“store it where it’s safe” by Julia on the plane

Monday September 25, 2017
12:22pm
5 minutes
overheard on the UP express

Money, my grandmother taught me, was meant to be given away, not stored in a sock drawer or a book you’ll never read again. She said the last one because once she was visiting and snooping and doing what she does, and she opened up my bible and a crisp hundred dollar bill fluttered to the floor. She asked one day, Kelly, where do you keep your karma sutra? I spit out my orange juice onto the front of my blouse. She then said, maybe now that you’re a lesbian, you should find a place to keep your money where you’ll actually look! Then she took a toonie out of her apron and snuck it into my palm, closing my fingers around it like a precious jewel. Buy yourself a clue, she said.

“Host art classes” By Julia at her desk


Saturday August 26, 2017
11:50pm
5 minutes
from a business card


“I think we should buy the warehouse like we talked about.”
“With what money, exactly?”
“Your money. I know, I know–”
“It’s not really my money, you know that right?”
“Well, he left everything to you so whose money could it be?”
“No, obviously, but it doesn’t necesarily feel right to spend it all on an abandonned building because you have a good idea.”
“I am not trying to make you do anything you don’t want to do. But think of what it could be: A place where artists come to create, where they can put on their own events, where we can host classes. Come on, it writes itself.”
“It’s not that easy. I have to make sure I’m using his money for the right thing. This feels like a lot of work.”
“Everything in this life is work. Look, I know I’m asking a lot of you, but you know me. I wouldn’t be suggesting it if I didn’t believe in it. And you have been floating since he died-”
“Am I not allowed to be sad?”
“Of course. Of course you are.”

“tremendous whooshing noise” by Sasha at Opus


Wednesday August 9, 2017
12:02pm
5 minutes
The Enormous Crocodile
Roald Dahl


My sister and I make bracelets out of embroidery thread and sell them to friends of our parents. We charge a dime or a quarter. Sometimes they overpay, a dollar or two and we gasp with the excitement of a financial transaction.

I put most things on my credit card now. I get air miles, so it feels like I’m getting more than just the thing I’m purchasing. Maybe a trip home to kiss my sister’s daughter. Maybe Hawaii in the rainy months.

“I thought you had it” by Julia on the 99


Monday July 3, 2017
4:49pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

Kelsey can’t find her wallet for the third time today and the next person who walks through the door is going to hear about it. Loudly.
She’s late, as usual, and thinking of Type A Andrea who always tsk tsks tardiness as if she has zero human flaws. Maybe it’s not easy for everyone to be on time, Andrea. Maybe some of us are burying a deceased bunny rabbit or deciding to floss for the first time in a year!
Andrea never says anything to Kelsey but her disapproval is as present as that fucking mole next to her nose. Kelsey can tell when she’s misplacing things: money, keys, glasses, blame, when she starts digging at her own friends.Your mole is adorable, Andrea, everybody fucking knows that.

“many universities” By Julia on her couch


Thursday February 9, 2017
10:54pm
5 minutes
from the Manila honey chocolate bar wrapper

I didn’t apply to many universities. I’ve never been too good at making decisions. I applied to three and I only finalized two so really I only applied to two. I got into both-my backup then my first choice. I was glad I didn’t spend the money on applying to many others. I said goodbye to my friends and my family and I moved back to the big city. I failed to redeem one of my scholarships before it expired. Then I failed to spend all the money on my meal card and so I bought a giant tub of gummy bears to give out to my friends before the year was up. I met some deep loves of my life there. I met so many moments of procrastination. And laziness. And bad judgment.

“ten years ago” by Julia in her bed


Friday January 13, 2016
12:18am
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

I was in love with a blue eyed boy
Was in love with love
I had hair to my hips
Or something like it
I was afraid to show cleavage
Was afraid to have cleavage
Was afraid of cleavage
Had a crush on a brown eyed boy
Made eye contact with the brown eyed boy whenever possible
Wore Birkenstocks and socks and sweats to school
Took my shoes off my feet during tutorials
Cried about everything
Saw my dad once a week for sandwiches
Was afraid to spend money
Was afraid to make money
Was afraid to make anything
Bought matching underwear sets
Was in love with a blue eyed boy

“When we look up” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday December 7, 2016
10:06pm
5 minutes
An interview with Gloria Steinem

I have been wanting to read everything in Meredith Grey’s cadence when she narrates the beginning and end of the episode. Everything feels like a life lesson these days. Everything feels a little bit like a fucking education. She’s gotten angrier. They’ve made her colder, more unfeeling. And at the same time all fluffy and rising up or learning something profound about herself. I think about the character of Meredith Grey and how they based an entire show on the shoulders of the one beautiful individual who couldn’t actually act. Or is Meredith played exactly as intended? Is she that type to a T and Ellen Pompeo is a godddamn genius for the way she interprets her? I don’t know. I don’t know anything. I’m not even writing in my own voice, I’m writing in hers. And the main message with the sappy music is spoken in the monotone or maybe perfect cadence of a fictional character. Who is filthy rich in real life by the way.

