“what would happen if we moved to Vancouver?” by Julia in her bed

Thursday September 20, 2018
12:31am
5 minutes
Crystal
Gillian Wigmore

nobody saw it coming
not me
not you
not the ones we were leaving behind
i suppose some deep place made known only to me in my dreams and
i guess in my mother’s
it was expected that i would make it
we both knew somewhere that i would twist silk into roots
and sink them in
she always knows the limits to my reach better than me
which is funny
since she doesn’t think I have any
but maybe vancouver gave me the pocket of soil to grow myself out of
she said that to me today
and here i am talking about leaving or staying or what in the world should I do
what would happen?

“people are still listing reasons” by Julia on the Red Line

Saturday September 15, 2018
7:55pm
5 minutes
Collaboration: Visual/Written Poetry
Sarah Leavitt & Jen Currin

When the subway ascends and we can see the city, you nudge my shoulder, point my body in the direction of the skyline and the tail lights of all those cars
glowing up the street
You say, look at that.
You’ve been giving me reasons why I should stay and what we could do if we decide to and who we would be if I decide to
They sound like good reasons
The good Mexican food being at the top of the list
You tell me this doesn’t have to happen and I believe the sweet in your eyes when you say it’s not going to move you if we don’t move here
Move lives
Move dreams over to a bigger city that we will surely get lost in
You are good at drinking slowly
Waiting for me to finish swirling the straw and ice around in my glass
But if we move here, you tell me, we will also find ourselves

“still dangerous,” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday September 13, 2018
6:39pm
5 minutes
Soft
Sarah Pinder

Soon we will be spread out
different places
you here and her there and
me where we used to leave
the three of us

Different countries
Different worlds maybe
Or that’s my fear talking
She sounds like you
sometimes

I want to tell you everything
but I can’t
and that’s a first
kind of
and that’s strange
kind of

Curled up in my bed
watching the clouds
listening to jazz on the radio
dancing with my hands
until I fall asleep

My heart breaks for
who we used to be
The women on the corner
head’s thrown back
laughing

“The American imagination” by Julia on the sky train

Friday June 8, 2018
12:03pm
5 minutes
Poetic Justice an Interview with Camille T. Dungy 
Airica Parker

The imagination there is big, he says
Big and bold and brassy and big
Every day a new phone call telling me how much closer he is to being big too
The ceiling is high, the sky is higher, and the people know how to help each other be extraordinary
This is a dream sequence that I am replaying: people helping people
Not so afraid of someone else’s greatness that they need to throw stones at them until they fall off
To think of the inventors and chefs
The writers and the football players
The American imagination plays like the movies that are big enough to be made there
I don’t know what they think of us
Maybe that we’re polite pushovers
Maybe that we know how to apologize for things instead of owning them
They might not think of our country at all
I didn’t really either
Until I thought about leaving it

“Ordinary men and women” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
Northern Ireland: The Case Of Bloody Sunday
Carole-Anne Upton

We sit at the cottage and eat breakfast built for two. You and me. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man. We tap forks the way we taught ourselves to love. Out loud. Ceremony. A reminder of all the good between us. You have managed to make perfect eggs and I have done the kale this time good enough to write about here. You can see the mountains from where you sit and in the reflection of the print above your head, I can see them too. They look nice.
The day is a heart beat away from making us wish we wanted to stay here. You are busy thinking of how to live somewhere else. I am wondering a lot at the thought of you going. What kind of letters will you send me? Ones filled with sorry, or sweet, or cash. I hope the latter. I don’t think my jobs pay enough for me to live in this apartment without you. Who will I eat my ordinary breakfast with? With who will I sit on my ordinary couch? Do phone calls and text messages keep the love alive? We will find out. One ordinary woman and one ordinary man.

“I knew that sitting like that would bring me happiness.” By Sasha at the Intercontinental Yorkville

Friday January 12, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
How To Sit
Thich Nhat Hanh

I know that sitting would bring me something new, but I never let myself do it. Maybe it’s because I was taught to move, that moving equals productivity or something? Maybe it’s because when I sit, I feel. When I’m still, I have the space to know what I know, to trust my gut. So, I go from bed to the gym to the office to choir to drinks to bed. Bed to gym to office to yoga to bed. Bed to office to drinks to dinner to dancing to bed. You get the picture. And then, on a Sunday afternoon when my best friends cancels a hike, I sit. I sit. I sit. I close my eyes, just like the book says, and I pay attention to my breath going in and out. In and out.

