“A marriage is risky business these days” by Julia at The Cottage

Sunday, March 22, 2020
5 minutes
Wedding Poem for Schele and Phil
Bill Holm

When the invite came in the mail I didn’t take it out of its envelope.
Marnie would have fainted if she knew. I just threw it straight into the trash.
It was hard not being able to tell her. I mean, if you were me you wouldn’t tell her.
No one needs their best friend telling you that they can’t trust themselves to make a better decision.
I couldn’t support it and I don’t think I should have lied to her about it.
If I had gone, she would have had me there but I’d be lying the whole time.
It’s not better to lie about stuff like that.
Guess you could say I avoided it, I lied, same same double same, but the truth is, Marnie didn’t get subtle wake up calls.
She didn’t take anything seriously and in a way I kind of hoped she would have this one time.
It was the end of our friendship, to be honest with you. Marnie wasn’t going to listen to me tell her after the fact.
It’s my fault though. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror after I let her walk down the aisle.
Some people think it was my job to say something, but I don’t know, if it were that easy…
Well. Anyway, all I can say is marriage is already a risky business these days. It doesn’t need
more doubt thrown onto the fire.

“I’m five years old,” by Julia in the fishbowl

Thursday January 30, 2020
5 minutes
Sailing Through the Night
John Calderazzo

I’m five years old and I love singing in front of my classmates and showing everyone the dances that I’ve choreographed. I’m boy crazy and I already have plans to marry Andrew Goodall since Luke Walker is taken by my best friend, heather, and it makes sense cause they are the same height. Andrew will join the army, but I don’t know that yet. In the third grade I will teach him how to dance along with some of my other crushes, but for now, he is the loveliest husband. I tell him that since we’re married we should build a structure together on a tray with tiny plastic bears. Andrew says yes and we build it quietly. He is kind, and I like him even more now. I tell him we should show our structure to the older grades and he agrees again. I don’t know who showed Andrew how to be so cooperative but I am not thinking about that now. I am thinking that this is the only way it could go. And so we carry the tray around, Andrew leading the way and me following, bringing it into the grade 8 class. They think we’re cute because we’re in love. I am taking it very seriously. I think I am one of them. I back into the skeleton in the room and it shakes and everyone snickers. Andrew isn’t laughing at me. He looks concerned. As soon as we escape the class, he puts his hand gently on my back and asks me if I am okay.

“What about his own sex life?” By Sasha on her couch

Sunday January 12, 2020
5 minutes
Elbowing The Seducer
T. Gertler

Beth lost her sex drive when she lost her pubic hair, sometime in 2016. Glenn has resolved himself, and no long asks via a gentle pawing at her back when they get in to bed after Friday nights at the Cineplex. Sometimes they kiss, but even that has dwindled. Beth tries not to feel badly about it – she and Glenn had a lot of sex when they first met, less sex after they got married, less sex when they had the twins, more sex when the twins started school, less sex when they left for college… you get the idea. Like everything in a twenty three year relationship, there are changing tides, ebbs and flows. When she stopped wanting to have sex, four years ago, she felt awful, wondering if there was something clinically wrong with her. She asked Dr. Reid, who said, “Completely normal. Would you like some assistance?” At first Beth thought, yes, she would.

“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.

“Can you see my fingers?” by Julia at her desk

Friday May 24, 2019
5 minutes
The Fighter
Craig Davidson

No rings. You’re looking for a ring, I don’t have one.
Yeah we’ve been together for a decade.
Yeah we’ve been filing our taxes as a “unit”.
Yeah I’m paying higher medical fees than I would be if I were single.
No I don’t have a ring.
I don’t know if his mom has one in the family she’s hoping will go to use.
I don’t know if that’s something they do.
We don’t have that.
I saw my mother’s engagement for the first time this weekend and hers is beautiful,
but it would get caught in my hair.
I never liked spending money on symbols.
I’m a writer.
I can give more meaning to a 10 year long relationship with words, and those,
if you think are free, are not.
Something simple would be nice.
Something that suits me and my spirit and my skin tone, if we’re going down that road.
I like my hands better these days.
I like the way they’ve aged and my nails too, so if this is an option, I’m glad
they look the way they do now.
He isn’t so much a gifts person as he is a touch person,
a quality time person, a words person.
He’s pretty amazing at all of those, hence the 10 years thing.
If you’re looking, and think you should see something, that’s your own narrative.
But if it makes you feel any better, I think about it sometimes too.

“the host raised his glass” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday January 15, 2019
5 minutes
Notes on Surrender
Krista Bremer

Adam raised his glass and I thought, ‘I don’t know this man.’

I do know this man. He’s my husband of thirteen years, but in these moments, in some moments, he’s a stranger.

That’s the weird part. No matter how well you think you know someone, there are still moments when –

“Thank you all for being here. I used to try to imagine what forty would feel like, what it would look like – ”

Bert chortles.

” – … I am so fortunate to be blessed by a beautiful family,” Adam looked at me, I smiled. “Mimi, you have done it again, this meal is stunning. Thank you.” People clap. Henrietta rubs my back. I felt like I was floating above these sixteen people, gathered in our dining room, at the table I set, finishing the meal that I chose, sipping wine that I bought.

“who is already a married woman.” By Julia on the 41

Monday, December 3, 2018
5 minutes
Good Fate
Virginia Suk-yin Ng

I thought I would be married by 24. Like my mother. She was a married woman in her early twenties and 6 years later, me. I was there too. I think it was different back then. We all do, I’m pretty sure. I don’t know if my mother thinks I should be married by now or if my dad has an opinion about it. A few aunts have made the mention but outside of that nobody seems to care about me one way or the other.
Some people have been divorced twice by my age. Just saying. I don’t know, I never got a toaster for any of my commitments. Not a good luck on your career shift! Or a wow you’ve been writing for a long time, here’s a nice pack of pens!
Where was the congratulations card when I celebrated my 11th year of not shaving a single hair off my body.