“More money, like I said.” By Sasha in her bed


Friday November 18, 2016
11:41pm
5 minutes
A Boy Of Good Breeding
Miriam Toews


Janis takes her money out of the bank. All of it. All thirty thousand, six hundred and sixteen dollars. The teller (hair long and stringy, a row of pimples across her chin) calls the manager (overweight and balding with very kind eyes). Janis smiles politely. She waits. The manager asks her to take a seat and then calls her into his private office. It doesn’t have a door that closes. It’s one of those places. It’s one of those banks.

“butler service, gourmet dining” by Julia on the plane


Sunday October 23, 2016
8:51am
5 minutes
Westjet magazine

I don’t want money
I just want to be able to buy things
I don’t want money

Yesterday I slept over at Laura’s house
Not a house
Laura’s mansion
Her grandparents invented The Ponytail
or something like that
Something that makes money
I slept in a bed bigger than my
whole house
Laura asked if I wanted
to try running away with her
again and I said for once
I would really really like
to stay

I don’t want money
I just want to be able to want things
I don’t want money

When Elsie came back from the
bathroom she had devised a
plan for our
Office Heist
She said if I tackled the pens
she would make sure we
had enough paper
to last us for our entire lives
I told her I didn’t know how
to get them
and she smiled sideways
Just show me some charm
And some leg

“Nothing ever ends poetically.” by Julia on her couch


Sunday September 4, 2016
9:26pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Kait Rokowsky

Reese couldn’t believe her luck. She used to play the lotto crosswords with her grandpa every Sunday after church. They never won anything. Reese’s grandpa made sure not to show her how upset he was when they missed yet another chance at “hitting the big time” and she had always gotten an ice cream out of it anyway. It was their thing. Their ritual. Before each scratch he’s rub his hands together like he was about to roll the dice. It had been a year to the day since he passed away. Reese couldn’t keep herself from buying a scratch card in memory of him. She rubbed her hands together just like her grandpa did. She smiled down at the scratch card as tears filled her eyes. She had won three dollars.

“We would not murmur nor complain” By Julia at The Marriott In Decatur, Georgia


Wdnesday August 3, 2016
12:17am
5 minutes
The Book Of Mormon

When you left her there blue on the bathroom tile for the first time, we knew we couldn’t love you anymore. We didn’t know how not to before but it was clear that after that, after her tooth got knocked out of her head and we couldn’t find it, after she opened her mouth to call for help and all that came out was a blood bubble popping on her lips and dripping down her chin, we knew. We were kids then and we wanted to love you both the same. You did a good job of buying that from us at the start. We got new books every week and sometimes you would read them to us in funny voices. You took us to the water park and let us pick the good ice cream or the waffle cones. You took us on secret drives when ‘mommy was having one of her episodes’ and you counted stars while we counted the dollars you slipped into our pockets. We tried to love you.
We really, really did.

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


Friday July 29, 2016 at BATW
7:10am
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.

“#BESTOFVAN” by Sasha at Home Baking Co.


Wednesday July 13, 2016 at Home Baking Co.
6:07pm
5 minutes
From a sign on a newspaper box

Kim got a Lamborghini Aventador for her seventeenth birthday. I got a box of strawberry pop-tarts and a Graduation card. I wasn’t graduating until next year. Pam doesn’t remember how old I’m turning, or what I like, or that I’m allergic to wheat. Kim texts and asks if I want to go for dinner in Gastown and I tell her that I have to work. I don’t, but I spent my thirty dollars a month allotted for eating out three weeks ago. Kim texts and asks why I always have to work. I tell her that my Mom had to take some time off work because of her leg and I’m chipping in with rent. I see those little bubbles that show that Kim’s typing. They start and then they stop and then they start and then they stop. “#BUMMER”, she finally responds.

“#BESTOFVAN” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday July 13, 2016 at Starbucks
6:55am
5 minutes
from a sign on a newspaper box

A couple of us decided we were going to sneak into the Kits pool and I was trying to work up my nerve. Casey and Alison had their trust funds to use if they got caught, but what did I have? Two pennies and a stick? A lighter filled with pocket lint? I told them I was having second thoughts and they both stood there on the sidewalk howling at the sky, trying to get me to cave. I can’t do this you guys, I said, I’m not lucky enough to pull this off. Alison rolled her eyes back in her skull. You think I have a golden horseshoe up my ass or something? I don’t know, I told her, I’m sure you could buy one if you needed to. Casey grabbed my shoulders and stared me straight in the eye. We don’t want to do this without you, she said, but we will if you’re not okay with it. But know this, you will be missing out. I felt like I was being bullied into a licking a frozen lamp post in the dead of winter.

