“an overdose, the fire hall repainted red.” By Julia at her desk

Monday August 5, 2019
5:59pm
5 minutes
Orography
Alison Braid

It’s never as bad as it feels in the brain
Until the day that it is worse
And expectations of forever look like this:
Swollen eyes and spine shriveled
Everything pointing toward the floor
Oh Lord, is there anything lower?
The clock ticking bruises
The warning signs begin to dart around
as if they had been there the whole time
As if it were you alone responsible for the knowing
I do not give you anything that sounds like blame
You did not deserve this
You did not miss the signal

I have wanted to take back what I said because
I am angry now more than ever for you and I don’t
know how to be that when you might not need that
But it’s true and it is constant and
I want to go to battle for you
I am ready
I will bring my tiny-hearted arrows and I will
launch them at whatever target you give order to hit
I will hit each one because I have spent my life
practicing my aim and my arm is steady
You do not need to walk this alone even in the
moments after you think you have asked for too much

When the Phoenix rises from the ashes she takes
all of her sisters with her and forms a flock
of fire born sky-dwellers who can see as far
as this world may reach

“she’s in a shoe store with her friends,” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday August 2, 2019
10:24pm
5 minutes
Some Notes Against the Burden of Representation
Rahat Kurd

she’s in a shoe store with her friends and she’s smiling and pointing at the shiny gold platforms and they roll their eyes because she won’t buy them and she won’t wear them but she tries them on to push it a bit to push her possibility at wildness at the person she maybe used to be and her friends tell her she should get them and two of them mean it and one of them doesn’t because that one is holding that she’s changed that they’re all changing and they took her out today because they didn’t want her to be alone with the beast in her belly moving through the motions of coffee and a boiled egg and replying to emails and cancelling subscriptions because they didn’t want her to be alone

“a time lacking in truth and certainty” by Julia on B’s toilet

Monday July 22, 2019
10:59pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Louise Bogan

When we were young we spent time hiding from each other in the mornings so we wouldn’t have to endure the small talk that had become of us.

I admit I was the one avoiding you because you could see into my skin and I didn’t like how I was treating you because of that.

I have already apologized and so have you but when we weren’t walking quietly on the kitchen tile, we were occupying the misunderstandings in the hallway.

You there in your fed up to here stance, hurling hardball truth to my jaw, me there mouth agape. Shocking how well the time we bottled knew how to explode in our faces.

I didn’t have excuses for my behaviour but I gave you my reasons and you didn’t care. You weren’t having any of it because you had had enough.

“They backed off right away” by Julia at the Little Green Ranch

Tuesday June 24, 2019
9:19pm
5 minutes
From a text

We tell each other our personal stories so we can push against Big things like Big Pharma and in your words, Big Dental. Say no to flouride and do not let them talk you out of it. We now know that shit is way more expensive and the dentists can’t even give you a good reason why you should use it when you ask them, sunglasses on and everything.

You say what you learned and I say what I learned and then we bind it all together in a book for the future us or the future’s future.
We help prepare each other for battle in case anyone gives us push back when we assert our opinions.

One day if we forget the way we used to do things, we’ll consult the book and nod familarly at what we already know somewhere deep in the core of us.

“a moment of time” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday April 23, 2019
9:00pm
5 minutes
Stepbrothers
Don Shewey

This, my love, is for you: I want to acknowledge your life. What a great gift. Isn’t that funny, that even on your birthday, you are still the one giving? I love you. I want to say that first in case I run out of time. I LOVE YOU! I wanted to yell that once so you could hear it all the way where you are. Where are you now? Taking a moment out of time and stringing it on a long chain to wear around your neck? You could do that. I think you could do anything. If I were there I’d say this to you, but hearing it so many times would get old. Here’s a good place to make a joke about age but I actually don’t find that funny at all. I find it inspiring. I’m so glad you are growing and knowing and finding yourself inside. What’s to laugh at about that? I’m not saying no laughter, cause let’s be real, your perspective is never boring. It’s perfectly dark. Perfectly edgy. Perfectly you. Happy birthday! I love you. Ah see, I would never run out.

“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?

“no matter how uncomfortable staying has become.” by Julia on the 99

Sunday March 10, 2019
5:27pm
5 minutes
Devil With a Briefcase
Jan Janzen

Hey if you’re reading this, this is for you. I know you as a 14 year old girl with bruised calves and giant beaded necklaces. I know the you that regifted me a notebook with an angel on the front cover and a devil on the back. You didn’t know at the time I wasn’t the type to like that sort of thing or that my reasons were the same as yours were when you gave it away. I know you in the mouldy elevator singing at the top of our lungs, performing on the cafeteria stage wearing matching scarves, sitting in the student council office during 3rd period spare. I know you falling to your knees with joy the day I brought you back a crispy chicken sandwich after lunch.