“I married Dave” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 8, 2018
5 minutes
Plants Don’t Have Birthdays
Andrea Gregor

I married Dave
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted
I am happy with Dave
He is the one who makes me happy
He is the one who
He is the one who makes me
I am in love with Dave
He is the one I wanted to love
He is the one I loved to want
He is the love I wanted
I settled for Dave
He is the one I wanted to leave me
He is the one I wanted to leave
He is the one I wanted then didn’t
I am still with Dave
He is the one I regret
He is the one I didn’t expect
He is the one I was too afraid to question
He is the one I can’t see myself in
He is the one who was there
He is the one who had a car
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who had a problem
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who lied
He is the one who kept me small
He is the one who I let keep me small
He is the one I married

“survive and maybe be heroic.” By Sasha at the Airbnb

Sunday September 23, 2018
5 minutes
Loud, Unpleasant Noises
Norbert Ruebsaat

Today is the day
one year ago this one
that we stood
surrounded from all
circular curves
in grass and with
the whippoorwills
with the cumulous
and the grandparents
Today is the day
we promised love
and patience and
not to take things
personally I’m still
working on that one
slowly slowly slowly
We said we would do
our best and we have
and we are and that
one is almost always
true even when it
doesn’t feel like it
Today is the day
that we passed rings
down the spiral
sang an ancient song
as we did every cupped
hand charging them up
for the times when we
just can’t bear the truth
or we can but we aren’t
exactly sure how

“They must have math class” by Julia in her bed

Wednesday September 19, 2018
5 minutes
Hanako Masutani

The class watches as Ms. P puts the quadratic equasion on the board. she doesn’t have a ring on her finger and so they wonder why she might be unmarried. Someone as good at math should surely be a Mrs. Someone as nice with the right kind of floral shirts should know about weddings. Ms. P whips around and tells them she can hear them-that being behind her doesn’t make them suddenly invisible. Nick decides he wants to ask if she’s ever farted on a man. Nick is smart enough to do the math but his social skills are stuck in a tree in third grade.

“Hey, man, fuck that.” By Julia at The Common on Bloor

Tuesday August 14, 2018
5 minutes
A quote by Elvis Presley

I have never been to florida and now addie is planning to have her wedding there. she says it’s so dean’s family can drive there and some of them don’t handle flying very well. when we were young she used to invite me but I was never allowed to go. my mom said there was something she didn’t trust about florida but she had never been there either. addie wants the resort to plan the wedding because she plans events for a living and wants a day off where friends and family can drink and eat and tell her how awesome she is. if people give her a hard time about not doing a tradional (stupidly expensive) wedding at a hall she usually flips them the bird and tells them to fuck off.

“Truth rambles some moorish in-between, but that’s poetry” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday July 28, 2018
5 minutes
Ellie Sawatzky

Truth rambles out open pores
and I smell goodness on your skin
drink it in
maybe that’s why I like to bury
in your armpits

I’ve never known a love
with these peaks and valleys

When someone I enjoy
asks me about the first year
of marriage
all I can say is

it’s different
it’s the hardest thing
it’s all a beautiful mystery”

“The roots went down
that day and they spread
wide always reaching always

all I can say is

This is how I
want to be

“isolated, alienated, and uncomfortable” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday June 27, 2018
5 minutes
From quillette.com

You died seventeen months ago. I count in months because years doesn’t give the weight. I stopped counting in weeks, in days, because that felt too heavy. There probably hasn’t been a minute that I haven’t thought of you, a whole sixty seconds. No way.

Pete said that you basically killed yourself, that you wanted to die. I said I wasn’t sure about that.

I play your guitar on the front porch and sometimes the cat from across the street comes and rubs against my legs. Is it you?

I saw the light only for a slippery moment – somewhere between here and there. I saw that I’m not fit to love again, not yet, I’m not fit to wife another husband, not yet.

“the grey of old age” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday December 27, 2017
5 minutes
Hussain Ahmed

The grey of old age is creeping up your sideburns
and it’s sexier than I imagined it would be

You’ve got wrinkles in your forehead
Laugh lines across your cheeks
Dimples in the small space between joke and laugh

When we promised forever
I didn’t know it would be
like this
When we promised forever
I didn’t know so much would change
I didn’t know so much would stay the same

We’re making more tacos
more love
more dirt under the fingernails
We’re making less fuss
less waste
less fire

“COLD PRESS BRIGHT” by Sasha in the Kiva

Sunday October 1, 2017
5 minutes
from the EPSON box

I will cold press your brightness like orange juice
We’ll drink it together like moon shine
The Milky Way will guide the walk to the jungle
Where we’ll dance naked with parrots and palms

I will kiss every inch of your hurting
Where you didn’t get enough or got too much
I will love every place where you’re burning
And slow your heart with a lullaby like this

I will give you the goodness that you need now
I will waterfall into the unknowings
I will write poems after hours of loving
And chart futures on the bed sheet tangle

“I’m driving so couldn’t really see it” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Saturday September 23, 2017
5 minutes
from a text

You stand on the edge of a hill.
You take in the vista.
Maybe the sun is rising.

Maybe your mother is somewhere close by
And your sister
And her daughter.

And almost all of the women you love
Gathered around a fire.

A black river rushes close by.

You will marry your love today.
Yes. You will marry your love today.

You tie the sash of your dress and
The sun whispers about the past and the future.
You laugh because you’re unwrapping each minute.
A present.

Eighty seven voices sing you into being
Sing you across the threshold.