“who’d surprise his roommates” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 22, 2016 at Starbucks
7:07am
5 minutes
Anthony’s Glass Eye
Billeh Nickerson


Callahan is coming home tonight. He’s been in Europe mastering the art of Instagram and showing off his cool life that his parents are paying for. He started his trip in Spain and then decided he wanted to live in Italy, then changed his mind to Berlin, then eventually just went back to Spain. The only person he told he was coming back was me and he made me promise I wouldn’t tell anyone else. “Gonna surprise everybody: The Prodigal Roommate returns! But, I tell him, I can’t pick you up, it’s not enough notice. And he tells me, don’t worry; one of the guys will be there. Except you didn’t tell any of the guys, remember? Oh yeah, he said, no, I know, all good. Bueno! Muy bueno! I casually mention the bus and Callahan “gets another call”.

“benefiting those in your” by Julia on her old couch


Wednesday, December 16, 2015
6:55pm
5 minutes
From a Caroline Myss card

I no happy at job
I look for other opportunities
I ask around
I talk to all the bosses
I show skills and personality
I ready for new life
New job offer benefits
I take job
I need help
I need security
Benefits no start right away
Must wait long time for starting
I wait long all day
I wait long all night
I pray fast comes the help
I pray for family
For friends
I make sure I no mess up
I make everything perfect
Old job slow
Old job not much help
No go to dentist for 2 years
No go to department store
No buy new underwear
Even when old ones have holes

“Closed now” by Julia on her couch


Monday, December 14, 2015
11:26pm
5 minutes
From a Google search

Nobody is here to take your coat. Nobody is here at all. They all went home. Sanders said they could go early for Christmas. Sanders told them all they had to come to a unanimous decision. At first Donna didn’t want to go early because she was worried she wouldn’t have enough money to buy her son the snowboard he wanted. She cried for about 30 minutes straight until Lise and Desmond told her they’d chip in to help. They just wanted to get out of there. They were worried that Sanders would make them stay the whole night just cause he didn’t have anyone to go home to. Donna finally agreed and wouldn’t stop saying “thank you so very much. Thank you to the moon and back!”
I’m only here because I was waiting for you…

“Transcendence demands sacrifice” by Julia in the Vancouver Writer’s Fest Volunteer Lounge


Sunday, October 25, 2015 at the Writer’s Fest Volunteer Lounge
10:21am
5 minutes
from a write up about Rich Shapero

The valet parked my car this morning and made me wish I had walked. Maybe that will be the last time.Lately I’ve been uncomfortable with paying someone to do something that I can do myself. I was brought up differently. My father lived for the royalty of things. Every special occasion was catered exquisitely. The tables were always covered in silks and golds and exotic fruit and cheese. My father was a simple man, but he loved abundance. I learned from him that if it’s between time or money, to choose time. He used to tell me that my time was worth a thousandfold the amount I would have to pay for it. I never really saw what he meant because we often payed someone else, and as a result were not only abundant in lavishness, but in dispensable time. I never had to want more time. I didn’t know how to appreciate it when I was young, even though he was trying to show me. When he died I noticed myself living like him more and more. I’d pay for private massages, for dinners to be delivered, for my laundry to be folded.

“what he learned about fire” by Julia at her desk


Monday, October 19, 2015
10:01pm
5 minutes
from dramaturgical notes

The rads in our new place don’t work. Red has been trying to get them to function for the last two weeks. Every 5 minutes he checks to see if heat is coming, adjusting the only two knobs on the thing when it doesn’t. “Can you feel anything now?” He’d shout at me, a painful hope stinging the air. “Still nothing.” I’d say back as I wrap a blanket around my feet and another one around my shoulders. “Stupid fucking thing.” I’d hear Red mumble. “stupid stupid fucking thing.” The only way we find some warmth is when we’re using the stove. It’s hard to get it started but I’ve never looked so forward to roasted potatoes in my life. We dragged the little kitchen bench over to the sink so we can sit next to the stove and stop tensing our muscles for once. We can’t leave the thing on all day cause we can’t afford it. We find solace there, holding our hands out to the stove door like two little kids warming their frozen limbs by the fireplace after a long day of riding on a float in the Santa Claus Parade.

