“Mother stomps up” by Julia on the 20

Tuesday April 24, 2018
8:42pm
5 minutes
Says Mother
Laura Willwerth

Uninvited and flipping through the notebook left collecting mud on the patio.
Some things are not meant for mothers to read.
Did you mean what you said?
Did you say what you mean?
I would nod and tell her don’t you remember? You taught me well.
When we’d get mad about you smoking didn’t you know it was because it turned your lungs into yelling? Didn’t you know our anger was speaking for our fear that hadn’t yet collected its thoughts?
She would give me the bed off her back and sleep in a mold-heavy
yesterday so my boyfriend’s tall wouldn’t hang off the end
Nobody asked you to sacrifice yourself.
If she read that she would cry.

“Amusement park adventures” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday April 4, 2017
10:47pm
5 minutes
From The YouTube video Joe is watching

“You’ve relieved so much of my guilt, Sandy… Thank you so so much.” Julie cut the crusts off of the egg salad sandwiches. “I’m tired of feeling guilty,” Sandy said, popping ice out of a pink tray and into the punch bowl. Julie knew what she meant. She’d been up half the night with Tommy who had had some awful nightmares. Julie had wondered if it was because she’d started back to work. Maybe Tommy wasn’t ready to be left with Consuela. Maybe everything was happening too fast.

“I’m thinking about taking Gabriel and Kimberly to the amusement park on Sunday, would you and Tommy like to come?” Sandy came close to Julie and smiled. Julie could smell her perfume. Something expensive. Lily of the valley and vanilla.

“leftover Hamburger Helper garbage” By Julia on her couch


Tuesday December 13, 2016
5:51pm
5 minutes
Summer OF My Amazing Luck
Miriam Toews


Danika and I couldn’t believe her mom would let us have the house to ourselves for the weekend. The ENTIRE weekend. We were drunk on freedom and cotton balls and anything from the medicine cabinet that we could have turned into crafts or art. The first night we both had double chocolate fudge ice cream for dinner and a can of whipped cream EACH for dessert. What a life! We didn’t think to get an emergency number from Danika’s mom before she left, or find out where exactly she was going to be for this long without worrying about her 9 year old kid and her best friend. My mom would never let us stay by ourselves. So we didn’t tell my mom that Danika’s mom left a note on the kitchen table that she had scrawled in messy writing saying “Gone for the weekend, Hamburger Helper on the stove.”

“Preach” by Julia on the 99


Thursday May 26, 2016
11:25pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

Mickey and I were laying in her bedroom listening to Eminem and painting our nails. Her mother had called us once to come down for breakfast but we weren’t hungry because we had just finished a pack of Oreos and a pack of cigarettes. Mickey’s mother always smelled of canned ham but she worshiped on Sundays and Mickey wasn’t supposed to miss it. Mickey told me it didn’t matter, let her keep calling until that woman strains her voice and has nothing left for Jesus. Mickey’s mom had 3 other kids to get ready before service so she didn’t call on us as much as I thought she would. Mickey was already putting on her plaid vest with the fur and opening her window so we could bust out the heavy Sunday green. Mickey glanced at me from over her shoulder, a cigarette stuck to the dry part of her lower lip. She said “you’re lucky your mother doesn’t bug you when you’re just trying to have a good time.” I laughed for a second. Then I told her, “you’re lucky your mother is alive!”

“the best of” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, April 2, 2016
11:41pm
5 minutes
from a program insert

How do you know if a toddler is thirsty? They don’t know how to ask for things, they get distracted by spinning and highlighters and drumming on the refrigerator with paper towel rolls. How do you know if they need something? I am wondering because as an adult I never even know when I’m thirsty. I mean I know when I am and that I ignore it and that I have to have an app my phone remind me when it’s time to ingest a life fluid that I know I need to drink in order to be healthy. A toddler is waiting for the adult to give him water isn’t he? Isn’t the little one waiting until she sees her cup to know she could put it to her lips and feel better after she drinks? Do you have to ask every thirty seconds? I don’t want to be responsible for a child’s thirst. Do they just swallow their own saliva, manufactured every millisecond by the gallon? Is there some forum online for this? I don’t want to ask this question publicly if the world already has an answer. It’s not even my kid by the way. I guess that’s why I kind of need to know…

