“the hell days” by Sasha at Olive & Ruby

Saturday November 3, 2018
12:02pm at Olive & Ruby
5 minutes
Soil, Sun, and Soon
Daenna Van Mulligen

“Mom?” Mimi is braiding Felicity’s long red hair, the doll that Oma made for her when she was just a baby.

“Mmmm?” Mom is looking at her phone.

“Mom?” Mimi holds up Felicity so that Mom can see how good she is at braiding now, how much she’s been practising.

“What Mimi? I’m busy, can’t you see that?” Mom rolls her eyes, but unfortunately they don’t make it down to Felicity’s level.

“Never mind.” Mimi goes into the living room where Dad is reading the newspaper.

“Dad?”

“Mmhmm?”

“Look at Felicity’s beaaaautiful hair!” She punches the doll through the newspaper, and her father gasps.

“Monika?! Could you please come and deal with your daughter?!” Dad shouts very loud.

“there are still shoelaces to be tied” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 8, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
Ten Seconds for Each Year
Fernando Raguero

Wait till your eyes run out of juice
try typing that letter to your friend
see how many times you nod off in the
middle of a good sentence
tell her: there are stillllllllllll swppp
tell her: you are so eeeeeen qqQ hip
She will really appreciate that you didn’t
make time for her earlier in the day
that you were saving up all your creative
expression for the moments in between
sleep and almost sleep because that’s
when all the best ideas come through
tell her: that thought you had about
the cactus and the kiwi eloping
tell her: neck kink and unlimited yawn
tell her: fall onto the bed mascara
still holding all your eyelashes together
Don’t forget about the roasting pan in
the sink or the shoes out in the foyer
or the wet hair drying slowly on your back

“where she curled, suspended, gathering” by Julia at her parents’ house

Wednesday January 3, 2018
11:55pm
5 minutes
the woman who married a bear
Anne Haven McDonnell

Nonna used to ask me if she could style my hair after I had already finished doing it. When she was young she used to curl my mom’s into sections by wrapping it around a pencil. I told her no sometimes. But on other days I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she was hurting me; yanking and twisting all the pieces wrong. I know it meant a lot to her to play with my hair. She’d sing quietly as she did, and I choked back some painful yelps so I wouldn’t interrupt her. She used to get her hair done for everything. Had one of her five daughters put her dyed blonde hair in curlers for the baptisms, communions, confirmations, weddings, funerals, barbecues, walks around the block.

“It seems to me an awfully silly thing” by Sasha at the casita

Tuesday October 17, 2017
11:02am
5 minutes
The Mystery of the Blue Train
Agatha Christie

It seems to Elizabeth an awfully silly thing that Benjamin was allowed to go to the store on his own and she could not. Mother even said that she had better sense of direction than Ben, and that she was better with her allowance money. Elizabeth sulked on the couch, watching Ben walk down the street. She waited for him to turn around and stick his tongue out at her, or make a face, but he did no such thing and merrily rounded the corner onto Harrison Street.

“Have you cleaned your room, darling?” Mother asked, wiping her hands on her purple apron. Mother recently started dying her hair and Elizabeth isn’t used to it yet. Every time she sees her, she gasps. It is three shades darker than her natural colour, Mother reminds her, and hardly something to get dramatic about.

“When I’m stressed” by Julia on the 99


Friday April 28, 2017
6:14pm
5 minutes
Look Outside Pt. 1
Rory Frances


Gina: Eden, stop chewing on your hair. You’ll swallow a huge glob of it one day and then you’ll choke on it and die.
Eden: Mind your own business. Do I tell you what to do?
Gina: Yes. You do.
Eden: I mean with your life. I don’t tell you things you should be deciding for yourself.
Gina: You would if I had as gross as a habit as you do. Don’t you know how dirty your hair is?
Eden: Hair isn’t dirty at all, brainiack! It touches my head, that’s it!
Gina: And your hands, and your clothes, and the air filled with carcinogenic smokes!

“bald or willing to shave head” by Julia on her couch


Monday April 24, 2017
4:16pm
5 minutes
from a casting call

Souzan came back from her trip to Australia and shaved her head. Mind you, she was suffering from a spinal injury and it was too heavy to carry around her long hair, but for the record, she looks amazing. I think I have so much hair because the universe knows how weird my skull is shaped. I can’t imagine feeling beautiful without it. My identity is coiled around each curl. And yet, I feel like I need to do this before I die. To feel weightless. To feel naked. To feel like I don’t care how I am viewed by any one else in this life. I used to joke about shaving it all off when I was younger-the tangles made every comb through a nightmare. Once my Nonna asked if she could brush it after I had already styled it. I said yes because she is a tiny woman and I love her. But when she ripped a chunk of hair from my head I whipped the the brush against the mirror and shrieked to the entire world to “Never Touch Me Again”. She felt bad. Lesson learned all around, I suppose.