“On the day of our wedding” by Sasha in the Kiva

Monday September 18, 2017
5 minutes
Swing Low
Miriam Toews

On the day of our wedding I will vow to
Be impeccable with my word
Not take things personally
I will vow not to make assumptions
And to choose love choose love
Choose love
Every day

I will break these vows

We agree that we will
Break these vows

“It’s an aspiration”
You say
On the phone long distance

“It’s an aspiration”
I say
Under my breath
Crossing things off the list

On the day of our wedding
We will stand in a field
Under a blue sky
We will walk with our parents
We will walk alone
We will sweat
We will cry
We will worry that someone is uncomfortable
We will feel grace
We will promise
We will do our best
We will speak vows
We will break
We will kiss
We will vow
I will vow to

Be the one to hold
To yourself
To me
To your word
To the supple space
Between now and forever

“On the day of our wedding” by Julia at the sudio

Monday September 18, 2017
5 minutes
Swing Low
Miriam Toews

We got hitched in Vegas (no not a Trekkie wedding, even though that would have been funnier)
and decided that every year we’d renew our vows. Not the same vows from our wedding day. Those were too wine soaked to reuse. But luckily we remember deciding to write new ones for each year’s cermemony so we could include all the growing we’ve done in three hundred sixty-five days and feel like our marriage was growing too. On the day of our wedding I found out that I was pregant and I never told him. I didn’t keep the baby. I made a secret vow to myself to keep some secrets with my own heart. That I would never betray myself to ease the guilt that would one day pass. I promised him that I would tell him what he needs to know and he laughed because he was drunk, but I’d like to think he laughed because he knew that it was for the best.

“keep this info handy” by Sasha on her couch

Sunday August 20, 2017
5 minutes
The Shaw pamphlet

“The fucking cheque bounced again, Henry!” Maude shouts from the bottom of the stairs. She can smell that Henry took a shower and used her shampoo again. “Asshole,” she mutters under her breath. He goes on and on about how he doesn’t like it when they smell the same and then he can’t resist the smell of coconut and vanilla. “Henry!” Maude doesn’t want to lose it, but he’s ignoring her and she hates that. She hears the door to his study crack open.

“What are you hollering about?” Henry pokes his head around the landing and she sees him in his towel, with his glasses low on his nose, and she remembers the man she married thirty three years ago.

“change the towels in the bathroom” by Julia at the studio

Monday July 31, 2017
5 minutes
Amelia Bedelia
Peggy Parish

Mona in the bath tub on her knees, scrubbing.
Finds a collection of black mildew. Furrows
her already furrowed brow. She curses his
name under her breath, Fucking Dennis and your fucking
lack of purpose in this life except to make me
fucking miserable. She hasn’t washed herself in
a week. She’s protesting. Maybe one of these
nights Dennis won’t try to stick his dick in
when she’s asleep on the couch. He tells her his
mother is going to inspect the bathroom and Mona
laughs as if she cares. But here she is, in the tub,
on her knees, bleeding for a man who does not bleed
for anyone but himself. And his mother.

Later, the kitchen tile is spotless and the food
is on the table. Dennis lies and says he’s
been working hard all day.
At what?
Drinking. Complaining. Leaves out the only
parts that are true.
His mother pulls a sprig of rosemary out of her mouth
and spits into the tomatoes. Mona’s lips turn upward.
Dennis throws a chicken leg at Mona’s face.
I told you my mother hates rosemary.

“they couldn’t handle you?” by Sasha on her balcony

Friday July 28, 2017
5 minutes
Overheard on Kits beach

I often feel I’m not keeping up
the dust bunnies collect in the corners again
the kitchen floor needs scrubbing again
I explain the rules of writing dialogue to children
but meanwhile break them in the quiet of the solitude

In fifty six days I will be married
this is not an accomplishment
or a humble brag
it is a fact
plain and simple
like my Diva cup sitting in a teacup
of boiling water on the counter

I often look at pictures of women
either pregnant or with
small cinnamon bun children
I wonder what it will be
to roll dough between my hands
and sift genes in my womb
“God willing” I say

Almost husband
my sweetheart
you put a Persian rug on the balcony
you leave plaque on the mirror
you fold my underwear into perfect shapes
you hold me tender and rough

“God willing”

“I tried to do it years ago” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday May 3, 2017
5 minutes
Devices On Standby
Joan Didion

I remember writing letters to my future self
I made it pretty clear that by 24 I would be married just like my mom
that I would have dated a man for at least 6 years before the wedding
that I would have met my husband in high school
that my first love would be my only
I thought it was a pretty good model
today is my parents’ 37th anniversary
and they are still happy

I told myself I would be a gymnast and/or a lawyer and/or a children’s author
(.5/3 if you’re counting)
I don’t remember if I had factored in life being any different than how my 10, or 12, or 17 year old self imagined it to be
I am 30 now and I am not married
I have dated a man for 7 years
and I met him in university
(1/3-if you’re counting)
I am a writer and/ or poet and/or artist
I am not like the letters said I’d be
but I am happy

“Wherever you are” by Julia on her couch

Saturday April 15, 2017
5 minutes
The Promise
Tracy Chapman

Remy shows up on my doorstep with blood running from his nose onto his once perfect white collared shirt. He doesn’t even notice the bleeding, or that his eyes are wide until I recoil from his touch.
“Krista,” he says, “I’m here, I’ve made it. Let’s get married.”
My heart does a back flip and lands with a thud. I haven’t seen Remy in 2 years. The last time we spoke he told me he was going to get clean. He asked me to wait for him.
Liz is waiting behind the corner with a baseball bat ready to knock him out. I realize quickly that he has already been knocked out-and the likelihood of him doing that to himself, knowing Remy, is high.

