“He can fix anything” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday March 31, 2020
5 minutes
Easter Morning
Jim Harrison

He’ll be waiting till morning because he can’t do anything until the sun rises.
He’s busy, all day, it seems, but night time shuts him right down. This might be
a survival technique or some kind of boundary he put in place a long time ago that
he hasn’t been able to unlearn. It’s too fucking bad because I need my drip fixed.
I know that sounds sexy, but I’m talking about my faucet and if he can’t do anything
tonight, then I’m shit out of luck and things, as far as I can tell in my world, are
all about me and that simply won’t fly. Before you get on my ass about waiting for
“him” to fix my shit like some knight (day) in shining armour, there is a reason
why I am not doing it. I am the one who washes the dishes, and makes the food, and
rakes the leaves, and initiates intimacy, and folds the fucking laundry. Do you know
how he does it? He wouldn’t fold it, that’s how. I tell him, we want to take care of
our delicates because they go near our genitals and we should be respecting our
genitals. AND I don’t like my folded boxers touching his mushed up balled into the drawer
boxers. Makes me feel like I have to clean everything all over again. Plus, he’s a plumber.
That’s what he does! And he can fix anything! HE JUST FUCKING WON’T.

“They backed off right away” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday June 25, 2019
5 minutes
From a text

He was different. He didn’t try to fuck me the first time he slept over. Ironic, now… He was intelligent, progressive, creative, articulate, sexy, conscious, tuned in. He wanted me. He wanted to be with only me. He asked me to be his girlfriend, and I told everyone else I was seeing that I’d met someone.

This is why I love him.

We loved each other with passion and fire and fear and truth. We love each other the same now, but different too. We love each other with fatigue and disappointment and folding laundry and a joint bank account and long hours and tired nipples. We love each other feet touching under the covers, our baby between us, we love each other through her.

“he fell like the rain,” by Sasha in the bath

Friday January 18, 2019
5 minutes
In The Beautiful Rain
Tony Hoagland

She lifted her hand to her face
her hand the mirror that she trusted more
her face the face that she’d always known
She traced her nostrils and opened her mouth

He fell like the rain in the morning
and at night he gathered the fire to
close his eyes and trust the dark
Her sleep breath lifting him away

The laundry is on the couch and
needs to be folded
socks and T-shirts mixing cake
mixing bodies and story and dust

Someone will do it tomorrow
One of them whoever has time
and is feeling generous to the other
or to themselves

The recycling needs to be sorted
and taken out to the bins in the alleyway
where men with grocery carts pick through
all the after-thoughts all the forgetting

Hoping for a treasure

“in contact with eyes” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday October 17, 2018
5 minutes
From the soap dispenser

It smells like burning

and Damon is running around
like a demon or a chicken or something
I’m on the back porch hanging
the laundry on the line
The black flies are out
I’m trying to do it quickly

“Damon! Come help!” I call
but he’s off in the plum trees
or bringing the pigs the scraps
from lunch or chasing bunnies
behind the shrubs

It smells like burning but
I don’t see smoke on the horizon
so maybe I’ll ask Jim about it
when he gets home

We haven’t had sex in over a month
me and Jim because he’s still
recovering from that fall off the ladder
I’m going strange and wild
and he’s going quiet and moody

Damon comes running towards me
and I throw a pillowcase on him
and suddenly he’s a ghost

“The woods are filling up with snow.” By Sasha on the plane

Wednesday January 17, 2018
5 minutes
James Pollock

the holding on, the letting go,
the woods are filling up with snow.
the table’s set, the baby’s down,
you are wearing a shoestring crown.

the laundry is piled oh so high,
the little boy asks why why why.
soup’s burned the bottom of the pot,
i’ve been crying a lot.

we left the city for more quiet,
our friends smiled and didn’t buy it,
they said you’ll be back when winter comes,
sound the horns and bang the drums.

the holding on, the letting go,
the woods are filling up with snow.
the table’s set, the baby’s down,
you are wearing a shoestring crown.

“Along with underwear, love is a woman’s work” by Sasha at her desk

Friday November 10, 2017
5 minutes
How to Be A Woman
Caitlin Moran

Love’s her work. She doesn’t say it, but it is. Fold the t-shirts, ball the socks, and L-O-V-E. She keeps saying, “I’m tired,” and she’s not sure why, what could it possible be. “Women’s work”. She hasn’t heard that term since her grandmother was alive, doing crossword puzzles in the sunroom and asking for another peppermint. She wonders what would happen if she left a note on the table that said, “Make dinner for yourselves!”