“Did you send the message?” by Julia on her couch


Friday, April 1, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

Connie has her overnight bag packed. She laughs every time she thinks of Alison calling it her “satchel”. Alison’s mom always teaches her to use the correct word for things, which is good because Connie can learn from that too. She thinks about her own mother falling asleep with a cigarette in her mouth while watching Wheel of Fortune every night after work. Once she solved a puzzle with only two letters revealed and Connie thought she was faking. She never hears words like “satchel” or “rotunda” or “enigmatic” so Connie didn’t think her mom was even fully watching her word shows. Connie goes into the living room to kiss her mother goodbye. She’s already asleep. Connie covers her in the red afghan and turns off the TV.

“a boy like me calls his mother.” By Sasha on her porch


Monday, July 20, 2015
9:11am
5 minutes
from http://www.howlround.com

We make a plan to go to the diner for milkshakes.
“No dinner. Just milkshakes!” You text.
“Milkshakes ARE DINNER.” I respond.
I’m already there, picking off my chipping nail polish.
My phone beeps.
It’s you.
“I’m in a crisis.” You text.
“And when in crisis?” I respond.
“A boy like me calls his mother. I’m gonna be an hour late.”
It’s not the first time.
It won’t be the final time.
I order onion rings.
I order a root beer.
You finally roll up in a purple velour tracksuit and red Doc Martin’s.
“Where’s your milkshake?” You say.
“I’m full…” I respond.
“Fuck you.”
“Meanie.”
“I WANT A STRABERRY SHAKE! HEAVY ON THE CREAM!”
“Shhh – ”
“MY MILKSHAKE BRINGS ALL THE BOYS TO THE YARD!”
You’re high.

“Sell it to me! I want to fix it!” by Julia on the 63 going North


Wednesday January 28, 2015
1:12am
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

Well I went through a phase in my life where all I wanted to do was sell bracelets made out of human teeth. It was a longer phase than maybe I’d like to/should admit. I thought it would be really sweet to market to mothers–you know, Never Forget How Precious Your Child Once Was…
It was a strange endeavour, I know that it was, because you’d have to wait a couple years to get enough good teeth for a bracelet, but you’d have to have permission first and the whole thing. So I sold one or two bracelets. I knew there would be some people interested. And by some I mean…just the two. I don’t know if they bought them out of admiration for the craft or out of fear that if they didn’t I would cast some witchy voodoo curse on them, because honest to God, who collects and then sells human teeth?

“Share with a friend!” by Sasha on the bus home


Wednesday November 26, 2014
9:14pm
5 minutes
from a thank you card

When my mother makes soup she chops up everything in the fridge – even the rejected broccoli florets in the crisper corner – and she lets it simmer and she adds salt and pepper only at the very end.

“Two eggs and one piece of whole grain toast has been my breakfast for forty six years… Why would I change that now?”

When my mother goes grocery shopping she organizes her grocery list by type. “Fruit”, “Meat”, “Dairy”, “Treats”.

“Snacking causes obesity.”

When my mother makes salad dressing, she chops up garlic very finely. She refuses to use a garlic press. “Lazy,” she calls them.

“Take this banana bread and share it with a friend! I don’t want it!”
“Well then why did you make it?”
“I wanted one or two pieces, not the whole loaf! If it sits on the counter, I just eat it!”

When my mother orders tea in a restaurant she says, “Bag out, please.”