“Destiny Number” By Julia at The Vancouver Public Library

Thursday January 19, 2017 at the VPL
5 minutes

I told myself I’d be married at 24 cause of my mother. She was married at 24 and that felt like the best map I could follow since she has never once said she regretted it. I also said I wouldn’t have sex till I was 24 either case of Jesus. Or the patriarchy. Save my sex for someone who loves God more than he’ll ever love me and believes in owning humans as property? Yeah, what a great fucking idea. I was young then. And committed to Christ (by choice, weirdly, I know). And in love with the idea that I didn’t have to make my own decisions cause life was already going to have too many of those in the first place. I told myself that I would have a child by 28 cause of my mother. She waited 4 years to have one after she got married and that seemed smart, and good, and completely doable. I have missed both of these “destiny numbers”(by choice, I know, I know). Somewhere along the way I decided I could trust myself to lead me through it. Sometimes it’s the worst feeling in the entire world. But it’s better than being married with a bazillion kids coming out of my ears. Age, I’ve learned, is just a number that you get to hold for a year. And then–we let it go, just like everything else.

“the reconnection of a couple” by Julia at her dining table

Wednesday August 17, 2016
5 minutes

He had been gone for a long time. I think he was fishing with his new wife, Amber. I hadn’t seen him after he left my mother with a hospital bill and a bag of rotting carrots in the fridge. I hoped he and Amber caught all the fish they could carry.

I was mad because of what he did to my mom. I mean even to this day it’s weird to say “did to” as if he did himself to her. He behaved himself to her. He was himself to her seems more accurate. I was mad because he would be so capable of disappointing someone who loved him that much.

I found out this year that my mother was horrible to him too. I didn’t know that before. I guess I needed someone to blame but I needed someone to stay more. I guess I chose wrong.

That’s when he called. He heard my mom wasn’t going to make it and he came home. He came back to what home used to be. He didn’t bring Amber. I respected him more for that. He didn’t bring any fish. I thought that was kind of rude.

“out in the burbs” by Sasha at Lit Espresso Bar

Saturday July 30, 2016 at Lit on Ronces
5 minutes
Overheard at Lit on Roncesvalles

James wants to move out to the burbs once he’s done his internship. He keeps talking about the “size of the lots”… “There’s nothing for us here, Carly,” he keeps saying and I don’t know what he means and I absolutely do not agree. There’s lots for us. Lots for all of us, not just me and him. I’m not getting cold feet or anything, but I don’t really feel excited when he talks like that – like he has a plan that I’m not privy to, like he thinks he’s the boss of our future. I actually asked him last night, “Do you want a pool, James?! Do you want a damn hot tub?” And he laughed because he thought that maybe I was joking or something.

“Bought wedding bands on Etsy” By Julia at Bean Around The World

Friday July 29, 2016 at BATW
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Marissa was insistent on spending as little as possible on her wedding to Greg. Her friends asked her why she wouldn’t want this special day to be more classy or fancy or memorable. And then Marissa dumped all her friends and moved to a tiny island town and lived in a log cabin where she ate dehydrated beef and played scrabble with her cat. She told them she didn’t want to wake up one day and realize she had wasted all her hard earned money on a thing that might not last. And they were appalled. Was she having second thoughts about Greg? Was she cheating on him with his brother Grant? Was she going to be a Run-away Bride? And Marissa slapped them all in their dumb mouths and ate a bowl of peach cobbler drenched in Añejo 7. It wasn’t about doubting Greg. But a marriage is the thing that people should be focused on. The thing that takes 100 years to succeed at. Not the wedding, which lasts for 8 hours on the day, but then haunts your financial dreams for the next 1000 years, leaving you wishing you just went to City Hall like all the smart people.

“first on our list” by Julia on her couch

Saturday April 30, 2016
5 minutes
from the PTC newsletter

Hello everyone, welcome, thank you for joining us. We’re so happy you could be here to share in our special day. Neuromica and I have been so supported in the decision to unify since the first turn of the old moon’s last embrace. We sincerely welcome you into our space and into our family, to witness this one true love the two of us have for each other. Thank you for your accountability to us, and with even more gratitude, our accountability to you. We appreciate the community in this union as one that holds us higher than we could possibly get standing on the shoulders of each other alone. First on our list of more specific and directed thanks is the beautiful and warm and all encompassing universe: you are simply radiant this fine afternoon at this 5 star resort in Costa Rica.

“It’s already 10 o’clock!” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday December 2, 2015
5 minutes
said by Joe

Time is flying by and I wish he would just look up from that damned banjo of his for a second to notice that I am no longer interested in dicking around. When you meet the person your heart chooses to love and accept and be challenge by on a daily basis, why waste a single minute of that time after you’ve made up your heart to do something about it? I don’t think he believes that I love him and only him. I think he needs me to write it down and mail it in a letter! Maybe that’s what I’ll do, put it on some pretty pink stationary, spray it with my Eau De Toilette, then shove it in an envelope and seal it with a kiss! Telling him, you better hurry up and marry me quick before I change my mind about you, mister!

“His name is Luke.” by Julia on her couch

Saturday July 11, 2015
5 minutes
Overheard at Higher Grounds

After she named her first two boys Matthew and Mark, everyone thought she’d name her third one Luke. She didn’t name the first two with any religious references in mind, she simply wanted the names and that was that. She might have named the third one Luke but she never liked the name. It felt too small for a man once he grew up. That and it reminded her of the first boy she ever agreed to marry. Luke Walker had asked her to marry him in the first grade and she said yes because that’s what six year olds do. He was small and feminine and had a horrendously small nose. She only said yes because she thought Andrew Griffith was going to ask Sylvia Van Kasterin to marry him. Turns out Andrew liked her all along. She found out when he left school to join the army.