“drove up to the prison” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday August 30, 2017
11:39pm
5 minutes
This American Life episode 282

can’t stop a freight train
on its way
it knows where it’s going
it goes
and goes
it doesn’t think to break to take
in the scenery
it doesn’t put off gettting to
its destination because there is
something easier to do
nothing is better than arriving
when all you’ve done is travel

can’t stop a freight train
on its way
it carries the load it was meant to
doesn’t complain about the weather
the speed of the tracks
doesn’t beg for something to make it
more fun
doesn’t whine about needing snacks
it definitely doesn’t light the Palo Santo
over and over again until it believes
it doesn’t call its mother on the
phone to ask for directions
it knows where it’s going
it goes

“I’m on my way to Hammerhead” by Sasha at the airport


Saturday June 10, 2017
9:49pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Pearson

Takin’ the first flight to Hammerhead and no one’s gonna stop me. When I’m there, I’m gonna find a little shack in the woods by the river. Ever heard of the butterflies down there? Oh yeah, they are yellow and purple and they smell like candy. Pompom told me and Pompom never lies. He’s been down there, right? He’s seen ’em with his own eyes? I never get lonely, right, because I got seven brothers and sisters so I never had a second to myself between the ages of birth and seventeen when I got the heck outta there. Hammerhead’s population? Sixty four. And apparently the woman who runs the post office might be pregnant so that would bring the total population up to sixty five. Oh! And me, of course. Sixty six.

“they fought amongst themselves” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 10, 2017
9:42pm
5 minutes
True Confessions Of Adrian Albert Mole
Sue Townsend


It took a long time for us to go back and visit
the pussy willow tree overgrowing the back deck
so much they chopped it down in all the impulsive
places
the gold stars sponge painted on the downstairs bathroom walls
the office converted into a nursery
the playroom now belonging to the boy who once
convinced me to show him my orange star underwear
They smiled sweetly at us like they weren’t responsible
for making us move to a better town filled with
worse people
they never apologized for the pussy willow tree
or the black berry bush
or the playroom
they volly whispers back and forth
about asking us if we’d like something to eat,
a danish or a banana

“You live on campus?” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday March 12, 2017
1:05am
5 minutes
Overheard on the 4 going west

My dorm room was on the fourth floor of the Fine Arts residence. When my Mom dropped me off – a few boxes, a laundry hamper, some bedding, a plant from Ikea – I turned away from all the people screaming in the quad. I remember putting my black and white postcards on the wall from Paris, Vienna, Greece and Switzerland, and putting the framed photograph of my boyfriend and I on the desk. I remember brushing my teeth in the communal bathroom. I remember telling my Mom that I wasn’t sure if this was going to work out.

“Hit the road Jack” by Sasha on the couch in Cowichan Bay


Saturday December 31, 2016
8:08pm
5 minutes
From a record

Jack’s packed this car like a master puzzler, every box and bag filling any open space. “Will you be able to see?” I ask, putting our turkey sandwiches into old yogurt containers.

I kiss the doorframe and Jack says, “Goodbye, sweet spot.” We hug for awhile, before I lock the door and slide the key through the mailbox, like we told George, our super, we’d do.

Halfway to the highway, I start to cry.

“I was so annoyed with Wendy” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Thursday December 8, 2016 at JJ Bean
4:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean on Cambie

When we first got here there wasn’t much going on. I mean the town had three hundred people, something like that. My father was a butcher and he heard that they needed one, and so without really telling my brother and I what was going on my parents loaded us into the car and we left Montreal. They said we were going on a vacation. I was so mad. So so mad. Jaques and I plotted to hitchhike home and never come back to Alton. I know now that my father had a falling out with the guys who trained him, we know them as Uncle Gary and Uncle Ziggy. Anyway, that’s why he needed to leave. Because we only spoke French, and we were arriving in the middle of a school year, it was terrible, at school for both Jacques and me.

“She lives by the sea” by Julia at her dining table


Monday September 26, 2016
6:47am
5 minutes
wordvancouver.ca

I didn’t plan to bury the hatchet so far away from where it did all its chopping
One day the tide pulled me out and I let it
Whispered my goodbyes to the tracks I had laid
Told them all how nice it has been to be trailing
And blew some buoyant kisses to the way things used to sound
when I held up a traveler’s old home to my ears
after she had abandoned it for something bigger
the rocky waves eased me into a place that I could sleep in
Ones I didn’t intend to dream or marry
The saline dresses the top of my lip and I introduce my tongue to the ridges
all the folds it has been missing
And now I belong here
by the sea
because the wind carried me over
and I let it