“You must unlearn the habit of being someone else” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday March 9, 2019
8:14pm
5 minutes
A quote from Herman Hesse

We are all just doing the best we can right? Or, maybe not all of us, but most of us are. When I meet you, you are charcoal fingertips and over-steeped green tea. That was a long time ago. I know that I want to be someone like you, but not quite you, a little less smoky, a little less bitter. You are looking for salvation, or at least a good kisser. I am looking for someone who can teach me about caring less what people think. That was a long time ago. My breath catches when I realize that we’re drifting, that we’re changing, that we’re leaning away. I’ll keep this my secret until you find it, in the front pocket of your red suitcase, or underneath the stairs.

“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.

“unapologetic about her love of narcotics.” By Julia at Ocean Village

Friday February 1, 2019
8:41pm
5 minutes
Orange Is The New Black
Piper Kerman

I met her the night we dropped MDMA and spoke with sweat and sweet and true and good
I was grateful for the peaks of love that kiss sunlight
So high the only thing we could do was see each other

The time before that we found cocaine on the bump of her key, the public bathrooms at every place we ended up: the bar, the house party, the tennis court, after moving a rustic ladder from the back of my apartment to her’s—wearing heels and dressed ready
We felt like we were made of arms

The same two of us, and deeper,
found a butterfly sanctuary on the day we were decided on being real joy

“It’s her first time here” by Sasha at work

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
2:17pm
5 minutes
I Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind
Marianne Apostolides

He calls from where the snow is
from where the gulls call or at least
that’s how I imagine it

Whenever I write like this I think
about the lectures on line breaks and rhythm
and how I wonder if I’m taking my own notes

I step into a cold classroom and coo sympathy
because that’s what he deserves and coo
support because that’s what he needs

Friendship is one of the greatest gifts
in my life and when one of these
dear hearts needs boundless love

I reach down and out and up and through
and it is such a pleasure to give

“Hard as it may be to believe” by Julia on S’s couch

Tuesday October 2, 2018
8:40pm
5 minutes
Beneath Our Feet
Redfern Jon Barrett

when you trust someone you don’t catch all the warning signs that float in and out of consciousness
you believe everything they say and do and prove
you don’t look for reasons why they should be hunting you
not in the folds of the couch or buried deep beneath a compliment

when you trust someone else more than you trust yourself
you don’t think their help will hurt you
you don’t think their generosity will silently strip the screws from your chair and watch as your backbone slowly caves in
leaving you defenceless
when they tell you they think you an equal
you will consider it a kindness, a gift until you realize the fact that they tell you that at all
kicks the level playing field out from your feet

“whose eyes are a thousand blind windows:” by Julia in Amanda’s kitchen

Tuesday August 7, 2018
11:52pm
5 minutes
Howl
Allen Ginsberg

We wait for each other to stop speaking
silence drifting between us in our car seats
Sometimes saying nothing is saying everything
How shame lives in my cheeks when I can’t
“say nothing”
“say nothing”

We spend three hours staring into each others’ eyes
separated by green tea and a key chain
and some blurry tears streaming without warning
We don’t call me what I am but later I feel it
The reckoning of too much information shared
Too much honesty not yet checked in the echo

We both say how lovely it is and how sad it was
and how soon we will do this again
nobody is crying now
The summer night too hot for tears to puddle

“a flickering lamp, a phantom” by Julia on the couch at the Airbnb

Thursday July 12, 2018
9:41pm
5 minutes
Diamond Sutra
Buddha

We sit in the dark.
Connie tells me, “These wafer cookies taste like they cost only a dollar.”
I tell her, “that’s because they do cost only a dollar. People who buy these don’t by them for quality, they buy them because they’re trying to bury the thing inside them that keeps them itching.”
Connie says, “Who has a face long enough to shove one of these in without biting?”
And I say, “What in the world are you talking about?”
Connie says, “These things leave crumbs everywhere like a motherfucker. I’m not Hansel and Gretel. I don’t need someone to follow the path of them all the way back to me. Me and my face trying to hide the sadness in my stomach.”
I don’t really know why she keeps eating them except for the fact that she might be one of those people who eat the wafers that the people trying to bury the thing inside them buy so she can at least complain about them.
Connie says, “They leave a film on the roof of your mouth. What is that?”
“Regret”, I tell her. “Or something like it.”