“And it’s taking me a second so I’m sorry.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday February 27, 2015
5 minutes
Duncan MacMillan

– You’re making that face again…
– What face?
That face.
– It’s just my face. I don’t know what you –
– It’s not just your face! I love your face. You’re making that face you make when you know you should apologize –
– I’m not gonna apologize –
– Then stop making that face.
– You’re making a face too, you know!
– Oh yeah? What does it say?
– It says “I’m smugggg…”
– Ha!
– It isn’t funny. I’m mad.
– I know that –
– And I’m offended that you think something’s off with my face. I always thought it was one of the few things I have going for me –
– HA!
– WHAT?!
– You’re spiralling…
– I know… It’s taking me a second to apologize because it’s not that black and white. It’s not just “SORRY! MY BAD!” and then let’s go watch a movie!
– Okay.
– Stop.
– What?
– Stop being so –
– Calm?
– …
– …
– I’m sorry.
– Thank you.
– …
– Your face is back now!

“shouting and laughing and throwing dirt” by Julia at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library

Thursday February 26, 2015 at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library
5 minutes
My Immortal Promise
Jen Holling

We had found ourselves in a ditch off the 39, laying on our backs facing the sky. About an hour had past and nobody had come looking for us so we did what anyone would do: We got married. We made a promise to each other, etched our signatures in the dirt and that was that. We kissed to seal the deal, me worrying about what my mother would say, her worrying about what my mother would say. We knew it wasn’t a recognized union, but to us it was something more than that–It was a symbolic moment of truth. After years of laughing and crying our way through any hardship, we knew that ours was a love worth continuously working for. After all, at the end of the day we only have two things: our best selves, and the person we choose to see us when we’re not.

“We finally took the plunge ;)”by Julia at Bagels and Beans

Wednesday November 19, 2014 at Bagels and Beans
5 minutes
From the Bagels and Beans write up by Ronald Bakker

After pounding back at least one hundred tiny chocolate covered coffee beans, I feel the urge to finally do it–finally just look into his eyes, tell him I’m sorry for making him wait so long but I am sure now, I am excited now, I am positively secure in us now.
He keeps his eyes down on his Japanese style wild salmon and puts calculated bagel bites into his mouth without really looking up at all. I like his eating habits. That was something I could never say before-among a million other things. They don’t bother me anymore. That’s how you know it’s really real. I wanted to do it right then, reward his patience, achieve that perfect moment you spend your whole life constructing.
And he doesn’t respond to my throat clearing, my quirky sighs that signal I’m ready for his attention. I am filled with dread suddenly.

“Then we’d better be jolly, jolly sure” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday October 30, 2014
5 minutes
On Directing Film
David Mamet

You’re gonna ask him to marry you? Well, you better be jolly, jolly sure that he’s the one. You better not just know in your nuts, but in your heart, too. Hahahahaha! Sorry. Was that inappropriate? Do you even have a ring? Oh my word! Of course you do. It’s beautiful, honey. It’s really beautiful. He’s gonna look so handsome in that. When your father proposed to me it was the coldest day of the year. Power was out and we were under seventeen blankets, sucking on one another’s noses to keep them from freezing off! He didn’t have a ring or anything but he had his word and I took that for gold.

“Let’s be honest.” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday September 23, 2014
5 minutes
Adria Vasil

Don’t get married. That’s what I’d say. You’ll sacrifice things that you’ll wish you hadn’t. You’ll sacrifice yourself, your time, your goals, what you want to have for dinner… Life is about sacrifices, I get that, but on this day-to-day basis? There are lots of things you can’t control and there are a few things you can. I bet you a million dollars that out of all the unhappy people in the world, at least eighty seven percent of them are married. Unhappily. Please don’t let this offend you. I’m grateful for you, and for Dawn, and your father helped bring the two of you into existence. But… I gave up a lot. I really did. I have regrets. I hate to say it, but I do. I regret never going to South America. I regret not eating more cheese. I regret never having a cat because of his damn allergies! I love cats! I think a cat would’ve really helped me through menopause!

“show no signs of slowing down” by Sasha in the park

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
5 minutes

In Russian
I sit in the Internet cafe. My heart buzzes. My feet are cold. The man, Boris, who runs this place, tells me to be careful. “Yes,” I say. And I will be. As best I can. I will be. So much of that is out of my hands, though. So much of that is beyond me, beyond my brother or my father, beyond him. I’ve been corresponding with a man named Beau. He lives in New York. He’s forty seven. He’s never been married. He has a twenty year old son who is in the army. He tells me that I’m beautiful and that he’ll love me just as I am. He tells me that he wants a wife to look after, to look after him. He doesn’t speak Russian and my English is not the greatest so… We try our best. I use Google Translate. He probably does, too. Sometimes he says something and it doesn’t make sense. It probably makes sense in English. I laugh and Boris shakes his head. He tells me that he’s going to send me a plane ticket. He tells me that New York is gorgeous in September. I wonder what it’s like to fly.

“was just perfect” by Sasha on her floor

Thursday May 29, 2014
5 minutes

She is desperately sad about the recent experiment.
The most recent experiment:
Procedure: Line the entrance way with thirty six votive candles.
Hypothesis: Perhaps Henry will want to have sex?
Conclusion: After waiting for an hour and a half and drinking the champagne alone, she falls asleep, panties up her butt and drool bubbling down her cheek.
Henry came home smelling of books. As usual. The library was his most torrid affair. During exams it was open all night and that was when she lost him. She’d rarely found him lately, actually, and she mourned this every day as she ate soy ice cream from the carton, the freezer door open, the gust of cool reminding her of winter. Winter was better. In winter Henry came home at more reasonable hours and they cuddled to stay warm.

