“she’s in a shoe store with her friends,” by Julia at her desk

Friday August 2, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
Some Notes Against the Burden of Representation
Rahat Kurd

She’s waiting for her dad because on Saturdays her dad takes her to lunch.
He takes her to the food court and lets her pick: Chinese food, or New York Fries.
He’s sweet to her on these days, shows her off to his employees.
They talk about her hair, how it’s like his, how she looks just like him.
She’ll help him rearrange the shoes in the window after she wipes down the clear shelf.
She feels like she’s helping him. He’ll likely redo it after she leaves.
The faster the shoes get organized in the window, the faster he can take his break.
He is sweet to her on these days, doesn’t tell her how to do it better.

He throws his tie behind his shoulder and dives in to the burger, or the chicken balls.
He asks if she’s done any good shopping yet and she tells him about the earrings she bought; little ladybugs
She won’t remember what they talked about years from now but here in this moment she thinks she’ll never forget.
Next Saturday she should ask her friend if she wants to come, he says he’ll drive them.
Maybe they could catch a movie at the Cineplex Odeon in the afternoon.

“Ninety pounds.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday February 4, 2018
7:04pm
5 minutes
T is for Texas
Derek McCormack

Hardly ninety pounds soaking wet, Kenny didn’t have a friend ’til he met Burl. It’s not like Burl had a softball team waiting to eat lunch with him or anything, but he did have Henrietta so that’s something.

Henrietta did not like Kenny from the moment she met him. Something about a boy in sweatpants just got her goat. When he walked over to her and Burl, acting like he belonged, she wrinkled her forehead and looking back and forth from Kenny to Burl like she was watching a badminton match. Silly birdie.

“Hi Burl.”

“Hi Kenny.”

“Would you like to come over and play after school today? My brother has chess, and Joan would rather not have to entertain me.”

Anyone who calls their mother by her first name cannot be trusted, thought Henrietta, picking the lettuce out of her salami sandwich.

“Better questions to ask are” by Sasha at the beach

Wednesday October 18, 2017
1:17pm
5 minutes
You Can Heal Your Life
Louise Hay

Margot isn’t sure about egg salad sandwiches. She isn’t sure if she likes that Mrs. Jenkins puts tiny pieces of cut up pickle in, as well as red peppers, and gherkins. Before she leaves for school Margot checks her brown paper bag to see if it’s going to be egg salad, tuna salad, peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese, or salami sandwich day. Those are the sandwiches that Mrs. Jenkins makes. Margot notices that it means there’s no repeats in the school week, but that Mondays aren’t always egg salad and Tuesdays aren’t always tuna and so on and so forth.

“finally coming home” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Thursday, September 21, 2017
11:14am
5 minutes
From a text

Glen makes himself a peanut butter sandwich and wishes that Heather wasn’t allergic. If Heather wasn’t allergic he could bring this glorious sticky mess to work everyday and wouldn’t have to mess with salami or havarti. Glen always thinks of his mother when he packs a lunch. She packed his lunches for twelve years, and then when he moved out and went to community college, he began to pack his own. He followed her formula though – sandwich, fruit, something salty (corn nuts, tortilla chips, or almonds) or something sweet (a chocolate chip cookie, a few jujubes, a fruit leather). Her name is also Heather. HEATHER. He never knew that heather was a flower until after she died. His mother. Not the other one.

“if indoors, stay indoors” by Sasha at her desk


Monday June 26, 2017
11:51pm
5 minutes
From the Central 1 credit union emergency response plan

It all starts when you get hives, clustered around your collarbones, reaching up your neck. You think it’s a spider bite and then Janis says, “What’d you have for lunch?”

Dr. Klein is useless. He tries to put you on anti-depressants. “I’m not depressed,” you say. He gives you a look like you will be, or you should be, or you could be.

Soon, a triad of plantar warts sprout on the ball of your left foot. You hobble around the office and Janis says, “What’d you have for lunch?!”

“has been hurt on the job” by Julia in her bed


Monday October 17, 2016
11:51pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

My cousin Matthew missed the Family Picnic that we started calling “The Reunion” even though it was really just a regular get together only with meals starting at 10am instead of 2. Italians love starting meals at 2pm. He missed it because he was in an accident at work and got a piece of led in his eye or something equally as dramatic. He would have liked to be there. He said he looks forward to the hour drive every summer, even if it’s raining. Matthew couldn’t even open his eye for a whole week. He had a very good excuse to miss the bocce ball and the badminton and the group photos and the cute little videos we make for the family members who also really wanted to be there but couldn’t because of very good excuses. We should have made one for Matthew. I’ll tell him we owe him one.