“She expected me to be in jeans” By Julia in Brooklyn


Friday, July 31, 2015
2:17am
5 minutes
from Sasha’s transcriptions

As if to say I had already fucked everything up for everyone, she looked straight down her nose at me and slightly shook her head. Not a full shake. Just enough to really shame me and make me wish I hadn’t needed to even come. Stevie was on the other side of the lounge and she was sending over her best “Sorry, Delia” eyes. I think at one point she mimed tightening a noose around her neck out of solidarity but even she knew she had no idea what hell I was in. Stevie happened to meet one of the suitors who liked her care-free, dress-code breaking, entirely beautiful, but way too young looking face and had told the monitor that Stevie was free to remain as she was. I on the other hand didn’t get so lucky.

“Reducing your taxes” by Julia on her patio


Monday May 18,2015
10:19pm
5 minutes
http://www.finance.ubc.ca

I met a woman and she was obsessed with money and she gave me her card and it took me a while to realize it but the reason was cause she was an accountant and it dawned on me a couple days later but now it makes sense cause when a woman talks about money that much and with that much authority she must be some professional when it comes to sorting all that stuff out–you know the numbers and the what have yous. I think she was trying to sell me her business cause of the card cause she could hear that I wasn’t too good with all those numbers and terms and she musta thought I was a big dumb man not knowing how to take care of all those financial issues and the like. It got me to thinking of my ex-wife Rosie cause she didn’t know a thing about money and she used to tell me it wasn’t her job to worry about bills and limits and payments and the what have yous and that’s why ours were always such a problem case I didn’t like them either. She used to say that women don’t know money just the way men don’t know gentleness and if we just teamed up then we’d never have to learn the other part cause that’s how God intended it when he looked down on the earth and matched up two people and decided how to make them into a family. This woman with the money she told me real nice that my eyes made her feel things she had never felt before and when she gave me her card and told me to call her I thought for a second maybe she wanted to love me.

“the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence” by Sasha at Kits Beach


Sunday March 22, 2015
10:10am
5 minutes
The Prophet
Kahlil Gibran


I wasn’t sure what to do. I mean, do you report it to the police? Do you pawn it?! What if they trace it back to you? I don’ wanna go to jail for something I didn’t even do! Do you keep it as a trinket in your jewellery box for a year or two before you dare to wear it? I was quitting smoking at the time so I was a real moody SOB. I put it in my pocket and I continued on my way to the Salvation Army. I kept putting my hand in my pocket to make sure it was still there. My grandmother was into antiques and she taught me how to hold a diamond up to the light to see what it’s worth. She taught me how to lick the gold and see if it’s real. She could even name the carat – just from the tinny taste of it… A real talent. Yup… A real talent. I’d done all that, down in the park, in the ravine, so I knew it was worth a heck of a lot. It was worth Charity’s university fund and wedding fund and don’t-you-dare-get-preggers fund.

“we realize we can’t eat money” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday March 21, 2015
6:24pm
5 minutes
from an Indian Proverb

We realize we can’t eat money so we eat
banana pudding instead
The texture reminds us of babyhood of being
held close to the heartbeat of
the source
We slop it up like it’s delicious
fooling ourselves
Joke’s on us
Joke’s on the ice cream sundae
No banana split for old time’s sake
We realize we can’t keep eating banana pudding because
it’s making us sick
We’re turning soft
Ripened on the counter
Speckling brown and black

“we realize we can’t eat money” by Julia at her desk


Saturday March 21, 2015
6:24pm
5 minutes
from an Indian Proverb

It stops me in my tracks for a second. We can’t keep it, eat it, turn it into fuel and be nurtured by it. We can’t take it with us, weave it into our bodies, make it anything but what it is. It stops me. It stops me in my tracks. When the world is spinning so fast it looks like it’s still..
That’s how it hits me, moves me, like a tectonic plate. I don’t know what I need usually -to remember this. A baby’s laughter, the oil painting of a woman breast feeding her new-born, a warm hug that lasts for at least 6 seconds, the poetry I buy with the currency of my tears. I am energy, I eat energy, I do not eat money. I wear artistic expression. I do not wear money. I think in hearts and hope. I do not think in money.

“giving a private lesson” by Julia at her desk


Thursday March 19, 2015
9:19pm
5 minutes
from a slide in lecture

So I’ve been meeting with this guy for coffee every two weeks because on a whim, I put an ad on the internet offering my tutoring services. And honestly, I wasn’t expecting anyone to respond but this guy, who I’ve been meeting for coffee and conversation every week and a half, was looking to improve his Italian and so he sent me a message. The first day I showed up with all my books and my notes and an Italian flag lapel pin my mom found for me at a garage sale (which I regret, but still wore) because I was ready to teach; To exchange a service. But this guy, who I’ve been meeting for coffee and conversation and casual sex every week ended up being ridiculously hot. Like stupid hot. And he wanted to improve his Italian so I was like, WHAT? YES? YES.

