“The plastic statue of the virgin” by Sasha in her bedroom

Friday December 20, 2019
5 minutes
The Alter
Charles Simic 

Magda clutches the small plastic statue of the Virgin Mary. Some of the paint is worn off, there’s been that much sweat and squeezing over these years. She keeps it in her purse for moments such as this, for when she thinks she hears someone walking with a familiar rhythm, or feels the high beams on the back of her neck. The restraining order was filed in September, but it was months of adrenaline and clamminess before that, wondering when Pete was going to show up, what he was going to scream, who he was going to bring with him. Sometimes, when she’s got Mary in her left hand and her right is over her heart, she whispers, “Divorcée,” just to try it on, see how it feels against her thighs.

“special thank you” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday October 1, 2016
5 minutes
A Vista print ad

Mary handwrites her thank you notes. She does laundry on Sundays. She goes to the community centre pool on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She allows herself the time to procrastinate on Saturdays. Mary works at a garden centre as the bookkeeper and accounts manager. She works Monday to Friday, eight thirty to four thirty. She wakes up at seven on weekdays and eight thirty on weekends. She’s usually asleep by ten, unless she’s at her book club, which happens the first Thursday of every month. Then she’s not asleep til eleven. Mary used to think of herself as spontaneous. Now she recognizes that structure makes her life manageable. She likes structures. Spontaneity is only for Saturdays.

“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.