“biking in the rain” by Julia on Kits Beach


Monday April 18, 2016
4:49pm
5 minutes
overheard on Yew

I am
Moving
To a place where
You do not have
To worry
About
Biking
In
The
Rain
Because this place
Doesn’t have
Rain
And this place
Doesn’t have
Bike
Lanes
So crisis averted
And nobody’s hurt
And nobody’s sad
Because their
Favourite
Shirt
Got
Road grit
Splattered
On it
This place where
I’m going
Is far
And is
Wide
And is
Hope
And is
Dream
I will invite
You to meet me
As soon
As
I
Learn
My new
Address
Something like
Sunny Lane
In Sunshine Town
Just at the corner
Of
Rainbow and Sunset
Or I guess
Not Rainbow?
No more
Rainbows?
I didn’t
Think
This
New life
Through
I’ll need
Rainbows

Won’t you please please help me” by Sasha at Platform 7


Thursday, March 31, 2016 at Platform 7
3:47pm
5 minutes
From the Beatles song


Freddie is practically begging for my help, so I’m all, okay, okay, I’ll do it, I’ll do it. Moving sucks. I get it. Problem is, Freddie’s moved seven times in the last three years. Not even exaggerating! No wonder the guy doesn’t have any friends! But like, I feel bad for him, I really do. And it’s not just that we both only have sisters and so we have that, like, bond that dudes with sisters have… I feel bad that he’s been dealt a shitty ass hand. In more ways than one! He’s had roaches and rats and mites and maggots. He’s had bedbugs, man. That shit scares people really bad.

“I wish to offer him no honour” by Julia on her bed


Thursday, August 20, 2015
11:19pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by the Globe and Mail

I have been wondering if I will ever leave this place. It does not feel like home (never did), and it is starting to weigh heavy on my heart. It sounds like an easy decision but it is not. Nothing is an easy decision for me. I am used to making bad decisions. Maybe staying here this long is one of them. Maybe I am trying to justify something. I think it is hard because I do not know what I want instead. I do not know where is better than here. So I must stay here until I know where there is. Must I not? It does not sound very adventurous of me (well aware of that), but does it not make sense?
I cannot decide this with the help of anyone else. I am torn in two but I am the only one who can mend the halves and make them whole. I am learning here. It sounds as if I am not but I am.

“her request seems to have been ignored.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, August 16, 2015
12:16pm
5 minutes
The New Yorker

They’re moving again, just a few towns over, but it’s the third time this year and that’s not the only suspect thing… My psychic told me I need to let go of my skepticism, she said that it’s inhibiting tectonic shift (whatever the eff that means). I’m trying here, but then they up and decide to move again and I’m sent into a spiral of wondering. Bob and Bet are the only couple friends I got here, you see, so I can’t just, like, get over it! Lost my car after another DUI so how the heck am I even gonna visit them? Buses are unreliable and full of perverts. I refuse to take the bus.

“within 15 days” by Julia on her bed


Thursday, July 9, 2015
11:42pm
5 minutes
A letter from Health Insurance BC

“Or maybe we could rent a van and pack it up tight with all our stupid stuff that we don’t care about and just drive it across the country like we did last time?” She says this, rubbing an ice cube side to side across her collar bone, making him sweat, making him want her even more.
“Yeah, we could, or we could purge all our stupid stuff that we don’t need and just be free and minimal.” He says this with a knowing smirk that she’d never go for something like that.
“You mean minimalistic?” She pops the ice cube into her mouth and lets it melt there for a second.
“I don’t think we need to purge. Maybe get rid of a few things. The waffle iron. We could get rid of the waffle iron, and maybe the second set of measuring cups.”

“Last night I was like fuck it” by Sasha at Arbutus Coffee


Friday, June 5, 2015 at Arbutus Coffee
2:52pm
5 minutes
from a text

Vera walks by the ocean everyday, and she has since she was fifteen, since she moved to Vancouver from Windsor with her stepmother. Her father had gone to Hong Kong for a two year placement at a Chemical Engineering firm and both she and her stepmother had sworn they wouldn’t leave Canada. “Well at least go someplace fun,” he’d said, probably stroking his beard, probably narrowing his eyes the way he did when he was deep in thought. “Vancouver!” Her stepmother had said, with her Polish accent. “Okay,” Vera had shrugged and gone to her room and listened to Joan Baez. She has walked by the ocean everyday since she got here, different shores, but the same changing ocean. Today she sees an Orca. She blinks several times, as she does when she doesn’t trust her eyes, maybe she hasn’t drunk enough water, maybe an orange and a piece of toast wasn’t a big enough breakfast. Nope. It’s definitely a whale. She watches and listens, he’s singing! He’s singing just for her.

