“Hey, man, fuck that.” By Julia at The Common on Bloor

Tuesday August 14, 2018
5 minutes
A quote by Elvis Presley

I have never been to florida and now addie is planning to have her wedding there. she says it’s so dean’s family can drive there and some of them don’t handle flying very well. when we were young she used to invite me but I was never allowed to go. my mom said there was something she didn’t trust about florida but she had never been there either. addie wants the resort to plan the wedding because she plans events for a living and wants a day off where friends and family can drink and eat and tell her how awesome she is. if people give her a hard time about not doing a tradional (stupidly expensive) wedding at a hall she usually flips them the bird and tells them to fuck off.

“1951-2013” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday, October 6, 2013
5 minutes
from Haroon Rahim Bakhsh’s memorial card

“I’m going out!” I call. Mom’s in her bedroom watching The Price Is Right. She guesses before the contestants on the show, out loud, and if she’s right she rewards herself with a spritz of perfume. The smell is making me nauseous. “Mom!” She can’t hear me. “I’m going to the beach!” “Fine,” she says, and I hear her shuffling. “No need to get up,” I poke my head into her room, holding my breath, “I’ll be back in an hour or so.” “Can you do an errand for me?” She asks. She either wants Rum or BBQ Chicken. “I’m just going to the beach, I wasn’t going to go to the store,” I’m irritated but I hide it, or I try to. A mother always knows. “Fine,” she says. When I’m out of the apartment, I cough and take huge gulps of the Florida air. My cell phone beeps. It’s Vee. She’s been checking in on me every few hours. I think she thinks I’m suicidal. She doesn’t want me to go before Mom.

“sometimes enlightenment” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
5 minutes
Grand Theft Auto 5

Mom’s wearing her pink velour sweatsuit. She’s sucking on her electric cigarette, then a Werther’s Original, then her inhaler, the blue one. Her platform running shoes have sparkly gold laces. Florida is hot and tastes like Orange Julius. I got here on July twenty-first, at least, that’s when I left Toronto. I’m not sure when I got here. Toronto tastes like Spadina and Dundas. So, I say to her, “Mom, you want some lunch?” She’s on the electric cigarette. “There’re cabbage rolls in the freezer.” She’s wearing her pink sunglasses, with the bedazzled frames. “Then we’d have to defrost them, right?” I continue, “It’s already two, you should eat. The doctor said you should eat at the appropriate meal times.” She’s onto a Werther’s. “If you’re hungry, just say so!” She shrieks, hauling on the inhaler.

“(that was such a cute plan)” by Sasha at her desk

Monday, September 9, 2013
5 minutes
We Think Alone
Week 11 from an email sent by Lena Dunham that includes a picture of herself

1. Miles Ricci forgets to take the garbage to the curb and gets very annoyed that by next week the bin will be overflowing.
2. Miles leaves the seat up in the downstairs bathroom and sometimes, he takes a dump sitting just on the porcelain. He likes how it’s cool on his bottom.
3. Miles microwaves his popcorn and then adds margarine and pepper.
4. Miles photocopies the newspaper clippings of his niece, Christina, and keeps them all stored, organized by publication and date, in dark blue binders.
5. On his mother’s birthday, Miles calls her in Florida and sings her his best rendition.
6. Miles feeds his pomeranian, Bruce, one kibble at a time. He has a weak stomach.
7. Miles irons his work shirt every day, even if it wasn’t washed. He crisps the collar.
8. Miles drives, in his Chevy station wagon with wood panelling, to the mall. He buys a pretzel. He takes the jar of peanut butter that he’s brought in his briefcase out and balances it on his knee. He dips the pretzel, repeatedly, into the jar, while sitting by the fountain.

“social insurance number” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
5 minutes
from the back of an envelope from the government

“Who is left that remembers?” she keeps asking, a Werthers tucked in her cheek for sweetness and lubrication. When Nanna laughs it’s like the sky is singing Hallelujah hymns, it’s a spiritual event. She’s talking about when her and Russ, my grandfather, and Russ’ brother Gus (I know) escaped from Poland during World War II. “I guess there aren’t very many people left,” I say, opening her fridge and taking out a litre container of Tropicana, extra pulp. It’s like drinking swamp water, but I enjoy it. Only at her place. She’s lived in a condo in the Florida Keys since Russ died. Nanna and Russ were my great escape from the quiet and over dramatic introspection of my own mother and father. I spent any time I had a break from school on the pullout in their den. Nanna always secretly paid for my flight. Guss wouldn’t have been into it. He believed in everyone carving their own path, paying their own way. They had separate bank accounts until he died of prostate cancer in 2002. Nanna giggled as I sat beside her, clutching her hand, as she told the branch manager to merge their accounts. She looked up and said, “It all works out as it should in the end.”

“RAIN (on someone’s statue)” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday February 14, 2013
5 minutes
The Vampire Cat
Robert Thomas Payne

Make believe that we’re swimming with big waves in the ocean, like the one in Florida, like the ocean near Grandpa’s condo, like those waves where I’m not scared and we’re just, like, floatinggggg. And then this fish swims by, a Nemo fish, but not low down, like, we can see him. And he says, “How’re you today, human beans?” And we laugh because, he’s, like, a funny little fishy! And we say, “We’re having a great time in Florida visiting our Grandpa! And our Mom in on a Christian Singles vacation in Miami! And we get to eat Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast with Grandpa! And we don’t even barely ever miss our Mom!” The funny fish laughs because he totally understands what we’re talking about. And then, like, our legs get tired so we find a more shallow spot and we just, like, stand, and let then sand eat up our feet a bit. But not in a scary way? And then! Then! Then, it starts to rain. But it’s so warm out that we don’t even care and, like, we’re already wet, so it’s just fun to be in the rain. And then you start to sing that song about your “Bonny” and how she’s over the ocean and I even sing some because I know the words now from hearing you sing it so much.