“in that beautiful mind” by Sasha in the Kiva

Wednesday June 20, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
All Of Me
John Legend

It brews in the guts for months and I wonder why I’m streaming rivers
It raises as a wail on a phone call and I feel sick with the wondering if I am not enough of a friend for this
But that isn’t it
That isn’t it

He’s held a throne since before we met so I don’t even know a world in which things are different
But it’s been in my guts since then since forever ago since before we met
So
Now it almost feels like I’ve missed my chance
But I know I haven’t
The chance is always there

I’m not sure how I’ll tell you
I’m not sure when is the best moment
Haven’t had a weight like this in awhile
Clouds over my eyes dimming the blue
Brick on my chest
Marble in my throat
Tears just almost there
Eyes the lake in the morning

I guess it’s not about what to do
It’s not about what to say or not say
It’s not about leaving
It’s about being with the truth in guts and sharing that with you
That something is off in the painting of the house on the hill on the island and I’ve always felt it I’ve always known
Maybe then I didn’t trust
Or I wished I would
Wished I could

As complicated as telephone wires strung above our heads
A spark
A deep breath
Here goes

“Resource Recovery” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday May 22, 2018
11:21pm
5 minutes
From an apartment garbage bin

All is okay now that we’ve touched hearts again
Now that the sky has turned from blue to black
Now that the space between is a bridge of goodness
We eat baby carrots and we drink from glasses
That’ve never touched these lips
These new places all new all fresh all free

My breath catches a million times and it’s okay
Because you know this kind of ache
Because you get where we’ve been and where we are
And where we’re going
It’s gonna take time we say
And we’re right
We know
We trust that this is where we’re supposed to be
Where we are

Riding home
Up hills and over potholes
I laugh and sing a song about travel
I make it up as I pedal pedal pedal
Like you would
Make it up on the spot
Gift it to you

“connection as friends.” By Sasha at the BMO Theatre Centre

Monday, March 5, 2018
6:42pm
5 minutes
I Know How You Feel
F. Diane Barth

She’s used to having her
pick of friends.
Like,
she walks into a room,
takes everyone in,
says to herself,
“YOU”
(sprinkle of magic,
shake of cool dust)
and that’s it.

End of story.

It happened like that
with us. Me and her.

I was in the lecture
hall of Anthropology 100,
minding my own business,
reading a book. I think
I was reading Rilke.

She spotted me,
all hot eyes and focus,
and came over.
She said,
“Anyone sitting here?”
I said,
“Nope.”
She was majoring in
Women’s Studies.
My major was
Undeclared.

It happened like that
with us. Me and her.

“hesitating to” by Julia on Amanda’s tub

Saturday December 30, 2017
2:08am
5 minutes
From a tweet

Tell you the truth

Telling myself first

Listening

Believing you’re right

Believing I’m wrong

Go to the bathroom

Leaving the moment

Leaving the bar

Say something I’ll regret

To let you get away with it all

To let you have the last word

To agree with you

Disagree

Cry in front of you

Tell you about the hurt

Relive the hurt

Let you see me hurt

Be hurt

Ask for clarification

To cry when you cry

To hug you

To tell you I love you

To relive the past

To share what I’m feeling

To apologize

Fight

Forgive

Order another drink

Let you leave in anger

Keep you there in anger

Fight

Forgive

Fight

Forgive

Ask you to write me something

Ask you to read something

Admit I don’t know

“more than 20 pages” by Sasha on her balcony


Monday September 11, 2017
1:15am
5 minutes
from bcartscouncil.ca

I haven’t written anything in forty three days
I feel like shit
I want to live in my bed amongst stray hairs and dust bunnies
I won’t take the dog out
She can shit on the balcony in the herbs I haven’t watered

This is what you tell me

I hold your grief for the millionth hour
And I watch as you fall into her like a lover
I cradle your grief here in this public space
In this shop where there’s croissants and babies

We are etched into one another’s star signs
We are tattooed on our guts
We are sisters here in this hot asphalt jungle
Cars honking and streetcars lurching

This is what I tell you

“not a permanent” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday June 28, 2017
11:32pm
5 minutes
From an email

“It’s not permanent,” Izzy says, braiding my hair. I love the feeling, and ask her to do it any chance I get. There’s a chicken roasting in the oven and we’ll eat it whenever it’s done. Doesn’t matter that it’s almost eleven. Izzy’s parents own a restaurant so they are always out at night, and it’s prime hang time. They stock their house with these amazing ingredients. Her Dad even went to Italy a few weeks ago, just to get cheese and tomato sauce and flour. Izzy only came out of her shell when we started hanging out. Before that she barely spoke. She’d read and make bracelets in the bleachers at lunch.

“hangover tomorrow” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday April 30, 2017
10:45pm
5 minutes
from an
adman media Instagram story


When Miley says goodbye she leans in close so you can smell her. She doesn’t wear a scent or anything. It’s her natural smell. You breathe it in, without being obvious. You remember when Chuck Landspergas, who sat behind you in AP English, used to sniff your hair and how obvious he was about it. No tact. Miley’s phone dings and she’s on it, right away, that’s how she does. You pretend not to be interested, but you are. You really are. You always are. “I’m meeting Bee at the movie theatre in an hour…” She says, reading your mind.