“master of my own” by Sasha on her couch

Friday May 23, 2014
5 minutes
overheard on the streetcar

When I married Christina I didn’t think that our differing opinions on literature would really be a problem. When I married Christina I never could’ve imagined that the smell of her would make me turn away. When I married Christina I thought I was the luckiest man alive, I thought I was master of my own, I thought…

The fighting only got really bad when I was writing. I am sorry to be the one to say it, but marrying a writer is never going to be easy. “Why aren’t you coming up for supper?” She’d ask from the top of the stairs. “Goddamnit Christina! Because I’ve been sitting here staring at a white fucking screen all day long and I finally got on a roll and I need to stick with it!!!!” She wouldn’t say anything. I’d hear her walking across the kitchen and turning off the stove.

“In love” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday May 17, 2014
5 minutes
from a button

Auntie Tessie and Uncle Davie were in love til the end. Tessie died when she was ninety three and Davie followed her to heaven seven months later. They were in love til the end. They’d whisper before falling asleep and when they’d wake up, in the night, they’d kiss. They would hold hands while watching the news and in the grocery store. They’d leave notes for each other. “You’re beautiful”. “I love you more today than I did yesterday”. When Tessie died, Davie knew that he was going to see her soon, so he mourned but he didn’t grieve. “See you soon, babe,” he’d whisper as he nodded off to sleep. That kind of love is timeless. That kind of love is the purest inspiration.

“The big mystery” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar

Thursday May 1, 2014
5 minutes
The Q Podcast

When my brother, Wallace, told me that he was getting the whole family together for breakfast because he had something to tell us, I never coulda guessed. I mean, he’s a strange guy, like, he refuses to wear socks, for example, and he really likes My Little Pony. But, I love him. A lot. And he does wonderful things like make peach cobbler every Sunday and he speaks five languages pretty darn well (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Mandarin). He’s crazy smart, like, probably the smartest person you’ve ever met. So, Tasha comes in from the city and Mom and Vince are drinking their coffee, and Lucie forgets and so I go and wake her up. Wallace went and got pastries from the bakery. He doesn’t even look nervous. He looks calm. Once we all settle he says, “I gathered you all here today because I have some important news for you. I think I’ve mentioned my girlfriend Mary, who I met online? Well, we’re getting married – ” And then Mom says, “You’ve never even met her, Wallace!” And Vince says, “Wally, just take it one step at a time – ” And then before I can even get a bite of my blueberry danish, we hear a pitter patter of feet down the stairs and there she is. Mary.

“the origins, the history, culture” by Sasha at Early Bird Espresso and Brew Bar

Friday April 24, 2014 at Early Bird Espresso and Brew Bar
5 minutes
An e-mail about grappa

“What are you afraid of?” you ask me, our heads on the same pillow, that sacred space, where noses touch and breath swirls together. “Oh God, how am I supposed to answer that?!” I say, a bit too loud, given that we’re tired, and it’s been a long day, and we’re using bedtime voices. “What’s the first thing you think of?” You’re so encouraging and patient and wise. Goddamnit. “I’m afraid I’ll never be “in the best shape of my life”, that I’ll never be able to actually connect with that phrase… Shit. That sounds so superficial – ” You interrupt me by kissing my nose. “So, tomorrow,” you’re setting out a plan for me, “let’s go for a run… I’ll show you those crazy squats that Simon’s been doing. You should see his ass! It’s totally insane!” I can’t believe we’re talking about your bother’s ass right now. “I’m also afraid that you’re going to realize how fucked up I am, but that’s only going to happen once we’re actually married and then you’re going to want an annulment and I’ll truly never be able to recover from something like that.”

“All it takes is time.”by Julia on her couch

Friday April 11, 2014
5 minutes
From a quote by Kurt Vonnegut

I had a diary when I was young filled with the same name over and over again. I thought I was going to marry this human being and I thought the song Mmbop by Hanson was going to play at our wedding. I was thinking first dance because I was also assuming that this human would love the song as much as me and he’d practically beg me to have it playing on repeat. He was obviously as into me as I was into him and he probably also wrote my name in his boy diary the way I wrote his.
Then I grew up.
But before that, I wrote him a note in the fourth grade and asked if he Liked Me Yes No Or Maybe and he wrote back Kinda and I screamed internally with all my girl parts dancing a choreographed routine out of joy and love and acceptance. I took it as a full invitation. I wrote back (with balls I might add) When Did You Start Liking Me? And he wrote back I Don’t Know. A While?

“marvellous night” by Sasha in her bed

Saturday March 22, 2014
5 minutes
Van Morrison

It’s a really good night for a meatloaf, honey, and don’t try to tell me different. I got some ground beef and pork from the Cattleman’s Market and I’ll mix that up for ya’ with onions and breadcrumbs. I’ll spread bacon and ketchup on top, just how you like it. Honey, what do ya’ like with your meatloaf? A salad? Some potato salad? Steam some potatoes, throw in some mayo and call it a “salad”? Ha ha ha!

I wasn’t meaning to insult you when I said that those ear hairs are getting long. I wasn’t meaning to insult you, honey. It’s just… at the Shop. People were snickering! And I know you don’t like when I sneak up on you when you’re sleeping with the little scissors and try to get in there! You don’t like that! How else am I supposed to…

Okay. I’ll drop it. Honey. I’m sorry. I’ll drop it. Yes. Go read the paper and dinner will be ready in an hour.

Want a scotch? Honey?

