.
Without thinking I let slip a tiny groan. The woman in the stall beside me sighs.
“I get it, girl. Been trying since Tuesday over here.”

“Host art classes” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday August 26, 2017
11:52pm
5 minutes
From a business card


I really wanna make Mama proud, you know. She spent a whole lotta time not being proud of me when I was younger and getting into all that trouble. We don’t need to talk about that, but like, it wasn’t a good scene and I caused her a whole lot of stress. So I wanna make her proud! Like the kinda proud where she smiles really big and acts like I’m the kid she’s always dreamed of having! I ask Kim if I can use the barn at the back of her property, just on Saturdays to start. She says that it needs a real good clean, but I can do that, I can do that for this.

“street cake!” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday August 25, 2017
9:12pm
5 minutes
From a text

I preheat the oven while you select a record. I’m not sure what exactly you choose, we’ve been hitting up garage sales, but it’s sexy and it’s got vocals and some horns, so it’s all good. You asked for cake this morning, and all day at work I dreamed about what wouldn’t require softened butter. I dreamed about caramel and vanilla, or, chocolate, yes! Chocolate. I use coconut oil because it’s so very good for you and I sift the ingredients and you watch me and sometimes grab at me and I push you away but only for now.

“Host art classes” By Julia at her desk


Saturday August 26, 2017
11:50pm
5 minutes
from a business card


“I think we should buy the warehouse like we talked about.”
“With what money, exactly?”
“Your money. I know, I know–”
“It’s not really my money, you know that right?”
“Well, he left everything to you so whose money could it be?”
“No, obviously, but it doesn’t necesarily feel right to spend it all on an abandonned building because you have a good idea.”
“I am not trying to make you do anything you don’t want to do. But think of what it could be: A place where artists come to create, where they can put on their own events, where we can host classes. Come on, it writes itself.”
“It’s not that easy. I have to make sure I’m using his money for the right thing. This feels like a lot of work.”
“Everything in this life is work. Look, I know I’m asking a lot of you, but you know me. I wouldn’t be suggesting it if I didn’t believe in it. And you have been floating since he died-”
“Am I not allowed to be sad?”
“Of course. Of course you are.”

“street cake!” By Julia on her bed


Friday August 25, 2017
9:01pm
5 minutes
from a text

I asked your what you wanted and you said street cake. I walked around the city knocking on doors, begging bakeries. Nobody made what you were looking for. I didn’t want your birthday to be memorable in the wrong way so I decided to try making one from scratch. I didn’t know what to do so I asked all the good people of the Internet. They didn’t know either. Finally, I deduced I had the choice of a few things: stick some toy cars on the cake and sprinkle Oreo crumbs for the drive way, or vanilla cream frosting with the word “street” written in icing. I was running out of ideas. Then you called and it all made sense. “Sheet cake!” you said, “I said sheet cake!”

“We assumed he did.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday August 22, 2017
9:44pm
5 minutes
Equus
Peter Shaffer


We assumed that he’d be okay. We thought that he was invincible. He thought he was invincible. After a month of sitting beside him in the hospital, we start to lose sense of time. Days blur to hours and minutes slam weeks. Grief is thick in these buildings. We make bad, morose jokes. Toby starts smoking again. Ivy texts from Delaware but we can’t loop her, it’s impossible. You have to be here, I say, finally, on the phone in the gift shop. I pick up a stuffed bear and hug it.

“Christian Science Reading Room” By Julia on the 9


Wednesday August 23, 2017
11:07pm
5 minutes
from a storefront on West Broadway

At the Christian Science reading room I wait for Melody to meet me in the lobby. She says she’s coming with a big bag and to get ready. Melody’s ideas make me sweat. She’s been planning something for a while it she says she needs my help now. I always get sucked into Melody’s warped world. I swear she’s not from here. Like, I’d say Vancouver but what I mean is earth. I’m worried she’s got something slightly off centre in her bags. A little light spray painting would be ideal but I know it’s going to vibrate more than that. Everything she does has a pulse. If the pulse of something dangerous were trapped in a bag for too long.

“keep this info handy” by Julia at her desk


Sunday August 20, 2017
10:01pm
5 minutes
the Shaw pamphlet

Mom gives me the phone card passcode so I can call Nanna in Berlin. She lives there now. She said it’s nicer than Whitby. I tell her that I probably don’t have time to call her cause I have finals this week and she doesn’t let me finish my sentence. She doesn’t think school is a good excuse not to do anything. Probably because she only finished the 8th grade. Probably because she knows when I’m talking out of my ass. Mom tells me to keep that info handy and maybe taake a photo of it on my new fancy icamera. I tell her it’s not an icamera, it’s an iphone, and it’s not fancy, it’s a 4s, and life is not as easy as she thinks.
When I ask Mom why she cares so much if I call Nanna or not, she laughs for longer than is necessary and comfortable. “If you have kids,” she says, “and they don’t call me, I will always blame their mother first.”

“Back then baby it didn’t seem so strange” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday August 16, 2017
7:03pm
5 minutes
Dearly Departed
Shakey Graves


When Saturday came, we loaded up the truck with all the butter lettuce, quarts of berries, cherry tomatoes. We didn’t speak much. Tuned the radio to something like Johnny Cash and wiped the sleep from our eyes and set into town. Gram would watch Milo and Greta. We learned early that if they came to market we couldn’t sell as fast. Greta cried when we said that she could only come if Gram wanted to

“if you have troubles” by Julia on the reading chair


Thursday August 17, 2017
11:02pm
5 minutes
from an e-flyer

“If you have troubles, I know a guy,” Elvira called over, “but he’s out of the country until Monday.”
The window shut behind her and the lights went out. Elvira seemed to sleep easily and often. I supposed if I could I would too. I took off my tank top and threw on Vic’s t-shirt. I liked the way it made my nipples look. I took out my notepad and wrote down “Elvira” and “knows a guy” in two separate bullet points. I wanted to be able to tell Vic she didn’t have to worry. It would have been a nice moment.

