“community based competitions” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday June 19, 2016
10:39pm
5 minutes
http://www.academicinvest.com

Ned has sweaty palms and can’t seem to find Mol in the crowd. He’s up next. He scans and scans but no Mol. He takes three deep breaths, like Coach Perkins taught him, and plants his feet hip width apart. He learned that from Mol. “Up next, Ned Kirkpatrick!” The announcers voices always sound the same, no matter where he goes. He scans once more. Maybe Mol got lost like last time, he thinks. A lump in his throat, he walks up to the mic. “Hello boys and girls, parents and teachers. Today I am going to blow your mind with a magic trick of epic proportions!” Just then, as he pulls on his cape, Mol comes running in through the doors at the back of the gymnasium. As if in slow motion, everyone turns around to look. Ned smiles. Mol always comes through.

“if you gave me a chance I would take it” by Julia on her patio


Saturday, June 13, 2015
2:35pm
5 minutes
Rather Be
Clean Bandit


Clean break
Said goodbye
Said it twice
Left the room
Turned back
Waited to make meaningful eye contact
You didn’t see me
Said goodbye too
Said it with your back to me
So what now
What do I hold onto
That memory
Should be enough
To remind me that it’s over
You said goodbye
Said it twice
Clean break
No lasting happy thoughts
To tricks of the mind
True colours splattered on the walls
For all to see
No hiding them
No covering them up
No pretending they don’t exist
So believe them now
Trying to
Cause those true colours
Aren’t doing it for me
Aren’t lifting me up
And I know they’re supposed to
Clean break
Painful aftermath
Sad songs playing on the radio
On repeat
Waking up alone
wanting to die
Said goodbye
Said it twice

“If you find yourself with a free second” by Julia on her patio


Thursday, June 11, 2015
11:14pm
5 minutes
from a staff meeting handout

Take that second to hold your face in the mirror and smile at that beautiful thing that is growing and sharing and developing in front of your very eyes. Such self love is necessary to survive and thrive and achieve and believe. It starts with an appreciation for magic and mistakes, for findings and failures, for dreams and denials. We can love a loaf of bread with every fiber of our being, but when we hold ourselves up to the light we can’t indulge in ourselves the same way. We can not crave it or feed ourselves with it. And we must. We must feed our souls with intense and concentrated self love, the kind that springs eternal when it’s allowed to enter. And though it’s not a vampire and it won’t kill us, it still won’t come in unless we invite it in.

“How is one to know—with strangers?” by Julia at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library


Saturday March 14, 2015 at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library
3:10pm
5 minutes
The Midwich Cuckoos
John Wyndham


Caught her staring at me from underneath her sunhat. She was trying to catch glimpses of me incognito but I could see her there, plain as day, paying all her attention to me, avoiding everything about herself. In her slight defense, I would be sneaking glances at me too if I were her. From an objective perspective, I was talking about some fascinating things. People always seem to perk up when they hear the words “wild” “unbelievable” “mind-blowing” “freedom” “sensual” and “magic”. I didn’t want to shame her for watching. After all, it was my choice to leave my house and interact with other human beings. You can’t really blame someone for wanting to see how another person lives, talks, eats, breathes, shares, listens, reacts, lies, sinks, falls, achieves, succeeds. I was curious about her too; sad girl hiding behind her over-sized beach hat.

“People and shopping” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday January 10, 2015
10:05pm
5 minutes
from a map of London

I lit all the candles in the world
One by one
I used the same match for quite some time
You’re impressed
Thank you
I lit up the continents
The oceans
The sky
The valleys
The peaks
The snow
The sand
I lit all the candles in the world
I hoped you wouldn’t sneeze
Or sigh
I hoped that you would stand back
Beside me
And listen to the glow

“virtual environments” by Julia at Katie’s flat in London


Tuesday December 9, 2014
12:20am
5 minutes
from the MLA research guide

Okay so Jordie got a tablet for his birthday and he says there’s an app for literally EVERYTHING. I believe this cause he’s not allowed to tell a lie or he won’t be able to have KD and hotdogs for dinner and that’s his favourite so he always tells the truth. Jordie says that you can watch yourself in an alternate reality if you really wanted to and see how your face looks and how your mind thinks in a different dimension. He says that if you are ready for it, you can also see others there. Jordie says that in a matter of years we will all have a space brain and a human body but we won’t really need our human bodies cause space brains don’t need anything at all but time and mystery. He said mystery but what I think he meant was magic. He gets those things confused sometimes. Mostly because he thinks they’re the same thing.

