“swallowing harder than she intended” by Sasha at the casita

Saturday October 21, 2017
11:00am
5 minutes
The Touch of Aphrodite
Joanna Mansell

You swallow.
I reach across the table and take your hand.
You pull away.
You reach backwards.
Are you stretching?
Are you grasping for…
“Let’s go get ice cream,” I say.
You wrinkle your forehead.
I know this shape well.
You swallow.
“I’m sorry, babe.” I say.
“I know.” You say.
I can’t believe I’ve done it again.
I swallow.
There’s love in your eyes back behind the disappointment.
I hate disappointing you.
A crow flies past the window.
She looks in on us.
She gives sympathy and a caw.
You love crows.
You talk about getting a crow tattoo on your back.
I try to dissuade you usually.
I wouldn’t if you mentioned it now.
“Let’s go get ice cream,” I say.
“It’s raining,” you say. “And freezing cold.”
I stand up and stretch against the counter
Sticking my ass into the back of your head.
“Stop that, Sophie,” you say.
I wiggle.
“Stop,” you say, but softer.

“He presses a button” by Sasha in her bed


Tuesday August 29, 2017
10:02pm
5 minutes
From VO sides

He presses a button and the ceiling opens. Tens of thousands of butterflies swirl like soft serve ice cream. All shades of purple and blue, all moving and swimming and flying and wow wow I’ve never I’ve never. I smile and it feels really good because it’s been days since I smiled and that’s not normal for me. Jim looks over. “I told you,” he says, and it’s true, he did tell me and I didn’t believe him because who would who really would if they said what Jim said I mean Jim says a lot of stuff and it’s not always true. I never knew that a place like this could be be be here. I never knew that Jim, of all people, would have the key, hanging around his neck like something he maybe got at a garage sale. The sky turns dark and the butterflies disappear I can’t imagine where they go and Jim says, “We had better get back.”

“211 Bannatyne ave.” by Julia at Horseshoe Bay


Friday November 13, 2015
11:50pm
5 minutes
from a business card

Remember when I used to come by your work and wait till you got off so we could go get ice cream and caramel sauce and walk the perimeter of the property together before you’d have to go back to your desk and count the hours till you were actually free? Remember how you’d try to take the long way around so you could spend more time with me without saying that you wanted to? Those sticky summer evenings when you would start late and work late and forget which day you were on. Those are the ones I think about when I think about you. Those are the nights I remember how lucky I used to be. Your building looks different now: someone tried to wash off the graffiti and now it just looks uglier. I have to stop myself from going to Nucci’s Gelati so I don’t get tempted by nostalgia to buy you a coconut cone, even thought we were always so disappointed by the shreds that didn’t even taste real.

“do something which both parties desire but are unwilling to do” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Tuesday September 2, 2014
11:45pm
5 minutes
from the English translation of mamihlapinatapai

It was a look. It started out that way at least. He saw her standing in the rain with a broken umbrella at her feet and melting ice cream cone in her hand. She was letting it drip down her wrists and arms. It was sort of beautiful. Like an abstract oil painting of a feeling or a sentiment, captured by circles and lines and bright colours all winding into each other trying to tell a story of life and suffering.
She didn’t notice him there because that would have diminished her moment. She didn’t see anything but the rain falling around her so hard it looked like there was none coming down at all. She didn’t see the look he gave her which came from not his eyes but his chest. A heart beating wildly inside and for something he couldn’t quite explain or express. It wasn’t a quantity he could estimate or a dream he could decipher. It was her in all her perceived loneliness, in all her pain that he was adjusting to. Without moving, careful not to disturb her; careful not to disrupt the catharsis that was forming in his throat.

“wishing you” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Saturday March 29, 2014
2:09am
5 minutes
from a tweet

She made sure she had lots of band aids in her pockets. She hated those blisters she got every time she had to walk for a little longer than usual. She wasn’t holding on to any of that gauze. It was a waste of time. It didn’t stick to her skin. She tried. The real issue was re-learning how to walk so her shoes didn’t rub because she couldn’t afford new ones that didn’t rub which would have fixed the problem perfectly. It was all about the pressure. And the angle. And the weight. And the other stuff. The other other stuff. She didn’t want a blood pool in her heels just because she was in desperate need of an ice cream cone.

“With lots of ice-creams” by Julia at the Fleming Cottage


Saturday March 1, 2014
1:29am
5 minutes
My Dream World
Parul Naveen


I had a really perfect moment the other day. It was Wednesday, not any other day. I always have my really perfect moments on Wednesdays. I don’t know how that came to be, but it’s something I have learned to be grateful for, and to count on. The moment I’m talking about now is the one that I will be talking about forever. I was walking across the grass at the little park near my house. I was thinking about investing in something. I can’t remember that part. It might have been a new vacuum cleaner, or maybe it was even just a broom. But it had something to do with tidying, and cleaning up messes, and collecting all the dirt we try and hide and putting it into one easily accessible spot to then throw out, or away, or suck up. I was thinking about something like this. The necessity of tidying. And then that really perfect moment happened to me. A little boy on a tricycle was licking the top of his ice-cream cone with such delight. It was beautiful. He was so young, and captivated, and innocent. And as I walked by him, I worried for just a brief moment that he might drop his cone, as kids sometimes do, and not get to enjoy it any more. And then, instead of that happening, he handed it to me. I only took it because I could see it in his eyes, that he truly wanted me to have it.

“Is there sauce on that?” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday, June 30, 2013
12:34am
5 minutes
Overheard by Julia on Queen Street

I’ve got one condition, and that is, ice cream. From now until forever, Amen, I will require ice cream if I am to also allow other things, like excessive single coughing, or the refusal of washing your hands after you use the bathroom. I think that is a reasonable request, and you should be so lucky that all I need is a frozen and delicious snack and not some beautiful diamond, or a monthly subscription to the J Crew catalogue. I can get by on so little, did you know that? I’ve always been really resourceful with my living. Small things make me happy, like vanilla icing on peanut butter cupcakes. Or finally pulling out an overdue ingrown hair somewhere south of the border when you thought you were just going to keep breaking the skin every day for no reason because, goddammit, there was never enough to grab on to. I don’t need a car, or an envelope filled with cash…I mean, I’ll take it, never turn it down, use it, love it, but need it? No. I have eaten Kraft Dinner before. I know what it means to settle in life. So. That’s why I know what I need and I’m not ashamed to say it.