“Reimagine your world” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday, October 22, 2015
11:31pm
5 minutes
The Vancouver Writer’s Festival Program Guide

my mother mimes cutting her hair on the edge of the world
her fingers the scissors
red falling
maple tree leaves
dripping pancakes and tenderness
the smile eclipses something below the kidney
the liver?
never sure of geography
yemen
istanbul
tel aviv
a new sweater
the colour of her longing
down to my ankles
done with wishing i was taller
a bus to the recycling depot
where we go for snow cones
for prayer

“The blonde of your dreams” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday September 30, 2015
10:29pm
5 minutes
A Guinness billboard

I’ve got issues with the word “blonde” and issues with the word “dreams”. I know that that’s a bit dramatic, but I’m a bit dramatic, so, take me or leave me, you know? I have wanted blonde hair for years. I almost think people would like me more. Not because people like blondes more than other hair colours, but because it’s like I’m in disguise, or playing up the good because it’s not what I was born with. A good friend once told me that I’m more interesting when I speak in accents. He likes my southern drawl, could listen to that all day, enjoys my child-like British, says it’s cute. Hell, I knew I had a problem when he said he’d rather listen to me in my half-assed and terrible Irish. That means, I’m not good enough as is, right? And I should have dreams to change the hair, the voice, the personality. Right?

“the stakes couldn’t be higher” by Julia at Melriches


Wednesday September 16, 2015 at Melriches
11:45am
5 minutes
from an article from Maclean’s

Okay so these two idiots have been staring at me for a total of 17 minutes. I know they think they know me, but they don’t. Not the first to make the mistake! I know I have the hair, but I am not who they think I am and I will NOT give them the satisfaction of looking up and saying so. Come and ask me, fine, but don’t sit there, whispering, shhmush shmusshing about me, going silent, then staring some more. I suddenly wish I could throw up on command. I would just stand up, lean over, and barf right at them. Then without wiping my mouth, I’d maintain eye contact, and sit back down. My best friend Treena used to make herself vomit all the time. When she was little and she didn’t get what she wanted, she’d just stand on an expensive carpet, or over a pile of clean laundry and she’d throw up. I think that’s hilarious. The only things stopping me from pulling a Treena are a) the fact that I know staring is not a crime, and b)that I physically cannot make myself hurl in less than 30 minutes.

“I got my new hair” by Julia at Grange Park


Wednesday, June 24, 2015
4:19pm
5 minutes
Overheard at grange park

Well Lacey left the bottle of Carnivore at my house and she knew I would be helpless against it so now I blame her for everything that happened after she left me alone with it. We had been talking about hair cuts and just doing it ourselves. You see where this is headed? You blame Lacey too? Yeah. She thinks it’s hilarious but she doesn’t have to walk around like this freak show that is now my reflection.
Anyway, it went like this:
I drank the wine. The rest of it. And I’m a light weight. So I was wasted.
I saw the scissors. Sticking out of the knife block. They called my name. I answered them.
I went to the bathroom. I laughed at my blood mouth. My jungle attack mouth. I pulled my hair out from the messy bun on top of my head. I said out loud to the mirror, “Let’s do this.”
I snipped one piece at a time. It was going well. Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was playing.
The next thing I knew, one whole side was completely missing.
So then I had to even it all out…

“we dare be brave” by Sasha on her porch


Wednesday, July 2, 2014
10:37pm
5 minutes
Touched by an Angel
Maya Angelou


By choosing this, we dare to be brave. By choosing each other, we dare greater than we ever dared. We dare wide, we dare bright, we dare into the deep bat caves and find clumps of hair and photographs of when we were smaller, less brave versions of ourselves now.

We dare to be brave when we break. We dare higher when we leave what we have loved to find what we will love. We dare when we pack our favorite things in boxes and leave them by the side of the road. We have made so many promises. They sink to the bottom or they float on top. One or two have sprouted lilies. One or three have turned to weeds at the bottom and tickle our feet when we swim.