“I wish that we could talk about it” by Sasha at her desk


Monday April 17, 2017
11:46am
5 minutes
Someone Great
LCD Soundsystem

It’s the kind of morning that your mother
used to yawn about Laying in bed with a book
and a cold tea on the nightstand
The golf ball is in your throat again
but maybe this Earl Grey will wash it
down

It’s not a crisis of faith you hear yourself
say to your oldest friend It’s not anything
like that

“Does this one need closure too?!” By Julia on the 99


Sunday February 5, 2017
11:34pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Quebec and west Broadway

“Does this one need closure too?” Lara bellowed, incredulous that she was getting another phone call after just exclaiming how “done” she was. Kya snatched Lara’s phone put of her hand and jogged a few feet away, leaving one of her hands up as defense against her ever fuming friend. “Ask her if she wants a reason! Ask her!” Lara was pressing her thumbnail into her forefinger to keep her from biting off her own tongue. She wanted to feel blood.
“Tell her that she’s not welcome in this friendship anymore-tell her that and to go love herself!”
Kya shook her head emphatically from side to side and turned her back.

“their grass-stained skin” by Sasha in the Kiva


Wednesday December 21, 2016
11:36pm
5 minutes
So Full Of Light
Marie Specht Fisher


We thought we were sisters until we were
too old to take baths together and we started
hissing and picking the knobs off
backs instead Sometimes you’d paint my nails
a colour that I would never choose
Lavender or indigo or charcoal
I’d refuse to wash dishes those weeks
or bathe because I didn’t want the you
on me to chip I didn’t want the choices
you’d made to fall away from my fleshy form

We rubbed grass-stained skin together and
started a fire that our fathers and their
fathers fathers couldn’t put out

“get shared and discovered” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday May 4, 2016
12:47pm
5 minutes
From the back of a pamphlet

“I want to write about female friendship, but no one publishes it,” Rhonda picks at the scab on her forearm. She just got a tattoo covered up. A rose covering a butterfly. “Fuck butterflies,” she says. I remember when she got that tattoo. We were eighteen. She wouldn’t shut up about the fact that it was her spirit animal and a “governing force in the journey of her life”.

“I’m getting more iced tea,” Rhonda stretches, standing up from the picnic table. The bench has made a line on her thighs. Her cutoffs are riding up. “Want some?” She’s in through the screen door.

“Yeah, sure,” I say, putting on more sunscreen.

“feel free to talk to me” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday April 19, 2016
9:36pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Dearest Dot,
I am wearing the friendship bracelet you sent me in your last letter as I write you this letter in response. It is beautiful. You have such knack for colour coordination and choosing the coordinating colours that suit me best. My favourite part is the little H stitched in. How did you do that? You must send a tutorial for me to try in your next letter. Before I forget, I wanted to enclose some photos of me and my family while we were camping at Driftwood Beach this summer. I think you’ll find a pleasant surprise in the photo with me and Elsie holding her fetch ball in her mouth! Won’t spoil the surprise but I wanted to give you a heads up to look for it. Joshua tried to kiss me again behind the big elm tree in my backyard. I told him that if he keeps doing it I’ll have to find someone else to be in my play. I heard Benjamin and his brother, Nick, wanted to be in it but are too shy to talk to me. I wonder why that is? I like talking to everybody! I hope that you feel like you can talk to me? I mean I know you do because you always write back! Well I hope you know that I want you to feel free to talk to me about anything. Even this request!

Until next time,
Heath Heath

“What? What’s wrong?” by Sasha in Cowichan Bay


Monday, March 28, 2016
11:02pm
5 minutes
From some sides

“What’s wrong with you, Loretta?”

Biddie is superstitious. She pours some salt from the shaker shaped like a chicken into her palm and tosses it over her shoulder.

They’ve been in this Highway Diner for what feels like seventeen years. Loretta can’t tell Biddie what’s wrong. It’s far too complicated.

“I’m just sad I didn’t get to say bye to Malcolm and Lilly… Especially with Lilly’s concert coming up. I’m just… sad.” Loretta wishes they hadn’t thrown their cellphones out the window while doing war-cries.

“They’ll forgive you, Lo. Promise.” Biddie eats a mouthful of flapjacks and a bit of syrup drips onto her chin.

“you can work on in your backyard” by Sasha in the bath


Wednesday March 23, 2016
11:23pm
5 minutes
viralnova.com

Alice: I have money to get where I’m going…
Bree: Why does it sound like you’re trying to convince yourself?
Alice: I do! I am…
Bree: It’s going to be okay.
Alice: You don’t know that.
Bree: When you get there, go find a place to get a grilled cheese sandwich. It will help it feel like home.
Alice: That’s a good idea… Are you sure you can’t come?
Bree: Monty needs me. I work tomorrow.
Alice: Call in sick.
Bree: I can’t.
Alice: Why not? How long has it been since you did something for yourself?
Bree: This isn’t for myself, Alice! It’s for you!