“giving a private lesson” by Sasha in the Binnings lecture hall


Thursday March 19, 2015
1:46pm
5 minutes
from a slide in lecture

The rabbit ran away. Don’t make me say it again… The rabbit ran away. I got nothin’ without that fuckin’ rabbit, man! I don’ gotta show without that rabbit. Clarissa said she saw it run towards the women’s washroom but I’m not gonna be one of those pervs who goes in, meets a lady, and then has to say, “Jus’ lookin’ for my RABBIT…”

Pepple want classics, man. They want the card tricks and the saw and the box and they want the rabbit in the hat. I tried to break out. I really did. That was pretty much all of 1998 for me. You know, hot sauce and table jumping an’ stuff. No one wanted it. I barely got by. Had to borrow money from fuckin’ Bucky.

You think Sting likes singing “Roxanne”? You think he likes it after thirty years of “you don’t have to wear that dress tonight”?! He doesn’t. There’s no way. But, people work hard for their money and when they spend it on YOU, you gotta deliver… You better give ’em what they want.

“Your premium won’t increase” by Julia at her desk


Friday February 20, 2015
3:29pm
5 minutes
from a radio ad at the Dentist

I didn’t want my mother to know but I had been sending sending cheques to her condo once a month and signing them The Canadian Bursary For Deserved Patrons. She wouldn’t take my money if she knew it was me, and my sister tried to send anonymous money to her condo last July and my mother called in a bomb threat. I’ve had to get creative. She’s stubborn and won’t take money directly, but I have two post secondary degrees so I was not going to let that be the end of it. It didn’t matter how she got it, as long as she just got it. Now she’s able to pay off her medical bills without feeling like a charity case or that she’s not able to take care of herself. After Dad died, my mother tried really hard to prove that she could keep up with everything on her own. When she sees the cheque each month, she thinks in some sweet and sneaky way, my father is sending his love to her. Who am I to ruin that image for a woman who gave up her entire life just to raise two little girls with very big dreams.

“founded in Cuba” by Julia on her couch


Friday June 20, 2014
10:36pm
5 minutes
from a sign at Queen and Abell St.

met a lovely woman and a lovely man
they were married
they met us there in the sand
came bringing mangos
gifts of the beach for us and for friendship
and we gave them all our soaps, our gum, our sandals
we could get more at home and they couldn’t get more in their home
and it was sad
but that’s the way it was
they met us there in the sand
showed pictures of their babies in braids beaching topless with bikini bottoms
young and free and didn’t know
and so we walked with them
hand in hand
and ate the mangos while the sun set
peeling back the skin with our teeth
taking photos of the moments like these
with people like those
and we held hands
met a lovely woman and a lovely man
I don’t know where they live now
I sent letters
I sent money
I sent the necklace she said she loved but felt bad taking when I offered it then
I sent love
I sent photos of my babies, straight, curly, straight
naked in the pool
splashing tiny drops and making big waves
and we haven’t heard a word
and we don’t know if they’re allowed to get the mail
or to see the mail
or to open the mail
and so maybe someone else has the money
and maybe someone else has the necklace
and maybe someone else has the photos of my babies
and maybe someone else has the love
we think of them often
the day there in the hot hot heat
we met a lovely woman
and we met a lovely man
they were married
they were the ones we hold

“a wise man” by Sasha at iDeal coffee


Tuesday April 22, 2014 at iDeal Coffee
3:12pm
5 minutes
A plaque beside a photograph

You ever get that feeling you wanna run away? You ever get that itch, but it’s inside you and to get it scratched you gotta bust out?

Isobel?

I been saving, baby, I been saving. I been saving my money since last year, since we were back home.

I got $15,000… Over $15,000… $15,213.

Isobel?

I’m gonna find us our own house. None of this sharing a room with other people. How are we supposed to really love eachother? I’m tired of listening to Jerry snore!

We’ll keep it so clean. Our home. You won’t have to work or nothing. Maybe we can have a goat and some chickens!

“wishing you” by Sasha on the Queen car going west


Saturday March 29, 2014
7:02pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

He kept them in the second drawer of his desk, the desk having moved fourteen times from house to apartment to house to apartment in the last twenty seven years. “I’m doing this once and for all, Dad,” she said and he grunted. “Don’t blame me if you find something you don’t want to find,” he turned on the TV. She hadn’t been to see him since Christmas. When she called, he always said, “All’s well, all’s well.” “Why aren’t you honest with me, Dad?” She asked, “I could’ve come sooner.” “I don’t wanna worry you, Christine… You’re living your life.” He stunk of defeat, his green golf shift tight across his belly. In the drawers of his desk she found stacks of unpaid bills, or overdue payments, of notices from the tax office and the bank. She called Ned. “You need to get here very quickly,” she said and Ned told her to relax.

