“play the role of devoted son.” By Sasha in her bed

Saturday August 11, 2018
5 minutes
Tincture Of Mother
Alan Craig

You groomed me to be your little sidekick. Until I was thirteen or so, I liked it. I ate it up like a peanut butter sandwich. The role of devoted son was the best one I played. I could’ve earned a medal, or a Golden Globe, or at least some kind of pin/ribbon. God knows I didn’t have enough coordination for the school musical, and I wasn’t fast enough for softball. But being your boy? I had that down pat. You taught me exactly how you wanted to be treated – always “Maman”, never “Mom” or “Mother” or “Mummy”; a gin and tonic with a slice of lime and five ice cubes in your hand at 4pm; “I love you,” and kisses on both cheeks before getting on the bus. When Papa left you sat me down (drink in hand), in the parlour. We only ever sat in the parlour when we had guests over, important guests, colleagues of Papa’s or the Westford’s from the across the street who you always wanted to impress. You said, “You’re my man now, Francois.”

“intimacy that typifies our culture” by Sasha in the Kiva

Thursday December 18
5 minutes
The Middle Passage
James Hollis

Bambi is saving up all his old cans for the apocalypse. Mami doesn’t believe in that shit so she rolls her big blue/purple eyes and says, “Bambi, why you got so much fear in there?” He doesn’t answer, he just peels off another label. He’s got a bunker in the garage, Bambi does. Mami never goes in there because she has bad circulation and gets cold hands and feet. She has no idea what he’s done in there. All those cans and buckets of water and rope and a whole lot of tuna fish and SPAM. Mami found a receipt once and she said, “Bambi, why you got all this canned meats?” And Bambi said, “I had a craving, Mami. Relax.” She didn’t like when he said that. She didn’t like it at all.

“chocolate, almond & chili cake” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee Co.

Friday November 14, 2014 at Culprit Coffee Co.
5 minutes
The specials board at Little Collins

M: Are you eating your greens?
B: Are you actually asking me that?
M: Is there a problem?
B: Did you even hear what I just said?
M: Of course I did.
B: And?
M: Look. I, I’m not sure that – …
B: I knew it.
M: Knew what?
B: That you would just breeze over my feelings and be totally removed and totally passive aggressive and -…
M: Those are some steep accusations –
B: Steep?
M: I don’t know! I’m being attacked!
B: I’m Obsessive Compulsive, Mom.
M: Says who?
B: My doctor. I finally feel like I understand myself in a new way and you’re completely ignoring –
M: When’s the blame going to come, Bobby? When’s the tracing it back to your troubled childhood going to come?!
B: What? This has nothing to do with anything between you and Dad. This is chemical. This is my mind. This is –
M: Bobby, I need to go to the bathroom.

“It’s almost like cheating.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday September 11, 2014
5 minutes
from an interview with Emma Healey in papirmasse

She peels the avocado, bit by bit. She thinks she’s alone. Henry is home from his job in the stock room of the grocery store. He’s brought a bottle of sparkling water. The cap is dented. “Can’t sell it,” he says. “There’s an easier way of doing that, Mom,” says Henry. She jumps. “Jesus! I thought you were downstairs!” He smiles. He walks into the kitchen. “Why are you doing it like that?” “Because it’s slower.” “That doesn’t make any sense..” “Why not?” “Because… we’re hungry!” She smiles, now, such a similar smile. Both Henry and Amelia got her smile. Sylv’s nose and her smile. It’s nice. “Dinner will be ready by six thirty. I’m taking my time. I like doing it like this. It’s satisfying. Now leave me alone or… help.” Henry takes another avocado and cuts it carefully in half. He scoops on the flesh with a spoon.

“for being born and stuff” by Sasha on the couch in Mississauga

Friday March 14, 2014
5 minutes
Nelu’s Birthday Card

Once, you drew a few lines and had your mother title it because you didn’t know how to write words yet, you hadn’t yet discovered that words are the same shapes you were already making, but put together like a puzzle, and you called those few lines “birth”. Your mother tried not to laugh because she didn’t want to shame you, she wanted to only love you, she didn’t feed your sugary cereal or ice cream and only let you have pie on special occasions, she put you to bed at seven thirty and made your older brother speak in a whisper until it was his bedtime. Bless you mother and the overflowing bounty of her market basket, market on Saturday mornings, coming home with nasturtium flowers and purple kale and fresh rye bread and coffee that was only for the adults, only for her and Jermaine. Once, you drew a flower and had your mother title it and you told her to call it “death”.

“He began patiently” by Sasha at the desk in the hostel at Banff

Thursday, July 19, 2013
5 minutes
House Rules
Heather Lewis

He began patiently peeling of the floral wallpaper. “Honey?” His mother, her freshly-cut bob framing her face like a daisy, stood at the door. “Do you want a sandwich?” She held out a plate with a grilled cheese sandwich. She’d made it in her new panini press. She bought it for herself as a retirement present. “Sure,” he walked towards her, took the plate, and sat down in the middle of the floor. She joined him, her demin capris pinching at the waist. She pulled out her purple T-shirt, she didn’t want her newly formed muffin-top to show. Sam wouldn’t care, he wouldn’t even notice, but she didn’t think about that. “How’s it going?” She asked, looking around the room. “Slowly,” he said, biting the sandwich and closing his eyes. She made the best sandwiches. No matter how many times he made tuna salad, he couldn’t get it as good as hers. “It’s so weird being back here, Mom,” Sam continued, putting the rest of the half in his mouth and chewing loudly. She furrowed her brow. He opened his mouth, showing her all the partially chewed bread and cheese. He made the sound of a lion, roaring. s

“Never say never, Moby!” by Sasha at her desk

Monday, April 1, 2013
5 minutes
Overheard on the subway going west

Moby has started pulling out his eyelashes. He isn’t exactly conscious of it, he mostly does it when he’s tired, or stressed. Olympia notices when they are almost completely gone. “Moby! What in heaven’s name has happened to your eyelashes?!” She says, grabbing his chin and tilting it up towards her. “I don’t know…” He responds, wrestling his face away from her. “Eyelashes don’t just… disappear!” She’s yelling now, even though the parenting book on her bedside table says never to do so, especially about appearances, or lunch. “I don’t know, Mom…” Moby slunk to his room. The next day, after a particularly abominable spelling test, Moby went to pull out the last of the small, corse, hairs. They were all gone. He moved to his eyebrows. The next morning, at breakfast, Olympia screamed. “MOBY! What the fuck has happened to your eyebrows!!!!” He’d only heard his mother swear once, at his father, when his father had forgotten to send Moby a birthday card. He started to cry. “I’m, I’m, I’m sorry, Mom… I don’t know what’s going on!” She felt instantly bad about swearing, and yelling, she saw the face of the parenting specialist on the cover of the book, his eyes glowing. She knelt down and pulled Moby towards her. “I’m sorry for yelling, Sweetie,” she said, stroking his head, quiet, soft. “Don’t worry, Mom…” He says. “The hairs are just… falling out. I think it’s a disease. I think I should go to the doctor immediately.” She nods, quickly.