“Power protects power” by Julia at her desk


Saturday November 1, 2014
3:13am
5 minutes
From the program notes for Saint Joan at the Arts Club

sometimes you don’t want to do anything. you just want to put on red lipstick, dance around in your walk in closet, and tie your hair up in funny ribbons. you don’t want to do anything good I mean. In that you don’t want to do anything that might further your life, or your learning. but we all do it, I think. we all need a little break from our objectives and from our own minds. we need to know that there’s something to come back to, but we wouldn’t know that if we never left. so sometimes it’s not a bad thing at all to put on 6 shades of eyeshadow just cause you don’t have plans on a Friday night. or to sit watching clips of Jake Gyllenhaal kissing beautiful women on youtube. nobody can judge it because nobody can say that they aren’t guilty of the alone behaviour that keeps them sane, or if nothing else, amused. because uniqueness breeds uniqueness, and power protects power. and if those things are true, then magic alone time inspires magic alone time. maybe that last one doesn’t make sense. sometimes you just don’t feel like making sense.

“I know it’s scary but” by Sasha at 49th Parallel on Main St.


Friday October 3, 2014 at 49th Parallel
4:41pm
5 minutes
from a text message from Jess

I’m more interested in
organ keys than deep bass
brown rice than the colour orange
maps than keys
I’m more about
here than later
down than up
breaststroke than butterfly
I’m all the
leather and feathers
diamonds and dust
mountains and quartz crystals
I’m making
magic and lullabies
quinoa and pencil shavings
bullets of beauty and porridge with a kiss
I’m growing
crow feathers and fern patterns
grammatical tongue tickles and boots like moss
cactus of ambition and dreams like the milky way

“You mustn’t lose it.” By Julia on Hugo Street


Tuesday August 12, 2014
4:49pm
5 minutes
a quote from Robin Williams

He said it matter-of-factly as he gripped his miniature hand over my closed fist. This was a gift from a tiny god and I was being entrusted with it. He made sure I was looking him in the eyes when I promised him I would keep it safe. And never give it to any one else? Of course not. And never drop it on the ground that doesn’t have carpet? Never ever. And never forget where you last put it? Not on my life. And with that he scampered off getting distracted by the grass that he in that moment just had to bend down to dig up. I watched him playing in the earth with my fist still tightly closed. The magic of this gift was fuelling me from my hands and seeping into my bones trough my troubled skin. He didn’t even say what it was. I suppose he didn’t have to. I had believed in the importance of it by virtue of his stern instructions. He didn’t make me promise not to open it until he was gone. I didn’t have to open it to know that it was ours.

“I’d known better” by Julia on her couch


Monday May 12, 2014
12:02am
5 minutes
Stethocsope
A short story by Ben Mauk


Oh yeah I was flying, it wasn’t a dream, I really was.
You can bet on that kind of stuff.
The stuff that feels real but isn’t.
The stuff that you wish was fake, but can’t be.
I once flew in a dream and oh yeah, it was magical.
I was able to get myself off the ground with a couple of good and happy thoughts the way Mary Martin taught me.
I went searching for someone I shouldn’t have been searching for.
He comes up a lot.
Sort of in my mind the way a fly buzzes in your ear, flies into it, out of nowhere.
You try to swat it away.
I do. I try to swat it away.
He comes up a lot.
He comes up so much.
Those are the times the empty feeling of guilt doesn’t haunt my sleep, or my waking states.
Those are the times the guilt doesn’t get to penetrate because I earned the free pass.
From loving him all those years.
From jumping off a tall building and landing in my own heart.
So I see him when I’m not expecting him.
And sometimes I tell him all my secrets even though he already knows them.
I don’t know how he knows but he knows.
He feels the same way about me, sometimes finding me in my dreams too.
And we meet there with a bow tied around the moment so no one tries to unwrap it and waste it.