“Where are you going?” by Julia at Sambuca Grill

Tuesday November 12, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
5 minutes
Overheard by Sasha on the Lansdowne bus

He was waiting in his underwear for her on the couch when she got home. She hadn’t given him a key yet, so he had to charm her neighbour into believing she had and he had just misplaced it while helping another old lady cross the street. It seemed like a likely story. When he let himself into her apartment, he washed all her dishes, then washed between his legs, put back on his underwear, a bow tie, and some coconut body lotion, and sat himself on the couch to surprise her. He was planning a big night. One that would start out as a joke and end up as a proposal. He wanted to “open her mouth with laughter and then shove the truth down” as he had heard his acting teacher say in second year. He agreed with that sentiment, and knew she would be disappointed with any other display of something that meaningful. He had heard her say millions of times that if anyone ever proposed to her with her family around, or in a public space, she would have no problem breaking up with him right then and there, on his knee or not. He knew that he would have to stand out and showcase that he had heard her all those times. He also wanted to make sure she wasn’t even slightly suspecting a ring, because that, he was sure, would ruin things. He had been waiting for a long time. She had failed to mention that she was flying to Montreal to visit her grandmother for her birthday that weekend.

“they like to travel the world” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday, November 4, 2013
5 minutes
Kinfolk, Volume Nine

Once they were called “raindrops”
Nell and Jemima
Sliding down window panes
Smiles spread like mustard on a crusty bun
Once they found a man in a bar in Istanbul
Learned the names of his children
Took him back to their hostel
And took turns kissing his scars
Once they snacked on fresh almonds in Jerusalem
Counting their money on their bellies on the beach
Nell and Jemima
Promised never to marry
They were betrothed to the map in the back pocket of their jean shorts
They were faithful only to the train tracks and the stamps on their passports
Once they found a kitten on the street in Venice
A calico
Nell hid him in her raincoat and they carried him all the way to Nice
They found him a home there
With a woman who sang to her statue of the Virgin Mary

“one time” by Julia on her couch

Thursday October 24, 2013
5 minutes
A piece of mail from Shoppers Drug Mart

I remember it well. You were wearing that white cotton, barely there, too sweet to be seductive, too seductive to be sweet, summer dress. You said something about espadrilles and I just nodded my head up and down until you smiled, trying to convince you I had any idea what on earth an espadrille was, let alone, a pair of them. That was the day I asked you to run away with me. In my mind, of course, you were married then, or on your way to be. I think I said something like, When’s the caged bird going to stop singing, and you shrugged your shoulders as if you enjoyed my wit enough to entertain it. I think if I had the proper gear, I would have taken you with me somewhere and not even asked you. Asking doesn’t get anyone anything, did you know that? It just gets the word No. I wish so hard I would have asked for your forgiveness, or his, instead of your permission. But at least you knew that if I couldn’t take you, you had already taken me. Surely if I need to describe it all in detail to you after all these years, it shows you may still care a little bit about me. Why bother reminiscing in something you never wanted? So I do have to go ahead and believe that it is out of regret and not merely out of the desire to tease me. I don’t think I could stand it if I were existing as one of your little jokes.

“one time” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday October 24, 2013
5 minutes
A piece of mail from Shoppers Drug Mart

Your cheeks are rhubarb, tart and pink. You’ve just come in from raking the leaves. “Want tea?” I shouldn’t even have to ask anymore. But I do. And you respond – “Yes”. The kettle howls and I find supreme satisfaction in steeping the dark bag, covering it with a small glass bowl so that it stays hot. I check my watch. I wait three minutes. I stretch my tight back as I wait. You’re running a bath. One time, many years ago, I told you that I hated you. Sometimes, when I stretch I hear myself saying those words, they are locked somewhere around the base of my spine. You slide your arms around my waist and smell the secret place where neck meets shoulder. “You smell good,” you say.

“popularized in New York City” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday October 19, 2013
5 minutes
from the back of the Sourz Apple bottle

When I got there you said, “You look tired…” “I’m good,” I scoffed, thinking, “Fuck you, you pickled pear,” because you think they are the worst, those little grainy pear pieces in those trying-too-hard jars. “How was the flight?” You’re pretending we’re polite, that this is how we speak to one another. “Turbulent.” I say. I drink water from a plastic bottle that I found in the fridge and pretend it’s bourbon. “Where’s Aimee?” I ask, but I don’t really care. She’s only given me attitude and laundry for the last year and a half. “At Sam’s…” You say, as though I should ask why she’s been spending so much time there, as though I should open up the discussion about our daughter losing her virginity, her innocence, her mind. I just nod. It drives you crazy. “Wanna have sex?” It never used to be like this. You used to be handsome, you used to vacuum, you used to buy me cans of cider when you got your boxes of wine.

“against the kitchen window” by Sasha at Ezra’s Pound on Dundas

Friday August 2, 2013 at Ezra’s Pound
5 minutes
Fall On Your Knees
Anne-Marie MacDonald

Mr. Lee felt more proud than the day he boarded the boat to freedom, to glazed doughnuts and late night TV. He licked his finger and rubbed a speck of dirt off of the sign. “Under New Management”. He called to his wife, but she was in the back and couldn’t hear him. He walked back, to the counter, and opened the newspaper. He couldn’t understand a word. His eyes danced over “q” and “s” and “v”. His wife, named Elizabeth, newly chosen in honour of the Queen, came in from the back with a steaming pot of tea. “Sit down,” he says, in Mandarin, in the language of their hearts, their home, and the language of their leaving. She obliges. “Why are you looking at that Canada newspaper?” Elizabeth asks. “I’m learning,” Mr. Lee snaps. Even she calls him that, “Mister Lee”. He asked her too. She rolled her eyes, behind his back, but obliged. She’d learned, after twenty three years of marriage, to choose her battles more carefully than a stalk of broccoli from the market, than a filet of fish from the grocer, than a gold chain from the pawn shop.