“poignant revelations about life” By Julia on her couch


Sunday March 6, 2016
9:25pm
5 minutes
mic.com

Sirrah comes over to my house and tells me she is craving ice cream and fried chicken.
She says she’s been craving it since last week. I know immediately that She is pregnant. She never eats fried chicken. I don’t even really believe that she’s craving it now, but I don’t doubt that she is hoping I clue in and ask why she’d ever want to do such an out of character thing.
Sirrah drops another hint about laying off white wine spritzers for a while, even though I haven’t actually offered her anything. She talks a lot about how this life is so short and how we have to find our purpose through offerings and sacrifice. I want to punch Sirrah right in her first trimester. Trying to pass down life lessons to me without asking for permission. I don’t like that she assumes I want the same things as she does. I am perfectly happy without some other human to depend on me- complicating everything. I know that sounds bitter but it isn’t. If I wanted a baby, trust me, there could have been plenty of opportunities.

“awaken in the morning’s hush” by Julia at a Sichuan restaurant on West Broadway


Tuesday February 2, 2016
3:18pm
5 minutes
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye


Over the years that I’ve known her, Shawna has never arrived anywhere on time. I don’t think she’s particularly proud of this habit, but I’ve also never seen her try to fix it. She apologizes, sure, don’t get me wrong, but she is always, always late. I wonder what she does every morning before she meets me or gets to her appointments. We meet at 11:30 because she can’t get there any earlier. I seriously wonder what her schedule looks like, what she prioritizes, what she lets slip away. I’ve also never once been to Shawna’s house. It’s so mysterious but perhaps I am more curious because I want to see if any of my speculations are true: does she make the bed twice because she can’t help but jump on it after she makes it the first time? Does she stay up all night, victim of insomnia, and finally catch her sleep when the rest of the world is waking up? Is she hiding a small family of raccoons in her basement that she doesn’t want anyone to see?

“Rainfall warning” by Sasha on the couch at Pascoe Rd.


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:36pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

What you can do:
Be present.
Hold space.
Actually listen (ie. refrain from thinking about whether or not your lover just texted a sexy picture of their shoulders or what you’re going to have for dinner).
Breathe deep and feel your feet on the floor.
Bring Sleepytime tea and a hot water bottle with a dog on it. Even if there’s a rainfall warning or a blizzard or you really just want to stay in your pyjamas and watch reruns of Nashville.
Stay for a sleepover and rub her back until she’s sleeping even if you are also tired. Wait until she falls asleep and then you can follow.

What you can say:
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I love you.”
“I support whatever choice you make.”
“I believe you.”

“is your weapon” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday November 7, 2015
11:46pm
5 minutes
from the back cover of Watchdogs

We pinky swear that we’ll only kiss guys (or girls) named “Chris”
I stick to it
Three months of
“What’s your name?”
Fingers crossed under the bar
You fail
Ever the sucker for “Bobbi” and “Shannon”
I catch you with “Fred” and you don’t even make an excuse
Broken promises like the flu
I pretend not to care but I do
I really do
We pinky swear that we’re going to Croatia at Christmas
I don’t want to see my family
and you want an excuse to not have to see “Fred”
“Just end it”
“I can’t”
“Why not?”
“Too precious”
It’s the second week of December and I ask if you’ve
booked your ticket
“I’m broke”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I felt too bad”
“Now I’m really fucked”
“I’m sorry”
“Now I’m going to be in Zagreb alone hoping Santa doesn’t forget me”

“it brings out the deliciousness” by Sasha on her couch


Sun, October 18, 2015
4:29pm
5 minutes
The Ayurvedic Cookbook
Amadea Morningstar & Urmila Desai


Jay gets back from the woods and he’s different. He went to tree plant for a summer and stayed for four years. You got an email from him that simply said, “i’m staying”. No capitalization or punctuation. Just those two words. He gets back from the woods and the colour of his eyes has changed. We meet on Main St. for a beer and he takes me in like he never has before. He takes me in like a mirage, or the fall colours. I ask if he was lonely and he says he wasn’t. I ask if he’s weirded out by the concrete and the new buses. He says he isn’t. He asks if we’re still friends and I say, yeah, but it’s a bit of a lie because since he’s been gone we’ve only hung out a couple of times. His new eyes glaze over when I say this. He looks at his hands. They look like the hands of a father, the hands of someone who knows things about maple syrup and skinning rabbits.

