“strikes out at the enemy” by Sasha at her desk

Friday November 17, 2017
5:43pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chodron

Lindsay never believed in enemies until she met Luis. She knew she didn’t like him from the moment she met him. It was a Tuesday morning staff meeting, and he was hoarding the pastries and the Coconut Creamer.

“You must be the new girl…” He said, biting into a danish. A bit of blueberry rested on his lower lip.

Lindsay thought about schooling him on the micro-aggression of using “girl” instead of “woman”. How would she do this without sounding bitchy? Does she have the right to be bitchy? She decides that yes, she does have the right.

“I’m forty-two.” She said, grabbing a slice of granny smith apple

“others take longer than expected” by Sasha on her couch


Monday August 14, 2017
12:21am
5 minutes
From a greeting card

You take a blonde into a washroom stall and kiss her harder than you’ve ever kissed. You slur your “maybes” and “okay” and you take a taxi home, alone. You wonder how all these phone numbers got in your speed dial and who is Kendra and who is Sara and who is Tandy. You wonder about the Hardy Boys. Mike used to read to you when you were falling asleep. You liked that. You don’t read much anymore, other than the Internet. Is that still considered reading?

“your body is not his home.” By Julia in her cabin


Saturday February 25, 2017
9:03am
5 minutes
milk and honey
-rupi kaur


When I was 7 my mother babysat a boy named Benjamin who was my age, and his two younger brothers. Ben had white blond hair and white blond eyebrows and he swore like a sailor. He had a lot of excess saliva, always pooling at the base of his tongue so when he spoke he shot out spurts or sometimes entire globules of spit. I thought this made him cute. I thought his boyish hair was something to brag about. One day we were playing in my room and Benjamin asked if we could sit in my closet. I didn’t know what he wanted to do but I do know that going into the closet was slightly wrong. It felt bad. I wanted to be bad with Benjamin. We brought Barbies and then sat in there on the floor with the lights on just staring at each other. Ben suggested that we show each other our private parts and I thought, yeah, alright, I don’t see why not.

“We talked at length about it” by Julia at her dining room table


Friday, December 18, 2015
6:36pm
5 minutes
Dispatched To The Derwent
Malcolm Dale


Greer reaches down to pull up her knee socks that never seem to stay at the knee. She leans over in her chair disappearing under the table for a moment while Brody shifts in his spot, uneasy about a lot of things, in addition to the fact that Greer is no longer making eye-contact as he explains himself.
Greer’s stupid socks keep bunching in her shoes! That’s why they never stay up, they are being pulled down but her toes or something equally as lame! She lets out a tiny laugh.
“What? What is it?”
Brody doesn’t like unexpected bouts of laughter. He doesn’t like being the butt of anyone’s joke.
“Sorry, I, it’s nothing, really. What were you saying?”
“No, seriously, just tell me!”
“It’s actually not worth repeating, but, I’m fully listening, please continue.”
Brody starts to chew on the inside of his lower lip. He Has created a patch of bite marks, raised to the touch of the tongue, a tiny graveyard of anxious scars.

“I really like hugs” by Julia on her couch


Monday November 30, 2015
11:00pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Vancouver Poetry Slam

I showered for this. I just want you to know that. It’s that level of important to me. You are that level of important to me. This is harder than I want it to be. I hope you won’t make me explain in different words cause I’m not too good at that part either. I am trying though. You said something to me the other day when you came over to my house with scones or whatever when my roommate was out? You said it’s nice to spend time together outside of work. And I wanted to tell you that I think so too and if I don’t seem like I agree, I just don’t know how to…meet you there quite yet. Not in the way that I want to. If you know what I–because I. You know. I’m sure you know. Also kick butt tonight. I know you’re gonna crush it. All the math and stuff.