“a real nice desk-sofa” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday June 11, 2014
3:31pm
5 minutes
A quote from Ian

I hate everything about everything and the only thing I like in my life right now is my purple hair. That’s it. That’s all I like. And I don’t feel even a little bit weird that I only got this hair colour in my late 20s when everyone else my age started dying their hair crazy colours in high school. I needed to do it because I felt like I was losing touch with myself, so I did it, and I don’t regret it, but I hate everything about everything because I lost my job because I wouldn’t dye it back to normal. How stupid is that? Do I look any different with purple hair streaks than I do with brown straight hair that just gets tied up everyday like some cookie-cutter version of myself? I mean, yeah, it looks really different, and my boss was just confused with my life choice because I couldn’t explain to him my life phase, but I mean, I still have the same face. Or I mean, sort of. I did pierce my lip, and my nose, and my eye-brow. But whatever it’s the same face with just accessories! Nobody got mad at Janice for losing 73 pounds and now looking like a coat rack holding chicken skin.

“Hair Design Inc.” by Julia on her couch


Monday May 19, 2014
12:41am
5 minutes
from insurance papers

I’m gonna go to a real nice school and learn how to cut all the nice ladies’ hair. I’m going to give them high status looks and sophisticated styles. Then they will tell all their friends that they know a girl who will make them look like a star. A real movie star. I have to get a couple clients. Then I’ll show them my skills and they will see I love cutting hair so much and they will come again to see me when they need an up-do or even just a blowout for a business meeting. I’ll give them my card and say okay this is for you, you’ve been a very good customer. And they’ll tell me I was the best they ever had in their life. In their life! They’ll repeat that part cause it’s important. And they’ll walk out smiling with love cause they look so nice and they feel the way they look. So first I have to find the right school. The right school for the right kind of hairstyles.

“set yourself on fire” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday May 13, 2014
6:20pm
5 minutes
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
Stars


It was out of extreme desperation but I was no longer happy with anything about my face. So I decided.
I decided to change the way I see myself. Change the way the world sees me because of the way I see me.
So I decided.
I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it. I couldn’t risk my aunt or my mother finding out. Of course not my grandma. They’d kill me before they let me do something like that. And that would then defeat the purpose of re-branding myself.
My grandma always loved my hair. My mom always did too. My aunt was a hair-dresser and thought I did something right in my former life to have the head of hair that I had.
And so I decided.
I lit a candle. One that smelled of fig and honey.
And it was nice, and I was enjoying myself.
And then I slowly dipped a strand or two into the flickering flame.
It sizzled. And I snapped my head back out of impulse.
Then somehow found the secret strength of carrying out plans to completion when it’s for nobody but me.
And I put more hair into the flame, smelling no longer like fig and honey, but like burning.
So I decided it would be dramatic.
Because I’m dramatic.
Because I’m so goddamn dramatic.
And I let the flames engulf my pretty hair until I could feel the heat deep in my scalp.
That’s when I smothered it.

“intently and furiously” by Julia on her couch


Thursday March 5, 2014
10:50pm
5 minutes
We Did
Brian Doyle


I’m scared of you. I’m scared of your blisters popping in the bed while we’re sleeping. I’m scared of your hang nail getting caught in my hair. I’m scared of your allergies and intolerances rearing their ugly heads. I’m scared of your arm hairs falling into my soup. I’m scared of your penchant for guns and your ability to hit targets. I’m scared of your jeans ripping during an important speech or ceremony. I’m scared of your water glass sitting out all night and you drinking the dust and room particles. I’m scared of your insatiable appetite. Your inability to be silent in your sleep. Your misunderstanding of perfection and standards. Your disbelief in anything but the justice system. Your left big toe nail that never fully grew back on.
I’m scared of you. It’s a furious fear. An intense one. I’m scared of you dying before me.

“WHeat=” by Sasha on her couch


Friday January 10, 2014
1:13am
5 minutes
from building graffiti on college street

I hate to make the bed but I do because my Pops told me that a man that doesn’t make his bed is a man that doesn’t deserve a woman in it. So I make the bed, because I can never get the Old Man’s voice out of my head. I find this fucking hair elastic. It’s blue. It’s overstretched. Girls and their goddamn hair elastics. You and your… The bobby pins were everywhere. In the couch, the washing machine, the glove box. How many stray hairs have you got? Shit. I’d make a pile of them and leave them on the table with a note, written on the back of a receipt that said, “We could build a house out of these fucking things.”