“packing slip” by Julia on E’s brother’s couch


Saturday August 12, 2017
10:28pm
5 minutes

from a receipt


Henry is moving out of his condo and into a nursing home. He is not happy about it. He is so full of resentment his hips hurt. Nobody wants him. He doesn’t get to play with his grand kids. Nobody is going to come visit him. He’s going to die there in the home without a family to comb his hair or make sure his eyebrows don’t grow out of his face sideways. All because of his one and only fall. Now they’re saying he can’t be left alone. It couldn’t have been the bacon grease on the floor that he slipped on, not a chance. It had to be because his body is giving out on him. Because his limbs don’t listen to his brain anymore. It’s always a reminder that he is becoming more of a burden to his family every single day and needs constant supervision.
Henry doesn’t want to go. He doesn’t want to start the next chapter of his life refusing to forgive himself.

“Can you spare me for five minutes?” by Sasha at OPUS


Friday August 11, 2017
3:11pm
5 minutes
Serious Money
Caryl Churchill


Henry gets lost every time he goes to the Everglades. We shake our heads when he says he’s setting out because we want him to be safe, but there’s a little sparkle somewhere about the fact that he’s still adventuring. “Wonder if you’ll see any wildlife?” Tim says. Henry cocks his head and spreads jam on the other half of his sandwich. He’s always been a very good picnic packer.

“Can you spare me for five minutes?” by Julia on D and A’s couch


Friday August 11, 2017
10:39pm
5 minutes
Serious Money
Caryl Churchill


I don’t want to hear another excuse,
not another song and dance about why you couldn’t have done all the things you were supposed to. Everything with you is such a production. There’s always a plot twist set during a rain storm. I’m pretty sure you’ve never stopped crying. But you don’t get off without a fight just because you have issues. What’s life if not a giant human issue?
I’m done going out of my way for you. I’m done because I physically can’t take it anymore. I feel bent. I feel pretzeled. You left my kid in he movie rental store! For an hour! With a sticky fingered teenager! There comes a point when this shit is no longer cute. You are far past that.

“The waters here” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday August 19, 2017
1:12pm
5 minutes
The Lonely Planet Bali and Lombok

It hasn’t rained in ninety days. Pap checks off each one that passes by on the calendar beside his chair and we wait we wait we wait we wait. Nothing to do but wait. Gemma’s read all of Nancy Drew and I’ve got her knitting mittens for the winter. She’s almost done. These poor kids, they can’t go outside. Too hot. Too dry. Rusty goes, he can’t help himself, but he comes in coughing and wheezing and Pap looks to me like it’s my fault I didn’t chain him down.

“tremendous whooshing noise” by Julia at her desk


wednesday August 9, 2017
10:35pm
5 minutes
The Enormous Crocodile
Roald Dahl


“If I can’t see you I don’t want to see anyone!”
Mitchell wept into his pillow. He talked to his Dad before bedtime.
Mitchell’s Dad wanted to do the right thing. He didn’t want to confuse him. He didn’t want to make him reliant on someone the rest of the world couldn’t see.
“You can’t leave me,” he cried, “I can’t give you away!”
Mitchell’s Dad told him he would have to let him go and help out the Angels. He didn’t want to leave either but Mitchell was getting so big. He told him he would never really leave him. He’d always be close by, watching over him.
“But how will I know that it’s you?” Mitchell squeaked.

“you called me at 5:30, said you couldn’t sleep” by Sasha on her couch


Monday August 7, 2017
11:37pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

you called me at 5:30, said you couldn’t sleep. i asked if you wanted to come over for a cuddle or something and you said that there was no way in hell you were leaving your apartment for mine. you had better fans. i asked if you wanted me to come over and you said that you didn’t feel comfortable with me walking at that hour. i’ll ride my bike. no, no, it’s okay. it wasn’t the first time. it won’t be the final time, unless i tell you to fuck off with this shit, i have a full-time job and i need my seven hours.

“When your music ends” by Sasha on her balcony


Sunday August 6, 2017
6:27pm
5 minutes
Spotify

Jonah’s got a case of the Monday’s and it’s not even noon. He asked Trev for a BJ to get the day started and Trev just looked at him like, “WUT?” They were out of eggs so Jonah couldn’t even have his “in it to win it breakfast”. Screw you, Monday.

Ever since he quit his job and started freelancing, Jonah tried his best to work from home for the first part of the day and then he went to Grump’s three blocks away. He likes the music they play. Nothing too heavy. He can’t work with anything too heavy playing

“I’m still on the boat.” By Sasha at her desk


Friday August 4, 2017
12:00pm
5 minutes
Sea Sick
Alanna Mitchell


When I go to sleep, I’m still on the boat. There’s a gentle rocking and it’s pure comfort. Nothing like it was in reality – nausea and puking. I wake up and walk to the toilet, and it’s like I’m finding my land legs again. It almost makes me nauseous. I can’t eat much for breakfast, even though Steve is on this diet where he eats a whole whack of protein right when he wakes up. Who wants to cook a steak at six thirty in the morning? I had to tell him to stop with the salmon.