“She snapped the shutter” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday October 12, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
6:17pm
5 minutes
from the 2011 Toronto Star article ‘American Girl still walking tall’
Murray White


Cher was waiting at the bus stop dressed like a boy because it was Thursday. She was waiting to see the driver she had grown accustomed to riding with on her usual morning route to school. Maybe she should have brought an umbrella today, she wondered to herself, even though the skies were quite clear and the forecast showed no signs of rain. Cher couldn’t have been bothered to regret things so she put the thought out of her mind and into the big bubble she was making with her gum. Today, she thought, she would ask the driver his name and maybe tell him hers. He was always very nice to her, letting her ride without paying, or just asking her about her day on the days she still dropped in the proper fare. She wondered if his name ended in an O, an R, or an L. She was usually right about things like that. She was usually right about birthdays and weight-guessing as well. Cher stood there waiting and ready when all of a sudden she felt a tiny raindrop bounce off her head.

“that you would go” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday, June 27, 2013
11:59pm
5 minutes
Choice
Udiah


If you leave, will you please take the star-shaped welcome mat from the front hallway and burn it in the yard? I always hated that thing, and I only kept it because you like that weird freaky shit that sort of makes you look like a wizard, or a Larper. You know? You just collect all these annoying little figurines and you put them in every corner of every room and like, sometimes, I’m not gonna lie, I’m worried that you’re gonna make me pray to them, or look at them when we’re getting it on. That shit is too weird for me. So take the mat, and take the lavender that you’ve pulverized and stuffed into my old pantyhose, or like two pairs at least, and whatever else you’ve armed the house with. I wonder if you’re trying to get rid of me, there’s so many fucking trinkets everywhere. I mean, I’m all for little jars with twine or whatever, but I do not need tiny satchels of a “Pixie’s promise” to haunt me in my own home after you’ve gone and cursed everything I’ve ever even touched. So. When you leave. I guess, is the thing. When, not if, because in stating all of this out loud, I’m fairly certain you’re a lawn gnome that’s come to life to try and kill me in my sleep.

“the Devil who touched my body” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 3, 2013
2:11pm
5 minutes
Aleph
Paulo Coelho


It was magic, rushing through me, telling all my limbs to be easy, quieting my veins as it poured all the way into my heart.
The music playing in my mind was a beautiful electronic beat and kept me awake and dreaming.
I couldn’t tell you what I was wearing. Probably nothing as I tend to dance in my own skin when I’m trying to change the world. I bobbed my head and shrugged my shoulders, shrugging off the ways of yesterday and trading them for something a little more specific. Magic. Gush… it had so much more than temporary release, it lasted and lasted until I was making dust angels on my hardwood floor. Spreading my wings into the grooves I walk on daily. Let’s fly where we walk, tread lightly lest we wake our downstairs neighbours.
My headspace cleared and I knew what I wanted. From life, from God, from you, from books. Something tangible, something I could carry with me, enjoy forever. The change in tempo was nice. Not needing from others to feel alive. Pushing hard into a bruise to feel like it’s okay to get hurt. Using my cut finger to open a jar of pickles and let the scab peel off slightly just to watch the healing process all over again.

“the house full of good smells” by Sasha on the subway going west


Friday, March 21, 2013
1:21am
5 minutes
The 100 Mile Diet
Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon


I don’t know if you’ve, like, noticed? But, but, but I’m practising the practise of mindful self-improvement. You know… “Dance Like No One is Watching” and all that? It’s going well? I guess. I mean, I’m adding chia seeds to my oatmeal and that really takes it to the next level and like, like, I’m trying to “sweat once a day” like those Lulu bags say? There’s, like, a lot of wisdom on those bags! Basically they are like, the Deepak Chopra of all carrying devices, you know? And I’m, like, thinking of booking a ticket to Iceland because I heard that the people there have, like, a higher consciousness. I can only imagine that the landscape begs the Icelandic people to have some sort of raised faith in the… everything! You know? And, and, I changed my alarm sound from All the Single Ladies to, like, this incredible meditation bell? It’s just magic. It really changes how my day starts and, like, that’s a really important time, you know, to like, like, get things going on the right track.