“WIN $2000” by Julia on the 504 going east


Tuesday January 28, 2014
4:00pm
5 minutes
from a Loblaws receipt

And I would buy so many thermal things, seriously you don't even know. I would spend the $500 on a winter coat that I was denying myself before because it seemed just effing ridiculous if I couldn't even afford to pay my phone bill. I would get the warmest boots money can buy. They would be toasty and stylish. That is the dream. I would buy those hand warmer things and wear them daily and I wouldn't care about the environment because clearly the environment doesn't care about me. It would be a war on the elements and I would be a warrior for warmer temperatures, fighting only for my extremities and my facial features that can't be protected without looking like an extreme bank robber. And with the rest of the money I'd spend it on taxies so I would never have to wait in the cold for a stupid transit system to be 15 minutes later than it says it's going to be and I would be happy. And after saying all that I realize I could JUST LEAVE THIS CITY!! $2000 can get me that right??

“You don’t have to look at me like that.” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday January 22, 2014
12:00pm
5 minutes
http://smittenkitchen.com/

“Let’s bury it in the back garden, near the chives,” you say, and your eyes shine like they do on your birthday. I guess I should start at the beginning. Not the beginning beginning but the beginning of you and I being the unlikely guardians of a gym bag containing half a million dollars. You’d been on the train to Kingston to visit your mother, all failing health and permed maroon hair. A man in a jean jacket and sweatpants with what you called “crazy eyes” sat down beside you and started talking your ear off. You’re a good listener. Thank God for that. You’re a trained listener, MSW on the wall in your office. Thank God. Before you knew it he was confessing and crying and eating peanuts and you were flabbergasted and overwhelmed but somehow still calm and breathing. And then he said he was going to the washroom and would you watch his bag. You said you would and were glad you’d have a second to absorb it all, to think about what should be done. And he never came back. You opened his bag, one of those cheap GoodLife gym bags you get when you sign up for a membership. Your heart sank and then rose and then sank again, at least that’s how you describe it. I’ll never forget your face when I picked you up from Union Station later that night, confused at your arrival, at your luggage, at your incessant laughter and utter disbelief.

“Perhaps she will spend the morning” By Julia at Rustic Owl Cafe


Saturday, November 23, 2013 at Rustic Owl Cafe
11:50am
5 minutes
The Days You’ve Spent
Suzanne Bowness


Like a morning breeze waking us from our sleep, trying to keep us from leaving the bed, and telling us it’s not safe out there if we’re separated. We stay. We listen. We hear each other’s body and we respond to it, authentically, intuitively. We feel the warmth from the night’s good dreams and the callous bottoms of four feet rubbing up against each other accidentally. We remember the stillness, the snowflakes, the morning magic with its power over us. The first snowfall, we decide, is something to spend in bed watching with another soul. We listen to our sleepy logic, we adhere to it, we make it a rule, a ritual. We don’t need to ask the other to stay when we both feel as much a part of the bed, as we do our own minds. We own it in half, and split the rent to share perfect moments like these, on mornings where it’s below freezing, and full of possibility, and the money, in coins, both mine and yours, goes into a clear jar marked “Laundry Fund”.

“Freedom to give” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday October 8,2013 at Sambuca Grill
5:44pm
5 minutes
Universal Freedom
George Krokos


Hasn’t she had enough, Tom? Maura asked with concern. Please. We don’t need to be so cruel. She needs a couple of dollars, so what!
She needs to learn how to be independent, He told her. That girl doesn’t know how to do anything but let other people do things for her. I blame you for that, Maura.
Me? She replied. How can you blame me? Because I didn’t want to see our daughter suffer and make the same mistakes we did? That’s what parenting is, Tom, it’s about giving.
She can work for her money if she needs it. She can work just like everybody else has to.
This is different, Tom. She’s not everybody else. She’s gone through something traumatic and it would be nice if you weren’t being such a hard ass.
I don’t think of it like that, I told you. If my parents gave me everything I wanted I’d be dead on the streets by now. By her age, if we want to get specific.
Well maybe she’s not like you. Maybe she’s stronger.