“Absolutely everybody gets a little something” by Sasha at the CSI Coffee Pub


Monday April 28, 2014 at CSI Coffee Pub
11:54am
5 minutes
Slaughterhouse Five
Kurt Vonnegut


“What the fuck is this, Nick?”
“Uh…”
“What the fuck – ?!”
“It’s a… dick pic – ”
“A WHAT?”
“A pic of my… dick.”
“Ohmyogod. Go to your room. Right now. Go to your ROOM!” You’re grounded. You’re fucking grounded.”
He starts to go.
“What the fuck, Nick?!”
Angie holds a picture, clearly taken using a cellphone, printed on a black and white computer printer.
“I didn’t mean for you to… see it.”
“That’s all you have to say for yourself? SERIOUSLY?!”
“I sent it to Julie…”
“I know you sent it to JULIE. JULIE’S Mom came over this afternoon and I was in the middle of my Yogalates video and she comes in and she shows me… this… and she says, “This is your sons.”
Nick looks at his feet.
“This is probably assault, Nick!? Did I raise you to be a rapist?!”

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


Friday March 14, 2014
11:48pm
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”.

“we are responsible” by Julia at Lit on College


Monday, October 28, 2013 at Lit Espresso Bar
5:10pm
5 minutes
“Real life and other tall stories”
The Wednesday Review


For calling our mothers
for teaching our brothers
for truthing to others
for admitting our druthers

for waiting in lines
for talking in rhymes
for singing in time
for drinking with limes

for laughing at jokes
for helping out folks
for ignoring pokes
for avoiding mean blokes

for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers

for cuddling the wee ones
for including the shunned ones
for smiling at the sad ones
for hoping for the worst ones

for asking good asks
for doing good tasks
for not wearing masks
for stocking the flasks

for reading books
for cautionary looks
for challenging crooks
for cleaning the nooks

for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers

“slaving twenty hours a day” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday May 8, 2013
7:32pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Noam Chomsky

It’s a hard job, trying to make ends meet, talking to your mother thirty times in a day, just to ask her, where did I got wrong? Did I stop being good at everything when I stopped taking swimming lessons when I was 6? She just sighs over the phone, says, My baby, you’re fine. This is the thing you need, and just wait in time it all will change.
She says, do you want to come back home? And you say, Mamma, you know I can’t. What’s there for me? One giant Tim Horton’s with a late night truck stop crew? Or maybe the one and only traffic light? Or perhaps the bar that closes at 9. She says, I know my baby, I know, I know, I know. Then what can you do? And you get choked up on your own ineptitude. Maybe work harder? She Mmhms you. Maybe take more classes. Mhmm, Mhmm, my baby. Maybe stop wasting time on silly things and silly people. Oh yes, my baby, that’s the answer. And you slave, and you work, longer than you need to. Cause Mamma’s far away, and you’re alone in a big big city with no one to tell you when to go to sleep. You work and work for nothing, spending all your money on movies, rented from the internet. The next time you ask her, Is it me? Mhmm, Mhmm, my baby, is what she’ll say.

“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.

“name the sand” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday, March 21, 2013
12:39am
5 minutes
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul


She looks at me like she knows something I don’t. Like she’s got a secret. Or a yeast infection. “Fiona is… really creative,” she starts in. Is this woman, no, girl, is this girl even old enough to be teaching? “Excuse me but… how old are you?” She blushes. How cute. “Twenty-five.” “Did you fast-track?” There’s a pause. She briefly glances at my left hand. Yes, thank you, we are still together. “Um, no? I… I did the concurrent education program at York…” “Oh…” I say. I’m not impressed, or, maybe I am. I don’t know. “Fiona is really a leader in the class. She is so happy to be the boss!” It’s like she thinks I don’t know my kid. It’s like she thinks that she knows Fiona better than I do. “What are you saying?” “That she’s a real extrovert!” “I know that.” “Of course you do – ” “Why don’t you tell me something that I don’t know about her…” “The function of parent-teacher time is that…” “Interviews.” “Pardon?” “Parent-teacher interviews. That’s what it’s called. What we’re having here.” “Actually we have recently updated the title, the name. We felt that “interview” was too formal. It’s really about us having a nice chat, some time together… chatting about the child, your child… Fiona.” Is she sweating? “I see…” I say, but I don’t. I don’t see the point in that progressive education bullshit. “Let me get right to the point,” she says. “Fiona has been… uh… she’s been removing her… taking off her… undergarments.” I laugh. “Oh?” “It’s… becoming a bit worrisome… as, you know, she’s such a leader… Some of the other girls, her friends, are starting to follow suit…”