“Doll factory.” by Julia on her couch


Monday, August 24, 2015
12:43am
5 minutes
a receipt

When I look at your face, I remember my best friend from the 10th grade. I thought I had found my soulmate. Someone who I could talk easily with, be always welcome at her house, be always welcome in her life. I would have done anything for her and I thought she would have done anything for me. We’re not friends anymore, but you and her are so much alike that I can’t tell if it’s on purpose or if I just miss the good things about her and I’m forgetting all the bad. I know you’re different people. I know that. But your laugh is the same and the way you move like a dancer is the same. And the way you hug me is the same. So sometimes I feel like I’ve found my soulmate again: someone who understands me and encourages me and sees me. But then I worry if one can turn sour, maybe another one can do. You might not be cut from the exact same cloth, but in my fear pit lives the defenses that you in fact might be.

“Let me get what I want this time” by Sasha on her porch


Monday, August 17, 2015
5:11pm
5 minutes
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
The Smiths


All of my life I longed for a friend like you
Someone who would wear purple when I would wear blue
I wished on every birthday candle and every shooting star
That someone would appear who is just as you are
The day that I met you I felt everything shift
Like an earthquake or a season or an iceberg set adrift
I am writing to say I love you and that I always will
I am writing to say you’re the best and I’ll never get my fill
I think you’re the most creative person I have ever met
And your incredible curiosity means your mind is never set
You’re adventurous and funny and your smile lights the night
When you are by my side everything feels right

“good energy vibes” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday, July 16, 2015
7:57pm
5 minutes
From a text

The year I changed how I wrote my lower case “A’s” I met Dallas. He looked me up and down and said, “I like your style…” He had an accent that I’d never heard before, which isn’t saying much.

“You’ve got good energy vibes,” I said, three hours and two tubs of raspberry sorbet later. Dallas’ Dad made it from scratch and sold it to health food stores. Sometimes Dallas helped him with deliveries.

“Can I come?” I asked, one particularly hot Saturday morning. We took turns sleeping over at one another’s houses – we spent Friday nights in his basement on camping mats and we spent Saturdays in my sister’s room because she had a double bed. She was away at college and couldn’t get mad at us for not washing our feet before crawling in.

“I’ve never had a friend like you,” I told Dallas and he rolled his eyes and laughed.

“legs crossed and notebooks open.” by Julia on her patio


Fridayy May 29, 2015
9:43m
5 minutes
Intro to Happiness
J. Allyn Rosser


Brooke had that lisp she was self conscious about so she was avoiding esses this week. Her best friend Phoebe told Brooke that she would say all the hard ess words for her until she was comfortable doing them on her own. Brooke wanted to trade with Phoebes, make it nice and equal, so she offered her the small Doritos snack that her dad had snuck into her lunch that morning when Brooke’s mom was putting Leon into his new leg braces. She knew Phoebe didn’t get Doritos snacks in her lunches, just sandwiches that smelled of bananas. Phoebe liked to swing her lunch bag around and she was always bruising the nice yellow bananas her mom packed for her.

“scoop up all the trash” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Thursday May 7, 2015 at Higher Grounds
3:29pm
5 minutes
from http://www.ecokids.ca

Don’t pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess. I did, and look where it got me. Broke, broken-hearted, broken set of toes… Damn. Still got my cowboy hat and still got my pride, though. No one can ever take those two away from me. Look, Sandro, I don’t wanna freak you out, but, like, you pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess and you’re never gonna be happy. I mean, I don’t think life is really about being happy, but it’s about being, like, peaceful or something. It’s only when you’re scooping up the trash of your life that you realize – you did everything for her and nothing for you. You’ve spent almost a decade sucking up to someone who wishes she were royalty. She’s not! If you’d just stuck to your guns and told her that when you first got together, “Honey, you’re from Campbell River, you’re never gonna be Cinderella, get over yourself…” maybe things would’ve worked out a little differently. I want the best for your Sandro, I don’t want what happened to me to happen to you… I mean, what am I supposed to do now? I’m forty two. I’m supposed to start over?

“A rare chance” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Tuesday May 5, 2015
10:20am
5 minutes
A Friends of Chamber Music brochure

“It’s a rare chance, Al,” Clare says, painting the big toe of my right foot. “I think you need to go for it…” Her hands are cold and I think about when we met, tadpoles in overalls and baseball hats. “I just can’t imagine going so far away, it seems so extreme…” “You’ll be fine,” she blows on my toes and I laugh, pulling my foot away. “That tickles!” “Don’t jerk around! You’ll mess them up!” She furrows her eyebrows. “What time is the concert tonight?” “I thought you said you’d bought your ticket?” “I…” “Claire!” “I’ll get it at the door!” “You’re just waiting to see if something more interesting turns up. I know you.” “I am certainly not doing that… My credit card was cut off, I, I can’t book anything online and I didn’t want to ask someone to cover for me…” “Shit. Sorry.” “It’s okay.” “I’ll ask again about getting you on the guest list?” “I’m happy to pay…” “I’ll ask again.”