“she’s obliged to protect you” by Julia at Alison’s


Friday, August 9, 2013
3:20am
5 minutes
Unsafe Convictions
Alison Taylor


Haven’t you heard? There’s this new thing that keeps your phone locked unless it senses your fingertips so no one is able to read your private messages! Isn’t that cool? It’s expensive though, so it’s like a huge investment, but at least it works. I mean it should work. I mean, it hasn’t fully been tested yet. God is there anything worse than being hungry? Yeah having intruders read your messages and be able to hold that against you! There are protective measures we can be taking and I’m just saying it’s worth it to be prepared and to pay the money. I saw it on the news! Or I read it maybe in a magazine, I don’t remember now. I just know it’s accurate because my friend Marcus is incredibly tech-savvy and he said that if it worked it would make us millions. Hahaha! I mean the company. I mean whatever who cares what I mean I’m just excited. But like, do you think it’s a smart idea? It’s like having a breathalyzer built into your car so that you can only get into it if you breathe under the blood alcohol level. And it’s expensive, like 800 dollars just to install..and it’s for people with DUIs but you get the idea.

“successfully completed” by Julia at her desk


Sunday April 28, 2013
10:23pm
5 minutes
A Smart Serve Card

a hundred dollars.
a hundred dreams. waiting. waiting. waiting.
buy me a little car?
not real.
plastic, please and thank you, no i don’t need to see your receipt.
i hate you.
i hate your money.
you can’t give me love without a couple coins.
your change is no good here, little boy, little girl. oh no, both of you?
i can’t tell you enough times.
your savings are depleted.
your bank account is ruined.
you’ve successfully completed the course on how to fuck it all up.
you passed! you’re a genius and deserve a medal.
gold.
silver.
bronze.
i won these all in elementary school.
i competed for the teacher’s approval. won it. won mrs. williams’s love and she bought me an everything bagel, toasted with cream cheese.
winners.
buy me a little car?
not fake,
real, please and thank you, yes i do need to see your receipt.

“my wrath did end” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, April 24, 2013
12:33am
5 minutes
A Poison Tree
William Blake


But I meant it. I was furious. I had a reason for yelling, for stealing all your money, your things. Those stupid possessions. That’ll teach you to choose them over me. To prioritize materials. I am a HUMAN BEING. And so, yeah, I took your cell phone and I drowned it in the bathtub. Took it in there with me when I was reading Rumi. He has some good ideas. I have some of my own. You wouldn’t have noticed. Not like you look at it every 2 seconds. Oh wait. You do.
I’m not sorry. I do not feel bad about cutting holes in all of your pants’ pockets. Or poking them in all you polo shirts. What did I do so wrong? Want your attention? Right. I guess I should feel some remorse, then. Pity. I’m surprisingly fine, however, so I guess there goes that. Guess I woke up with a lot less baggage and a lot fewer second place ribbons. You could have avoided it all. I will never forget the look on your face when you saw that rock through your precious new lap top screen. Priceless. Like your RELATIONSHIP was supposed to be. like I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE.
For a millisecond I thought about stopping.

“As Aristotle says” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, April 23, 2013
12:11am
5 minutes
The Screenwriter’s Workbook
Syd Field


What a crock of shit, she said, as she slammed her fist down on the glass coffee table. She was always one for outbursts and dramatisations of reality. He can’t treat you like that, Liddy, he should know better.
It’s fine, Mare, I said to her, Don’t get all crazy. It was an accident, I’m sure. He forgot your name on the payroll? That’s an accident? Liddy, she started, Don’t push me. She had fire in her eyes, her hair. She was just on a mission and I knew better than to get in her way. Yes, I said, despite her warning. It was an accident because it’s never happened before and it will never happen again. He feels bad, I said, He feels really really shitty about it. Mare laughed like it was the funniest thing her younger sister ever said to her. He knows better, Liddy. So do you for that matter. Did he make a move on you? Is that it? Mare, I said, Easy…
He knows you’re married, what the ring doesn’t mean anything? That bastard. How dare he! Mare, I told her, you’re jumping to conclusions. That’s not it.
You refused his advances and now he’s embarrassed, bruised ego, mushed penis, so he’s punishing you, Liddy. He’s trying to teach you a lesson. You’re out of your mind, I told her, and started to clean up the crumbs to the cookie she broke.

“My psychic friend Leila” by Julia on the 506 going west


Sunday, April 21, 2013
5:39pm
5 minutes
Why I Moved To The Country
Ruth Schwartz


She ain’t tellin’ nobody the truth! I even axed her if she was playin’ and that bitch couldn’t say a single word. Uh uh not in my house. Make me pay for some cheap ass readin’ and not tell me the simple truth? Now I know my mama raised me better than that so I have to go ahead and wonder if she an orphan or if she just aint got no common courtesy. Now that’s important. It’s like sayin’ your please and thank yous or washin’ your hands after you done usin’ the bathroom. Shit. It was like every wall could tell if you was lyin’ so ain’t worth mama raisin’ her voice in the first place. If she even had to get that far…boy you’d be tastin’ her boot in your mouth, she’d kick your back side so hard.
But now this here woman in my house who has my money is tryin’ to fool me. Tryin’ to jerk me around. And that’s when I want to lie to her if she ain’t gonna do me the decency and tell me the truth. But I know my mama would roll over in her grave if I stooped to that kind of level.