“a signal he was about to shut down.” by Julia on the 9

Thursday May 12, 2016
5 minutes
Russell Wangersky

I remember asking him if he wanted to sleep over–it might have been the third or fourth time. We had just gotten home from a nice dinner, I had just peed myself in the laundry room and was cleaning it up with dryer lint while he waited for me upstairs in my room, you know, just a casual Friday night, and I thought he was going to say yes this time. I was cautious, I made sure the moment was right, made sure I was feeling his vibe, and then boom: another no. I assumed naturally, as one does, that it was either because he could smell remnants of secret urine off my legs (though I had washed them well enough in the bathroom sink before returning to my room), or that he was about to break up with me.

“No I’m glad you did.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
5 minutes
From a text

There’s a pile of laundry on the table and no one’s sure why
No one moves it because no one’s sure if it’s safe to touch
Toast crumbs and pizza crust bits and a smear of ranch dressing
The pile of laundry is an unintentional cotton centrepiece
Yellow and green and white and black

After awhile
At least twenty one days
It almost looks beautiful
A few drops of candle wax
A stain of wine and tea and balsamic vinegar

“Whose stuff is that?” You finally ask
After being out late and eating too much ramen and spicy chocolate
“No idea…” I say, drinking down a mouthful of too hot tea
“Why haven’t you moved it?” You say laying down on the blue concrete of the kitchen floor
“Why haven’t you?”

Then it’s a different story
A protest
A digging of the heels into mushy ground
Then it’s a commitment
A too-tight ring around a too-fleshy finger

Seven years later
The pile of clothes covered in dust
You’ve been gone since last Winter
And everytime time I see it I hate you and I love you
At the same time

“submitting this entry” by Julia on her bed

Wednesday, July 22, 2015
5 minutes
from the Standardized Patient website

I’m really upset because I shrunk my favourite yellow shorts in the dryer even though I was following the care instructions to a t. I read everything over, I made sure the temperatures we correct. And now when I wear them they don’t look like they did before. They look like the shorts you try to wear when you’re not sure of how to actually dress: you know they’re sort of right but they’re not working at all for your body type. They shouldn’t be this mangled now and I no longer have a bright pair of shorts to wear to Deanna’s birthday. She specifically requested bright bottoms and black tops and now I have to figure this out. I am always the one with the bright bottoms and black tops but tonight I’m gonna be the only idiot who doesn’t know how to do laundry! It’s so embarrassing. Deanna always look stylish and put together. I can’t show up to her themed birthday party with bottoms that don’t fit! They fit the colour criteria but the style is way off! So I am asking you, ambassadors for Forever 21, if you could do something about this ASAP. I read the instructions and followed them. Is this a manufacturers’ failure???

“guest starring” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 20, 2014
5 minutes
The opening credits of a TV show

I want to switch the order of the credits
Not that that kind of thing really matters
At least
It doesn’t to you
It does to me
A little
But I hide it
Like an unswept onion skin
Under the stove

I want to switch the order of the credits
Not that credit is even relevant
You deserve as much credit
In what I make as
I do
Because if you’re doing the dishes
And buying toilet paper
And folding my underwear into tiny perfect triangles
I am
I am
Crafting lines and curls into words that I pretend I’ve made up

I want to switch the order of these credits
Because I don’t make anything alone
The couch helps me by holding me when I’m tired
The water quenches my insatiable thirst
The streetcar gets me there
Takes me home
The brown rice fuels me
You hold my face when I want to quit
And tell me it will be wonderful
You paint the walls of the world
And smile when I snap

“clean, soft” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday December 29, 2013
5 minutes
HandiBac tube

“It’s not sustainable,” Ben says. It’s his latest and greatest catch-phrase. “You staying up late working? It’s not sustainable!” “The to-go coffee cups? It’s not sustainable…” “This iTunes obsession is not sustainable!” Nothing is sustainable in the eyes of my boyfriend. I freak out at him eventually, but in the beginning I like that he’s thinking about sustaining things. Previous to this, he was far more concerned with the wear of his wallet in his back pocket and the grind of the espresso in his stovetop pot. I bring up the laundry from the basement. I fold it, perched on our bed, listening to NPR. Ben strides in. He picks up the small box of softening sheets. “What the heck are these?” he asks, rhetorically. “Well, Ben,” I say, indignantly folding his boxers, “those are – ” “I know what they are!” he snaps. “Dryer sheets kill seals,” I try not to smile. He pauses, dramatically. Wait for it. Wait for it… “Not sustainable.” He throws down the box and exits our bedroom en route for a tall can of beer in the fridge.