“The sound of cracking bones” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday April 22, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

This one is a nod to three old friends from a former existence who found each other again in this current one. Their souls were already promised to one another and they were happiest then when they loved each other without question. There is a story about a hotel room and sharing beds and drugs and jokes and chips. It’s a good story. It started with a road trip and it ended with truck stop ice cream. In the middle there was a lot of laughter and unexpected ease. In the middle middle there was a promise wedged in that this would be how it is. When these three old friends met in a different dimension, they exchanged a round of flat stones they found in the ocean that represented loyalty and acceptance and longevity. There was a grand speech made in that different lifetime that would inspire their strength in this one.

“always more for less!” By Julia on Jessica and Rick’s couch


Thursday, April 15, 2015
12:12am
5 minutes
A Food Basics store sign

Shondra decided to leave a half drunk bottle of Trapiche right beside my computer. It was a nice thing that she did until the contents of the bottle found its way in all the cracks of the keyboard. I was mad at Shondra for being so thoughtful, cause if she had just finished the bottle, there would have been no spillage, or ruinage of my very expensive new laptop. However, she is a good person and it’s not her fault, per-say, that now my life is in shambles. No, that’s not fair. It’s not the worst thing to happen to me. It’s not like I lost a limb or a loved one. Just all my pertinent information, work, and browsing history. I hear how it sounds. I’m the dirt-bag for even saying it. I spilled the wine. It was me. I can’t be trusted. I can’t do anything. Shondra, I’m sorry. I’m not mad at you. I’m mad at me. I’m always more mad at me than anyone but.. I guess I like to first put blame elsewhere cause I’m so fed up with being so bad.

“Ungouge yourself” by Sasha at Benny’s


Friday, April 16, 2015 at Benny’s Cafe
11:17am
5 minutes
A yak.ca bus ad

Climbing into the oldest pair of pants I own, khakis that I got at a flea market when I was fifteen, I consider leaving this place. I won’t, of course, because Pete’s here and he needs me, but I have to give myself the gift of consideration. So, I’m painting the first floor. The furniture is moved away from the walls, draped in old sheets. The rollers are in from the garage, and I got discount paint at that place on Adelaide. It’s hot. Summer is full-bodied here, all sticky sleeps and popsicle drips. I might leave. Pete is getting worse. No one wants to say it, but it’s true. When he goes, I’ll leave. No one will need me anymore. That sounds sad, but I don’t mean it in that way. I’ll be free. Pete texts. “Can you bring orange juice?” He’s never liked orange juice, but chemo has left him wanting strange things, things he never had a taste for, like pulled pork and Oreo cookies.

“Sunday’s paper still lies flat open from earlier” by Sasha on her living room floor


Sunday January 25, 2015
10:24am
5 minutes
adult-mag.com

It’s okay if you wanna talk about the rain and where to get the best push up bra in this rainy city. It’s okay if you wanna not eat sugar (even the kind that’s like a birthday present from Mother Nature… Maple syrup, anyone?) It’s okay if you wanna leave yourself every once and a while, vis a vis bourbon or weed or MDMA. It’s okay if you bail on me, for the third time in two weeks, via a sad face and a missed call (me to you). It’s okay if you wanna purge your closet, selling your clothes for a fraction of what you paid, only to spend more on new clothes and new clothes and new clothes. It’s okay if you forget about the anniversary of my brother’s death and then ask why I’m not coming out tonight and then get awkward when I say why. It’s okay if you just wanna come over and lie on the floor with me and suck your thumb like you used to and be in the big silence.

“crisis points but also the potential for major realizations” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday January 3, 2015
8:14pm
5 minutes
http://www.mysticmama.com

Glad you got my Christmas card. I didn’t know you don’t celebrate Christ holidays anymore. Sorry about that. Didn’t intend to offend. I can’t believe how big Leila has gotten. She looks like you. It’s marvellous. We had a quiet Christmas. Doug was stuck in Denver so it was just me and my Mom. She’s got hair again. It’s really great. I made short ribs and we watched about twelve episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. I cried three times in every episode. My Mom laughed at me. Doug arrived home on Boxing Day with really nice flannel PJ’s for all three of us and we spent the day in them, drinking eggnog and making fun of the people who thought it would be a good idea to go for a walk. Walk when it’s nice out! Not in the middle of a snowstorm apocalypse! It was weird not having you close for the holidays. The first since before we met… It’s funny, it’s almost like I wasn’t alive before I met you. That sounds morbid. I don’t mean it in a morbid way… What I mean is, I can’t remember before I knew you. That’s just wild.

