“Very rarely patients develop __________.” By Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Wednesday April 11, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
Diagnosis
Adam Sol

She’s got a real fear of sickness so she runs for ninety minutes on the treadmill every day after work. She thinks that if she sweats, if her heart rate is increased, she won’t get sick. She’s most scared of cancer and diabetes. Her father had type 2 and died of a heart attack at sixty-five. She only eats chocolate when she’s about to get her period because she should be allowed a tiny indulgence, right? Even then, it’s two squares of dark chocolate with no added sugar. Sugar is the enemy. Sugar makes sickness. So does salt, so does fat, so do carbs. The fear’s been getting worse, as she gets older, because older people are usually sicker people.

“if something opens up” by Sasha on the couch


Saturday, July 16, 2016
1:16am
5 minutes
From a text

Secretary’s pencil is scratching
all over the damn place
Construction worker boot
tap tap tap tap tap
tap tap
Jiggling the whole row
of chairs
The baby
The nun
Me
“Dead man walking” I expect
to hear pencil poised apologetically
“Dead man walking”

Name call roll call
I’m up with the lipstick on her teeth
“Mr. Anderson?” Nod
“Dr. Henry has had an emergency that
needs to be attended to and she must
reschedule my apologies that you came
all the way in I hope you don’t live
too far away I can call you if
something open’s up”

“a couple annual holidays” by Julia at Platform 7 Coffee Brew Bar


March 4, 2016 at Platform 7
5:09pm
5 minutes
from Sasha’s play

And there’s no time to wait
For my health to come back
I have already planned a vacation
I’m going away
I’m going to go
I’m not going to stop
Until I get home
I don’t remember what my yard looks like
Cause I don’t remember much
Was there one tree or two?
Did the cornfields shoot higher than the pussy willow?
I don’t remember much
Time has run out
In the most respectful way it could
Reminding me that I don’t have to
keep living like I used to
I wish for courage
I wish us all courage
I’m going back home with my ball of yarn
Going to wrap it around each branch
Each trellis
So I can draw a map of where I used to live
The hardest part of that is remembering
how to remember
I think I’ll write a note
In red red string
On the gates of all my neighbours
to let them know I’m back
And I’m collecting memories
Shiny new ones that I can still see
Maybe they’ll have more than just the ones
of my sister and me
selling drawings for 6 pennies each

“three variations to play with” by Sasha at the UBC Learning Exchange


Monday February 16, 2015
6:03pm
5 minutes
chatelaine.com

It’s funny how the colours change, how suddenly oatmeal tastes really different. Kenneth makes a mean bowl of oatmeal. He lets the oats soak overnight, covered, on the countertop and then, in the morning, there is the best damn oatmeal you’ve ever had. He adds raisins and flaked coconut, a little drizzle of honey. Warm soy milk. He’s inspired me to switch to soy, that wasn’t something I did on my own. I’m not that health inclined, right? But Kenneth reads all those articles and they really stick, he remembers every little thing! Chia seeds have protein and avocados are good for your hair and eat some fish, but not too much and – ! Phewf! It gets exhausting! So many variations of health to play with, so many possibilities. I say, make a piece of toast and put some peanut butter on it and call it a day but not Kenneth. “If you’re going to spend your money on anything, spend it on your fuel,” he says. It’s not “food”. It’s “fuel”.

“Optimal health” by Julia on a bridge in Venice


Saturday December 6, 2014
5:49pm
5 minutes
The back of the chia seed bag

Mom got sick, mom changed her diet, mom stopped working, mom ate only air and self pity, mom waited for the mail everyday, mom bought a yoga mat she never used, mom began to juice, mom began to sing, mom began to smile, mom began to coach, mom saw her worth, mom hid her grief, mom preached without being preachy, mom reminded us of our lives, mom made sure we knew we were not too young, mom made sure we knew we could help ourselves, mom started saying I love you, mom started laughing at nothing, mom started seeking alternative medicine, mom started smoking pot, mom started sleeping again, mom started resting again, mom had a million phone calls, mom stayed home in her PJs.

“Our human lives seem to unravel” by Julia at Pigneto 41


Friday September 12, 2014 at Pigneto 41
1:22pm
5 minutes
from Thunder and Lightening by Natalie Goldberg

In any given moment Talia will be coming home. Talia likes butter on toast, then orange marmalade. When Talia’s dad isn’t looking, she sneaks the spicy nduja spread that he likes so much. She sticks her finger in the jar to lick it quickly in case he emerges from the TV room and sees her taking his favourite snack without asking. Talia will be coming home soon and she will tell us the news of Sofia–she will remind us of what we already know and that’s not to get our hopes up about her memory. Talia always tells us the same thing about Sofia but we wait for her the same, with bated breath and fingers crossed that today Sofia will remember something new. Talia isn’t even Talia to Sofia but she gets to see her because Sofia thinks she is her imaginary friend from childhood. Sofia called her Naya and used to say Naya was a trouble maker with a beautiful singing voice. Talia doesn’t sing at all but she hums to Sofia and Sofia believes. Talia hasn’t been the same since she started pretending to be Naya. But she does it so she can see her sister every day.

“2009” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 9, 2013
1:39am
5 minutes
From a stamp in the sidewalk cement

This was the year things changed. Dad was recovering from his minor surgeries because of his minor heart attacks, Alessia became a vegan, and mom decided to take up smoking marijuana in the garage every night after everyone went to sleep. Alessia’s best friend’s brother passed away so we all considered ourselves very lucky that we were all recovering. And I…I stopped wearing makeup and thinking about mirrors as if they’d be able to save me. Mom didn’t want me to go back to school, even though I was pretty sure I had wasted grandma’s tuition money the first time around because I was “too eager to learn”. I studied philosophy for a year, then transferred to theatre studies, and then finally finished in children’s lit. My mom said that was enough learning. I had to get out of the house more than I thought possible. Everyone was eating dinners with some fake alternative salt product, and not really enjoying steaks any more because they were practically banned.