“for a variety of reasons” by Julia in a car


Friday November 6, 2015
11:45am
5 minutes
Overheard at Moii Cafe

Carmen is sitting on the kitchen sink, banging her feet against the cupboard to the rhythm that she’s humming in her head. Boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
Ely stares at her with a sideways smile and his head cocked to the side. He’s in love with her. She’s the most fascinating thing he’s ever seen in his life.
Carmen feels his gaze but acts like she can’t tell. She pretends to be in her own world. She likes the attention Ely gives her. She likes that he likes her and that she could be bad, or better, and he wouldn’t even notice. She likes that he doesn’t hold her to a particular standard. She likes that he isn’t like everybody else.
Ely wants to kiss her but hasn’t felt like she’s invited him yet. His body remains tense and leaning against the counter. He casts his eyes down when it gets to be too much.
“Are you afraid of me or something?”
Carmen’s legs still going, boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
“Me? No I’m. I’m not afraid of you or something. I’m. I’m not afraid.”
“Well why are you way over there, then?”

“Grazie e Arrivederci” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday October 19, 2014
7:12pm
5 minutes
From a receipt

I had my own news show for a year. I cut out square in a microwave box and propped it up on a music stand. I glued a stick to the back of it and held it like a puppet. It was a real masterpiece. My 8 year old self would have been very pleased. Back then I didn’t have such elegant props. I had to improvise a lot. I had to rely on my imagination for everything. It’s really hard to produce a watchable television program without proper equipment and the right quality of cardboard. Try getting viewers with sub-par materials! I’m telling you, it makes you look cheap and no one will take you seriously, even if you’re reporting on relevant or exciting events.

“Grazie e Arrivederci” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday October 19, 2014
11:13am
5 minutes
From a receipt

A: I’m curious about your accent. Where are you from?
B: Rome.
A: I’ve never been to Italy, but it’s on my bucket list.
B: “Bucket list?”
A: Yeah, you know that list you keep of all the things you wanna do before you die?
B: I don’t have that list…
A: What?
B: I don’t have that “bucket”…
A: No, I mean, come on, everyone has a list, even if it’s just in their head, of the things they want to do before they –
B: Nope. Not me…
A: Bullshit.
B: Pardon?
A: I call “bullshit”!
B (laughs) You’re a very strange girl.
A: I’m not a girl.
B: Oh?
A: I’m a woman.
B: Excuse me.
A: So, you’re saying that you don’t want to see the Great Wall of China? Or, fly in a hot air balloon? Or, go on “The Maid of the Mists”? Or… see a volcano? Or, even, like, eat haggis or something?
B: I’ve seen the Great Wall of China –
A: Really?
B: Yes… My ex-wife did business in China so I went frequently in the early nineties.
A: Wow…

“Make a lasting impression.” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Friday May 30, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
4:40pm
5 minutes
L’OREAL ad in Flare Magazine
December 2011


Cool fingertips on my eyelids and that’s how we met
He said, you will change the world with your words
I said, tell me that again and again and again
He said, write me something beautiful–write me something that looks like you
And I died
And I died
And I died
He rocked his head from side to side to a rhythm I couldn’t hear
I said, what song is in your brain right now
And he said, the one you sang to me in your sleep last night
I said, the one about the moon?
And he said, you always sing about the moon.
Cool fingertips on my eyelids and that’s how we fell in love
He said, when you think that you can’t, remember this feeling, this calming
I said, will you come with me forever?
He said, I’ll try. I’ll try to stop time too if you need
And I died
And I died
And I died

“master of my own” by Julia on her couch


Friday May 23, 2014
1:10am
5 minutes
overheard on the streetcar

Oh My LANTA!!! ABBY!!! You’re looking like a real woman these days aren’t you! I can’t believe it, you’re so tall now. And look at those cheeks! Where did they even go? When you were little you used to have the chubbiest, fattest cheeks, I used to pinch ’em and tug ’em and cover ’em with so many kisses, my goodness, you used to hate that! Oh honey plum, I don’t even blame you! The whole world wanted to squeeze you dry, girlie, oh yes they did. I’m sorry about that now, but oh! I couldn’t help myself, they were just so darn big! And this dress you have on, let me take a look at you. Oh wow, spin around again, that is one heck of a figure you’ve got, now don’t you! I bet you drive all the boys crazy with those legs for days and days! Oh Abby, I used to have legs for days and days before the varicose veins and the knee surgeries, let me tell you a story! You know your father’s the one that bashed in my knee with a baseball all those years ago! I was pitching to him and he hit a line drive right into my bank account! I joke about that now because he felt so bad and all those treatments cost so much money cause I could barely stand! Oh but you!! You look wonderful!!