“smooth even the toughest” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday, October 29, 2013
12:55am
5 minutes
the back of the Aveda foot lotion

From when I was young to now, to right now, I’ve been fighting with my hair! I know I know it’s sad. It’s true, though! That’s the biggest problem I have; combing out the knots and wishing I didn’t have any to begin with. My mom. My mommmmmmmm. She used to try to comb through each strand and she’d pick and pull and wish and hope and I’d scream and pick and pull and wish and hope. She was just like her mother was to her. After you’d come out of the shower, she’d be standing there with a wet comb and a half smile trying to persuade me into wanting it. I can do it myself, I’d say, but what is it with these woman who actually want to comb hair all day? They wouldn’t listen and I wouldn’t fight them because I needed all the energy I had in me to fight with my hair! It’s sad, I know I know, but it’s true!! I used to draw my stick figure self as a kid completely bald! That’s true too! Because I knew it would be easier without any of it. Without even a little peach fuzz to keep me warm!

“I’ve never noticed that before” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake on the dock


Saturday July 27, 2013 at Belly Acres
2:41pm
5 minutes
Napier’s Bones

I’ve never noticed how your left eye is a darker colour than your right. They are both brown, but the left eye, the eye that you close when you’re winking, is darker. You wink at me when you come in in the morning. When you ask if there are any messages. “Bernadette is waiting in the conference room,” I say, putting on my breathy voice, the one that you prefer. Or, I say, “There’s a message from Mr. Galloway. It sounds… urgent.” I whisper urgent so that we have a secret together. Our own thing. You’ve started working on your goatee. You think it makes you look more professional. You didn’t tell me that, with words, you told me with your thoughts. You send me these thought messages. The one time I brought it up, you denied it. We were all out for Halloween beers at Gretzky’s. You were dressed up as Don Draper. Ironic, I thought, or hoped. I was dressed up as The Philadelphia Cream Cheese Angel, because one time you told me that my hair reminded me of her.

“I’ve never noticed that before” By Julia at Belly Acres


Saturday July 27, 2013 at Belly Acres
12:14pm
5 minutes
Napier’s Bones

Her hair was a burnt orange. like something you’d see in a candle or an autumn-themed living room. She hated it, though. She had thought about really burning it and seeing what people called it then. She thought that obviously no one had seen burnt orange in real life because maybe then it wouldn’t be such a conversation piece. No one in her family had her colour. Her younger sister was born blonde. Even still, she was not the pretty one. She had to work very hard to be noticed around little red, as they lovingly called her. Little white had to wear more makeup, do more stand out tricks just to be noticed. Little red was the better looking sister but she didn’t actually realize. She hated her hair. She thought about dying it and who she’d be after it was all gone. The only desire she had was to make it black as snow white’s. Even if her skin would disappear immediately after (being so pale and unmatched in colour for dark dark hair).

“Qualified For: Video Blogger” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, June 25, 2013
12:58am
5 minutes
from a business card

Always liked my arms. Never had a problem with them. Never felt like they were disproportionate. Thought about getting liposuction once (Who doesn’t), and then realized that I just don’t care enough about that stuff. Never had a problem with my hands until a stupid boy named Brendan with bleach-blonde surfer hair told me they were too big for my body. I was 14 (fuck you Brendan). Thought my feet were okay. Not too big, not too small. Just right. one of my toes is ridiculously too tiny but do people care about toes these days? Thought if people were playing the game where they deconstruct themselves, then build the ideal human with all the best parts from them and their friends, at least two or three of my features would make the cut. Not my hair. Too scraggly in the wintertime. (Not my lips either.) Some friends would make it on for everything. They had better shaped eyes or noses or something. But if we were playing the game where we deconstruct all our skills and build the ideal human with those? I’d be up there for sure. Nobody can video blog like me. I even put it on my resume and business cards.

“A good vinegar is hard to find.” by Sasha at her desk


Friday, May 17, 2013
8:46am
5 minutes
bon appetit magazine
February 2013 issue


“A good vinegar is actually very hard to find,” says Vera, applying face cream. “A good vinegar, in fact, is like a good man – from Italy!” She laughed her belly-laugh, like it was the funniest thing she’d ever said. I laughed too, because how could I not. Vera had lost about five inches. Osteoporosis. “Have I grown?” She’d ask, a sparkle in her eye, every Friday morning. I’d come over and I’d do her hair and nails. I’d stopped charging her three years ago. We were friends. She’d make tuna sandwiches with the crusts cut off, or egg salad with cut up sweet pickles, she’d brew a pot of strong tea, she’d dig some shortbreads out of the freezer… That was enough. Vera had been married three times and she wasn’t afraid to talk about it. She loved comparing one husband with the other, the first with the last, the second with the others. The one thing they had in common were that they were all Italian. Vera was not. Vera was vague about her own heritage. “I’m a mutt!” She’d say, winking. She was also vague about her age – “probably at least one hundred and seven,” she’d said, since the day I’d met her. She always went for a perm. And french tipped nails.