“of a life” by Julia at her desk

Friday, July 12, 2013
5 minutes
The Third Fable
Parme Hice

I remember meeting Addy at the drug store. She was wearing fluorescent pink high tops and was carrying a leash with nothing attached to it. I wanted to marry her right then and there so my penis would calm down and stop trying to trick me into sleeping with her immediately out of fear of never seeing her again. she asked me if I knew which dog food was better for her puppy and all I could do was smile at her because I had no fucking clue. I wanted to know more than anything else, but I didn’t because I have never owned a dog. She was something. Addison Miller. With her tiny hoop nose-ring. I remember everything about that day and how it felt like my heart was pumping hard enough to keep two people alive. Usually I think twice about girls like her, but with Addy, I couldn’t keep myself from staying away from her. Her warmth.

“genuine liquor bottles” by Julia in her bed

Friday June 7, 2013
5 minutes
Fall On Your Knees
Anne-Marie MacDonald

Okay so you were high when you got home, and you said som truthful shit. I know some things about you and one of them is that you cannot tell a lie when you’re flying high. You also like to rhyme and I know that shit rubbed off on me early on. You like to tell it how it is and rub me like you know I’d be dead without it. Pressing your hands into my arms and my neck so that I relax, you say, give me your whole body, and I know it means because you want to ease me, please me, tell me that the truth is out and ready to play. But because of all that and your need to say every thought that comes into your brain, when you told me I should marry you, I knew that it was true. That it was genuine. I didn’t tell you yes or no because though you can’t tell a lie, your memory recall of a stoned night’s adventure is absolute shit.

“As Aristotle says” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
5 minutes
The Screenwriter’s Workbook
Syd Field

Jasmine wrote down the list for Barry, like she always did, on a scrap of paper. Maybe an old receipt, or a piece of the newspaper.
Cat Food
Cottage Cheese
Toilet Paper

“Don’ forget the cat food! The wet kind! We got enough of that kibble to last us til’ Christmas!” Jasmine called, as Barry tied his scarf and opened the front door to go. She’d had her license taken away. She couldn’t help herself. Barry, thank goodness, was as patient as an owl.

He returned about a half hour later. Jasmine was making tea, watching as Burt, their grey tabby, sitting on the windowsill, licked her back. When Jasmine heard his key in the lock she rushed to the entrance way. He produced the list. She took it to the kitchen. He followed with the grocery bags. She unpacked each item, crossing it off the list.

“This job makes me” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday, March 28, 2013
5 minutes
All My Friends Are Dead
Avery Monsen and Jory John

They were at a standstill. They were at that fork in the road where it might turn into a fight or they might kiss, tenderly, gently, on the mouth. “This job, is, is… is who I am,” she said. He shook his head, as he often does when she makes such proclamations. “It is, Tony,” she said, indignant, child-like. You know those times, when you look at a face you know so, so, well as though you don’t? As though they are a stranger? When, really, this face is the furthest thing from it? He looked at her like that. He saw each strand of her hair. Each one. Each one hundred and twenty seven thousand strands. He finally saw the fleck of yellow in her right eye. Good grief! How had he missed it? He noticed how, now, her lips slanted slightly down, when resting, as opposed to slightly up. How they used to do. Tony touched the corner of Marguerite lip. She let him. He was surprised. “It’s hard being so different from you, sometimes,” he said, finally. “I know,” she responded, tears beginning to swirl. “I need you to support me, Tony, even though you don’t agree with what I do.” Tony moved his finger from where it was to the small, gold, cross hanging from his neck. His looked up, tilting his head back, thinking about what the expression might be on God’s face, watching them.

“creating a tension” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday February 12, 2013
5 minutes
Sex,Drugs,And Cocoa Puffs
Chuck Klosterman

Let’s not even go there, okay? I know that you’ve got all your priorities lined up like rifles but… I’m not ready for that shit. I joined because I wanted a better life for my wife and my kid. End of story. Life is about sacrifices. I learned that the day that my Mom got breast cancer and had to give up everything… including this ride around the merry-go-round. Sorry… I’m trying to keep my emotions in check here, but it’s hard. I didn’t have a ten-year-plan. I was thinking, “I can’t keep bartending, I never get to see my kid because I’m sleeping all damn day…” I didn’t go to college, right. I don’t have that many options. I got a sales job for a few weeks but I couldn’t handle that kind of hustle. I was… let go. So, I enlisted. Went down to the recruitment centre on Runsway and by the end of that meeting I was on the top of the world. When I got home, Amy, my wife, said that she hadn’t seen me that happy since our boy was born. I hadn’t told her why yet. I had to wait for the perfect moment. She’s a pacifist, right, so it’s tricky.

“Shotgun Wedding” by Sasha at Tequila Bookworm

Thursday, December 6, 2012 at Tequila Bookworm
5 minutes
from a poster at Saving Gigi

He popped the question between pints of Coors Lite. Not how I imagined it but… okay. Gunther knew the way to my heart and it wasn’t through rooooomance. I said, “YES”, of course and then I said, “Let’s go down to Niagara Falls tonight and get married with the spray going all over us!” I thought it was more of a joke. I wasn’t knocked up or anything. But Gunther? He took me very seriously. Before I knew it the tab was paid (rare) the Civic was filled up with gas (even more rare) and we were driving in the direction of… Buffalo. The Stones tape was playing all scratchy and cool and I was feeling better than I’d felt in… months? Years? Better than I’d felt since I’d been in Mexico when I was fourteen drinking beers with my first boyfriend, Jorge. But that’s another story. We got to the Falls sometime before midnight. Gunther must’ve been speeding like a demon. He’d called a friend of his, Chucky, who’d gotten that Internet certification for his lesbian sister and her union to her lover. Chucky said he’d meet us outside the Wax Museum at 2am cuz he down was the Bingo Hall and couldn’t get away.