“I do the illusion.” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, April 10, 2013
1:07am
5 minutes
Women of Manhattan
John Patrick Shanley


I do the illusion well. I throw my hair in front of my face, sort of hiding the fear, the madness. There’s a spot on my forehead where if you shine a light directly on it, you can see what I’m avoiding. What I’m refusing to tell you even if I’m seemingly being honest. On the right side of my face is the mechanism, disguised by my eyebrow, designed to flicker ever so slightly every single time a dream of mine is being ridiculed.
My clothes are every day clothes. They are comprised of some fashionable items and mostly hand-me-downs. They hide what I won’t show anyone: a tattoo of what I really really want. The amount of money I think I should be earning. The amount of money I actually earn. The amount of money I dream about when I’m letting the grass grow green in my mind. My shoes, holding the soul…are lace ups, or boots, and the soul in each shoe is tattered and covered in band-aids from all the rubbing.

“we’re all about” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday March 6, 2013
2:11pm
5 minutes
The Globe T.O section of the Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Saturday, February 16, 2013 edition


I meant to call sooner. I really did. I meant to call when I landed in London, after Luella picked me up from the airport and took me to Bath. It’s rainy, but warmer than Toronto. Luella has two Yorkies, Muffy and Mo. She cooks for them more often than she cooks for herself. They had beef tenderloin last night. We had pepperoni pizza. Luella has changed a lot since she came to visit. She’s started Spinning, like, Spin classes. I’m surprised that they have that kind of thing here. I think it’s changed a lot since you were back. There’s even a Starbucks! Luella brings home decaf cappuccinos after her classes. The jetlag was bad. I couldn’t sleep on the plane, I ended up watching Life of Pi. It was good. You should go and see it. Take Tabby or something. Hey, so, remember when you offered me those Travellers Cheques? And I refused them because, I don’t know, I was proud, or wanted to think I was independent, or something? I could really use them. I know it’s only been a month or so, but… it’s damn expensive here! I, I hate having to ask, but… I know that I said that I’m all about doing this on my own, it’s my adventure or whatever, but…

“Paying too much” by Julia at Sambuca Grill

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Thursday, January 10, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
4:44pm
5 minutes
Acanac-Inc. ad

But Sherry was a mess, so she couldn’t have seen into herself long enough to notice that she was wearing two mismatched shoes and had left the entire contents of her wallet on the fireplace mantle. Not the wallet, that she brought. But why she emptied it, please don’t ask. It was a big kerfuffle and Sherry wasn’t used to being this big of a mess. Her fireplace mantle has a lot of weird things on it, but we won’t get into that here.
She noticed first that she had absolutely zero money or plastic when she was simply trying to buy a taco cupcake. You don’t need to know what that is to know that you would want one. Sherry wanted one, and was half way consuming the beautiful mouth-treat (because she couldn’t wait), when she figured it out. She thought about her options: either a quick dine and dash, feign starting her period and promise to come back right away after she plugged up the hole, or let the waterworks begin. She (stupidly) ended up doing all three, in no particular order, and because, like I mentioned, she was a mess, and just opened her mouth and tear ducts and things started rolling around in the air. The man behind the counter was legitimately afraid for his life.

“He was a rich asshole.” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, December 16, 2012
11:07pm
5 minutes
Hands Off
An essay by Miranda July


I’m not going on any more dates with any more rich assholes. If I want to be treated to dinner and a couple glasses of Prosecco, I’ll start crashing holiday parties and pig out near the buffet with my open bar, thank you very much. I dated Tim for too long before I realized I was killing my soul every time I saw him. He was nice, but not nice to the waitress, which to me is a clear indication that he was not nice. He snapped at her so much I could have sworn he was a secret percussionist. I almost snuck out the bathroom window the last time we went to a restaurant together. The only reason why I didn’t get out was because there was an attendant trying to spritz me and sell me condoms and gum. The spritz I took, the gum I did not. I didn’t have money to tip this bitch trying to invade my bathroom experience. He was the one with the money, but I couldn’t very well ask him to come with me to the lady’s room just because I had gotten so used to him paying for every single thing that I stopped bringing my wallet. I didn’t realize the attendant would be so cruel. She cornered me into a stall and told me it was okay and that she could wait till I found the money. That wasn’t my finest moment.