“Mangiamo Italiano!” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday June 14, 2016 at Starbucks
6:52am
5 minutes
The front page of the Westender

They are sitting around a long table, glass bottles filled with fresh spring water from the well down the road. They are drinking Limoncello before noon. They are cracking jokes in dialect, English, Italian, and a combination of all three. They are sprinkling extra Parmigiana on their pasta shuta, adding extra wine, cheaper than water, to their tiny cups. Some of them add sugar. Some of them fall asleep while drinking it…
They are pouring olive oil on everything, going up for seconds before there are none left, and passing the soft bread, still warm from the hands that broke it just seconds ago. They are telling the same stories that have been told for decades, still expecting the same laughs, the same response even though everyone there has heard them in rotation. They are quiet and trying not to eat as much, or quiet and trying to take it all in, or quiet because there is so much love and it speaks volumes in the moments where only faint chewing is audible.

“feel free to talk to me” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday April 19, 2016
10:43pm
5 minutes
From an e-mail

You come home for lunch instead of buying it out, like you always promise you’ll do but never actually do and you make yourself a salad with greens from Kim’s garden – lovage and mint, romaine and baby kale. You don’t know how Kim does it – how she finds time to tend to all these things with her job and her father and the baby. You eat slow. You told Haddie that you have a meeting at a coffee shop after lunch – a white lie. You don’t feel bad about white lies anymore. No point. You sprinkle on soft goat cheese and pumpkin seeds.

“for a variety of reasons” by Sasha at Moii Cafe


Friday November 6, 2015 at Moii Cafe
11:35am
5 minutes
Overheard at Moii Cafe

I’m angry at you for a variety of reasons. A WIDE variety. Wide like a mouth screaming. Wide like the clouds and the rain. Firstly, you ate my leftover curry and you know that the one thing I get truly invested in is lunch and I was sweaty and starving when I got home from my appointment at the optometrist and all I wanted, in life, was my leftover curry. I spent twelve dollars on it and it wasn’t even the best, but I’m practising portion control so specifically put aside half for today’s lunch. And then, and THEN, I see the take out container in the recycling bin. “He must’ve transferred it to a glass container. How sweet.” I thought. Nope. NOPE! You didn’t even leave a goddamn note, Trevor! You didn’t even leave a note saying, “Terribly sorry. Couldn’t resist your curry.”

“Like sands in my feet” by Sasha on the Bathurst streetcar


Monday, August 5, 2013
11:14pm
5 minutes
In My Shoe
Tee’k Aminu


Dear Penelope. No. Dear Henrietta. Crap. Nooo. Dear Beatrice, “Bea” for short, when we’re feeling cuddly. Dear Beatrice, it is with a heavy heart that I must write on your most pristine of pages. I have decided to leave school – to depart from the fluorescent lights of the cafetorium, from the obnoxious and pimpled boys who have yet to be blessed with a growth spurt. I bid “adieu” to the one ply toilet paper and the sticky pink hand-soap. Never again will I hear that most dreadful sound, that shrill scream, the recess bell. Bea, I have simply had enough. There I was, minding my own business, separating out the bits of sweet pickle from my egg salad, sitting on the bench by the gate, where that questionable student teacher usually sits and sexts on her phone. Miles McCormack, smelling, as usual of tuna and body odour, said, “Bet you can’t guess what my Dad said about your Dad?” And I could. I could guess. Of course I could. But I didn’t. I contained myself. I kept throwing those tiny pickle pieces on the ground. It became hard to ignore him, however, when he came right up in my face, crouched in front. “What are you talking about, Miles?” I asked, as though I hadn’t heard, playing dumb. “Your Daddy got sent to PRISON!” he screamed, a bit of spit flying out of his mouth and landing in my eye.

“He leaned forward” By Julia at Belly Acres


Sunday July 28, 2013 at Belly Acres
9:32am
5 minutes
The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway


He had been rocking in his chair for over an hour, flipping through the same Living Home magazine from cover to cover. Stopping to point out his favourite pictures each time as if he had never noticed them before. He was getting old. And tired. And a bit more cranky than he used to be. Sort of lost his tolerance for the usual daily delights. He’d rather sit there silently, not looking at anything in particular and thinking about Sandy his Border Collie who was his biggest joy. Sandy hadn’t been around for years but he still missed her. He didn’t miss anyone else. Not even his late wife Margaret who never completed a day of her life without complaining about the weather even on the most beautiful days. He was convinced it was about time for lunch, but had given up with clocks too. They only reminded him that he was spending another hour by himself. The rocking chair felt like a good place to hide out. At least until his chicken noddle soup was ready.