“So I let go of my parents’ approval” by Sasha on the subway going West

Sunday October 13, 2013
5 minutes
The Unhealthy Truth
Robyn O’Brien

I wish our conversations could go like this:
Me: Hey, when were you planning on doing the laundry?
You: Oh man! You read my mind! I’m going to go do it right now!
Me: I love you so much.
You: I love you so much.
What our conversations really go like is this:
Me: Why the fuck isn’t the laundry done, Sam?
You: Calm down –
Me: Don’t tell me to calm down!
You: I don’t have time right now, honey –
Me: I am not your honey!
You: Why do you care so much about this place being so… clean and organized?
Me: Because! Everything else in our fucking lives is out of control!
You: It’s because your parents are coming over for dinner isn’t it?
Me: Shit.

“a dirty joke” by Julia at her desk

Saturday, September 7, 2013
5 minutes
Sometimes I Forget Completely

She sends me her love in a perfectly washed yellow spring jacket. She can’t wait to show me, how all the black marks around the collar are gone, and how the sleeves aren’t grey anymore. It’s almost too yellow now. Before it was bright but muted because it was so filthy. I think I like it better now because it doubles as a safety precaution every time I wear it. It’s really a great jacket. I guess I didn’t notice how nice it was until after she gave it back to me. Too bad about the little rip on the back, she says, shaking her head like she’s disappointed a good washing doesn’t bring back dead threads from beyond the grave. Thanks, I say, you really didn’t have to. She has a gift, making those dirty things clean with a smile and a determined attitude. I didn’t get either from her. I wish I had. I know I’d be better if I had. It smells nice, I tell her. Does it? She asks, her head cocking to one side, smirking coyly with just the right amount of satisfaction.

“rigidity out of it” by Julia on her couch

Monday, April 15, 2013
5 minutes
From a quote by Mark Twain

Apparently if you throw in a half damp sock into the dryer with a bunch of your already wrinkled clothes, and leave everythin’ in there for at least 20 minutes or somethin’, it makes everythin’ when you take it out come all nice and smooth. No wrinkles. So I’m plannin’ to try this today but I don’t know if I’ll have time, what with Jerry’s mother comin’ to visit us. She needs the casserole dish to be perfectly situated on the table, I need to get us a table cloth or the woman will not sit down, and there has to be enough house plants all over in case she wants to ash somewhere while she’s standin’. So. I won’t have much time to do all the other domestics I said to myself I was goin’ to do. Jerry’s mother is a real house Lady. She knows how everythin’ is supposed to go, and why. But she ain’t have no patience when it comes to dust so I’ve been scrubbin’ every surface around here since last Tuesday, just in case the woman gets out some plastic gloves and tries to run some tests or investigation in my livin’ room. I suppose she has a point, cleanliness, health, all that. But she still comin’ into my house so I have to make sure I have enough chocolate covered digestives just to calm me down!

“Celebrate your inner Scot” by Julia on her couch

Friday January 25, 2013
5 minutes
Robbie Burns Month Card

I was releasing my dog, Wendy, to go do her, you know, her daily business.
She was taking forever so I started a load of laundry. Had to wash Benjamin’s kilt, which was fine, because he wanted to wear it to Joanie and Tanya’s wedding. I think he’s a good boy, good head on his shoulders, but he’s as weird as he is good. We’re not even Scottish. Why would he want to wear a kilt, I’ll never know. But oh well at least he’s not smoking crack–which is an extreme, I know, but he’s my son, so I think I can afford to be extreme.
Anyhow, where was I? Oh right, so I let out Wendy, she’s taking forever, right. She starts barking. Screeching, actually. I could hear her from the laundry room, so I leave the load, and Kier’s little kilt. I go up and she sounds like she’s gotten into a fight with another animal. My first thought was what if it were a skunk! So I stay out just to be safe because I can always wash Wendy later. Then I wonder, no, is that a coon? Or what? Another dog, surely not.