“friends to build your community” by Sasha on the couch in Mississauga


Monday December 22, 2014
9:12am
5 minutes
from grooveshark.com

I want to tell you something small. And massive. And yellow. I want to tell you about moving across ice, fawn legged, and reaching up to catch a tired branch and missing. I want to tell you about the shame in my hips, tight and sepia toned, how she hums when the nights are cold, how she moans when the fire has turned to embers. I want to tell you how I see the tired in your smile, how I see the memories of before and the forgetting of now. I want to tell you to stop reading the Tabloids, that slow drip of mediocrity, and I want to tell you that I won’t judge you if you don’t stop, but I will keep shoving books of poetry under your bed in hopes that you’ll find them when you’re most filled with longing.

“party town ballon time!” by Sasha in the bath


Wednesday November 12, 2014
10:02pm
5 minutes
From a text from Bec

Hey babe,
How’s it going? How was Jenny’s birthday? Party town balloon time?! I wish I could’ve been there. I miss you sooooooooo much. Like, you don’t even know. It sucks being here. My Dad is cool and my Mom is trying her best not to be a bitch but my brother? Oh my god. I honestly think that he’s an undiagnosed sociopath. Like, fully. He’s collecting dead bugs and archiving them on his wall. The wall of his room. My Mom says, “Leave him be…” as though there’s nothing weird going on at all. And he is totally obsessed with video games. He has a TV in his room now and sometimes he doesn’t even come out for meals. Mom leaves food outside his door like he’s in prison. It’s so weird. If I didn’t have Denny’s I would shoot myself in the head. But, I’m saving money, so that’s good. I guess. Ever since that DUI my parents aren’t helping with tuition so… I have to do what I have to do. I don’t want to be a bum my whole life so I have to finish this stupid degree.

“not long before you get there with us.” By Sasha at The Arts Club


Saturday November 8, 2014 at The Arts Club
7:41pm
5 minutes
From serialpodcast.org

His eyes are sand
Swirling golden turmeric honey
His eyes are searching
Sky reach twisting to cloud
His eyes tell me how
Why and when and where
His eyes are the reason I come back
Come back and come back and come back
“I want to write a book” he says
I don’t believe it
I shudder and I bite my nail
“I want to write a book about my mother” he says
I stand up and open the window
Even though it’s below zero

“you have to take your hat off to the French” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday November 6, 2014
6:57pm
5 minutes
Vedge by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby

You have to take your hat off to the French. You really do. Those women manage to remain thin as a pussy-willow whilst eating all that butter and cheese! And those men? So fashionable. When I was in Paris for my year abroad in college, I was just struck by the beautiful nature of that entire people! You really have to hand it to them. And so stylish! Sipping their Cafe Au Lait and eating their Crepes! Good grief. If only we took a page out of their book, you know? Here we are, nasty Americans, drinking Coors Lite and eating Big Macs, while the French roll cigarettes and wear capris! I should’ve been born there. I’m really a black sheep here, I always have been. I should go back. Would you like to go?! We could go together! Let’s see if there’s a seat sale! There’s a seat sale! Okay. When are you free? January? Paris in January is probably absolutely breathtaking. I can’t imagine that they get very much snow… More of a dusting, a sprinkling…

“Same words in another language” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday October 1, 2014
11:43pm
5 minutes
from a collage in a classroom

You asked if you could cheat off of me
And I said yes
Because it’s what I’m trained for
Golden Retriever
Revolver
Believer
You asked for my answers and I gave them
And when our fingers touched
Three ring lined paper
Thin
like you
Thick
like me
I felt that thunder
That electric sound
That deep growl
I wanted you to stay
You left
Right
You left
Right
You left
I wanted to say
I’ll give you everything
I’ll shape your hopes into cookies
and I will bake them
I’ll paddle to your cabin
and wait
Wait
Wait for you to come back
Late
I’m early
It’s on me
You go
Quicker than laugher
I’m left
Right
Left
Right
Watching your hair move
like water

“All of you come here” by Sasha on her futon (on the floor)


Sunday September 21, 2014
10:43pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the beach in Levanto

Hey,

I’m writing because Skype is bullshit. When your face freezes I feel like I’m losing something I never truly had and I can’t bear it. So, what I was saying when we got cut off is… I’m glad that you’re taking care of yourself but I worry about Bubble Syndrome. You know, that thing that happens and is awkward to talk about when you forget to call your father and you forget to text me and you end up in the bubble of your own head, of your own Halifax and it’s… painful. It’s painful the most, it’s the most painful for you, I think. You have this notion that you’re taking care of yourself, that you’re holing up with your work in a good way, but, be careful. Sometimes it’s not good. Sometimes it’s nasty and you smell like a hedgehog. Eat spinach and stuff, okay? If you only eat beef jerky and barbecue chips you will get scurvy. That’s not even a maybe. That’s a for sure.