“Arrow Lakes Hospitals Auxiliary Thrift Shop” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday July 3, 2019
4:39pm
5 minutes
From a sign in Nakusp, BC

I was dying to go in. I always am. You
on the other hand would be happy to drive
by the little spots and comment on how
quaint they look from the driver seat.
That is the problem with riding shotgun.

And what if there is a cute lapel pin?
Ever thought of that? How cute a lapel
would be with a pin of a tiny mountain
mammal? Or a reptile if you’re freaky,
and I know you are. Remember the reptile
museum we used to drive by? All those
exclamation points on the sign. Who has
that many exclamation points about
reptiles? The freaky ones, that’s who.
As we’d pass, I would shout out
REPTILES!!! and you repeat REPTILES!!!!
and everyone, both you and me, would
laugh because it was clear how many
exclamation points we were each using.

Maybe on the way back, you would say,
and I would know that by then it meant
we are just going to keep driving without
stopping and if we see something we like
or I like, I will have to be satisfied with
shouting it out to you. HORSES! I’ll say,
and HORSES!! you’ll repeat with an extra
exclamation point but we won’t pull over
to pet them.

“wild horses” by Julia at her desk


Saturday June 3, 2017
10:45pm
5 minutes
from the microsoft home-screen

On the road trip, Marco presents the game called Animals.
It’s simple, really, when you see an animal, you yell out what it is.
My favourite one to yell is HORSES.
Marco’s favourite is GOATS.
We’ve been playing since the bad burgers and the overpriced fruit.
Marco won’t let me drive even though he’s nodded off twice. I told him
he could rest if he wanted, but he didn’t want me to miss all of the
waterfalls, happening exclusively on my side.
I try to present the game called Water Falls.
But only I can play. Marco can’t take his eyes off the road
on this mountain because every turn is very important.
After we stop for gas and retape the underside of our car,
Marco snapps at me for trying to put down his sun visor and blocking his view.

“The life and crimes of” by Sasha on her porch


Saturday March 18, 2017
9:14pm
5 minutes
Exclaim Magazine

When Freddie arrives at the rodeo, we all know that something’s gonna change. First, the horses start falling over and I never seen anything like that in my whole life. Freddie walks by and they fall onto their side. No injuries or nothin’, but it’s pretty wild to see. Freddie has a little smirk like this always happens but Papa and me, we are transfixed. I start to follow Freddie around, cuz I’m small and I’m stealthy, and I don’t know if he notices or not but if he does he doesn’t seem to mind. When Freddie snaps his fingers there’s a spark. You ever seen anything like that? He lights everyone’s smokes like that.

“Definition of knowledge” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday March 9, 2017
11:46pm
5 minutes
From an email

When you sleep, you dream in black and white. You aren’t sure if everyone does, or if it’s just you. Often, you dream about wild horses. They are running across deserts, through rivers, over mountains. You rarely see yourself in your dreams, and when you do, you are wearing a cape. When you dream about Stella, or your father, they look like younger versions of themselves. They laugh more in real life.

“You have to love” by Sasha at Platform Seven


Tuesday, January 12, 2016
4:10pm
5 minutes
Monecristo Magazine

I love my horse more than I’ll ever love anyone. Okay? My kids know it. They don’t resent me for it. They just know that’s how I am. Caroline once needed me to really break it down for her. Once. She was sad, maybe, but she got over it, she accepted it, she realized that I’ve always connected with animals in a way I couldn’t with people. Billy resented it, though. I first realized it when we were taking a weekend in Napa. We hadn’t been on a vacation just the two of us since before the kids were born. A really long time. He couldn’t relax, fidgeting all the time, drinking more wine than he ever would normally, I mean he rarely even drank… I finally asked him, “What’s up?” and he broke down, like, crying and the whole thing. I’d never seen him like that.

“good energy vibes” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, July 16, 2015
12:31am
5 minutes
From a text

When you walk into a room I can hear you without knowing you’re there. It’s funny, this feeling. I know you’re around yet I haven’t seen you at all. What do you call that? What kind of connection is it when your skin perks up all tingly and awake without fully understanding why? My back is to you and your presence greets me. I wonder if you feel me the way I feel you. Is it your smell? Are we horses, sniffing each other’s flesh and taking each other in? I don’t know if it’s because I want to sense you so I do. I read somewhere that we never can fully know someone else, but I think I know you. I think I know when you’re near because I know you like I know me.
Because you are me.

“that yellow horseshoe,” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday, August 31, 2013
6:25pm at Sambuca Grill
5 minutes
Talking With…
Jane Martin


Randi used to bet all her savings at the track. Told her mother she was going to the “library” and that she’d be home by 6. Usually she’d carry a couple books with her in her back pack to prove herself if she were ever asked about it. Her mother never asked about it. Her mother didn’t care much for reading and learning anyway, but something told Randi she’d have a few words to say about her gambling. Might have been the fact that her father was a dirty better and used to take Randi with him to the track, calling her his “lucky horseshoe” because when she was with him he never lost a single race. Randi probably had some unresolved abandonment issues about her father and could easily explain to anyone why she went to the track and why she practically threw away her money each time, but she wasn’t really “dealing” with the pain yet and had no real intentions to. Randi was quiet for the most part, but when she was watching those horses you could swear she was a completely different person; yelling with reckless abandon at each horse, at her horses, at the man announcing the race. Some “professionals” might even say Randi was trying to get her aggression out at her father, yelling in random directions just hoping one man hears her.

“behind the kitchen” by Julia on her couch


Friday, January 18, 2013
12:03am
5 minutes
http://www.whiteonricecouple.com

I think you’re remembering a jump rope song that sounds kind of like this. No, I’m serious, this has never happened before. I’m telling you for the first time and there’s no way you’re able to actually recall any of the details because they’re new. They sound old but they’re new. What I’m trying to tell you, is I caught Liddy behind the kitchen doors, and she was propped up on what looked like a stool or something–but it actually wasn’t. She was levitating, Barry! Actually, I swear to almighty Christ, she was. She had her eyes closed, she was floating, and there was an evil feel in the air. Now don’t go calling any priests, Barry. She’s our grandbaby, there’s no way we’re letting anyone near her.
But I gotta tell you, it’s creepy when you hear a closed-eyed, levitating child, mumble out nursery rhymes.

“Words, I think, are oftenest weak.” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday, January 19, 2013
7:00pm
5 minutes
the poem The Confession
Horatio Alger


Taking the shortcut to Gulliver’s house, I listened to NPR and cried. I was scared that Obama wouldn’t be re-elected. I was scared that my daughter might be losing her virginity at that very moment, as I tried not to drive off the edge of the road into the swamp with the biggest toads I’d ever seen. Olivia wasn’t even precocious. She rode horses and liked reading about the EU. She’d met Gulliver at the stables, and he’d quickly seduced her. He gave me the heebie-jeebies, those light blue eyes and that long hair and those hands that seemed to wander no matter how far I stood away from him. She started telling me that she needed money for new clothes. She started plucking here eyebrows. Olivia stopped asking to be excused from the table and I know it might seem silly but it was something that Doug and I instilled in her and it just shows… disrespect. The worst is her silence. She doesn’t talk to me anymore. She barely says “Hello”, let alone, “Goodnight”.