“She looked like anything but a winner” by Julia at R Squared Cafe


Monday, March 10 2014 at R Squared Cafe
4:55pm
5 minutes
The Bookman’s Wake
John Dunning


had the soles of her feet scratched up from the running
from the running with no shoes, no socks, no protection
just a little thing
not a lot to protect, small feet, but not a lot
had the lashes of her eyes all stuck together from the mud
from the mud rubbed into her face, from the falling down into the forests,
from the running with no shoes, no socks
from the running from herself to find herself
from the running from herself to find something that looked like home
had the tips of her fingers all bloody and bruised from the snatching
from the snatching of little bits of food from glass cases
from the snatching of little bits of hope sprinkled generously on all the tops of every barbed wire fence
from the running with no shoes, no socks
from the days that seemed warm but chilled her to the bones
had the dream of a future splattered across her face
from the running
from the running

“MOD, MINI, METALLIC” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Friday January 3, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
2:55pm
5 minutes
vintage shop on College

I haven’t seen her face yet. Just her skirts, and like, her hair from the back. I know I like that side of her a lot. Weird, like, I start imagining her face but there’s nothing specific about her features. You know, I just can’t seem to see those things, and yet, I know exactly what she looks like. Maybe cause I don’t want to wreck her. Or my expectations. Okay and I know that about myself. I can get my hopes up pretty high for practically anything and this is no different. But I don’t want her to fall short of my expectations without her even doing anything wrong. Not that she can. I mean, the girl is beautiful. I’m telling you, her legs. And that’s even when she’s wearing pants. It sounds so dumb to say it out loud, but I think this is how everyone should get to know the love of their life. Like, I’m not stupid and I know I don’t love her yet. Just I also know I could. And easily. I don’t know what she looks like. But that moment when I finally see her face…that first moment…it will be like that moment on Drop Zone where your heart shoots through your body and everything just…drops. That release, the difficulty to catch my breath…Yeah.

“10 days prior” by Sasha at her desk


Friday December 27, 2013
7:23pm
5 minutes
Application for a Special Occasions Permit

Ten days prior to the coldest day of the year, Marnie had a baby girl. They hadn’t found a name for her yet. Marnie had listened to every one of her seashells and searched in every recipe book, Bible and receipt envelope. No name had landed. Gideon cared less about the name and more about the colour of the walls of her room. Should he sponge-paint mauve or paper floral?

Ten days later, after twenty-seven hours of pushing and crying and drinking fresh squeezed citrus juice, they held a baby girl between them. Gideon turned to Marnie. “Well,” he said, not too loud so as to not disturb his sleeping daughter, “what’s it gonna be, buttercup?”

“The sheriff nodded.” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday, November 25, 2012
9:49pm
5 minutes
A Lesson Before Dying
Ernest J. Gaines


I wasn’t going anywhere without Lucy. I would be damned if they locked me up this very moment and I had to watch her watch me get taken in. I knew damn well that Lucy wasn’t going to be coming with me. And suddenly I realized: I couldn’t go either. I was stuck to that girl like glue, you understand. Her freckles, her smile. I was lost in her baby blues the first time I laid eyes on her. She was shivering in the cold, wet from the rain, and alone. And I picked up that perfect little girl, with the coat off of my own back, and I cradled her there. Remember singing to her until she fell asleep, poor thing. Couldn’t stop shaking until she was dreaming. I wanted her to know I was there, and that I wasn’t going no place else because we had developed a perfect bond, you see. I never wanted children. Not in my whole life. I wanted a dog, maybe a cat if I got too lonely, but never ever a kid. Then that day, her tiny body sitting in a pothole on the road? You think I’m going to turn my back on her? Absolutely impossible. Some sorry excuse for a human being left her there on purpose. Couldn’t care for her. Well I couldn’t either, but that didn’t stop me, you see what I mean. I was going to keep this girl alive if it were the last thing I did.
I didn’t want to explain that whole story to the sheriff. Something about his smirk told me he wouldn’t understand. Or if he would, I knew he just wouldn’t believe me.