“evil, greedy, deluded, fatally flawed.” by Sasha at Vancouver General Hospital


Friday May 22, 2015
1:07pm
5 minutes
Talking Masks
Adam Seelig


Take off that stupid mask, Bobo.
No.
Take it off!
Nawwww…
How are your Mama and I supposed to tell you something very important when – ?
I won’tttt!
Listen here.
No.
We are selling the farm and moving to the city.
What?
You heard me.
I didn’t!
Take off your mask!
Okay, fiiiine…
We are selling the farm and moving to the city. Your mother got a job at a school in the West End.
I’m staying.
You can’t stay.
Why not?
Who would take care of you?
Mona!
Mona is a dog. She can’t care for a boy.

“Rathburn Rd.” by Sasha in her bed


Thursday April 23, 2015
1:03am
5 minutes
from a street sign

Joe’s biggest complaint is that there aren’t enough windows.
“It’s dark,” he repeats, fiddling with a knob on a kitchen cupboard.
Alexandra reassures him that it’s going to be fine.
“It’s such a steal,” she says, grabbing his bicep for emphasis.
They walk up to the second floor and see flashes of what could be.
“Are we ready for this?” Joe’s brows are furrowed and Alex tries not to think about how he looks like a Great Dane when he does this.
“Joe…” She kisses him and makes it last a bit longer than she might’ve, had she not been on a mission.
He sighs.
Out the smaller bedroom window, they watch Leanne, the real estate agent pace the driveway, talking on her cellphone.

“Their smiling faces touched” by Julia at her dining room table


Monday March 16, 2015
5:47pm
5 minutes
Still Alice
Lisa Genova


In the window fog she traced his name with her pointer finger and drew a heart around it. Finding herself rereading the same last paragraph of his letter over and over again, she knew she wasn’t going to rid herself of his memory with any ease at all. She stopped herself for an instant, glanced out into the passing world outside her moving train, and came back into the present moment. She had been talking about him as if he had not only left her, but left this earth all together. Then, a tiny ember of hope flickered inside her. He wasn’t even gone, just away. Just away from her. His final words to her,the ones she’d been revisiting each time without effort, were suddenly so clear to her: “In time we fade and in time we’re built anew.”

“landed immigrants” by Julia on her couch


Friday March 13, 2015
6:39pm
5 minutes
from http://www.banffmediafestival.com

Touch down acquaint orient
Reorient
Find the water
Where’s the water?
Friendly Sir
Morning coffee spill parade
Left then left then left then straight
Breathe in this city
Ask all the hard questions
Where am I going?
Why am I going there?
Fear leads and buries
Don’t follow blind
Don’t assume
Ask all the hard questions
Can you help me?
Can you show me?
South then east then south then east
Home now, a strange word
Invented
Reinvented
Depending on the day
The time
The hour

“laugh-out-loud funny.” By Sasha in the bath


Wednesday January 14, 2015
10:51pm
5 minutes
From the i heart huckabees DVD case

I’m writing secrets on leaves again. It’s less poetic then it sounds. I want them to dissolve into the mud in the backyard. Chuck is buried there, maybe the secrets will sink into him. That’s what makes it hard. To sell the house. That’s what makes it the hardest. Chuck and the secrets – all of them just back there and knowing that someone else might find the bones and the veins and the letter “S” or “X”. I’ve got this one down pat – the packing and the taping. But the leaving? The leaving is tough.

“He moved in an uneasy trance” by Sasha in the Kiva


Thursday December 25, 2014
12:48am
5 minutes
Vile Bodies
Evelyn Waugh


When he moved (and that was rare) it was in an uneasy trance. Once, you pressed your cheek to the floor in the kitchen in order to see if there was indeed space between the bottoms of his feet and the white tiles. Mostly he sat in his chair by the fire, reading and re-reading the Newspapers. The New York Times from before he left that grey hulk of a city. His favourite is July 25th, 1994. Nothing particularly incredible happened that day, but it was hot and he remembered that he went for a long walk in Central Park and fed birds. He reads and re-reads and you watch him and you tell him a joke and he laughs, but his eyes stay on the page.

“clearly in the context of the show” by Julia at her desk


Monday November 3, 2014
12:35am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I find myself penciling in ideas and then crossing them out before they’ve been fully developed. I don’t use the eraser because I like the way it looks when I’ve had a thought and there’s a line through it indicating that I knew I was wrong and I moved forward anyway. That’s real bravery, isn’t it? I don’t rub out my mistakes, I let them fester there on the page and the challenge is not to let them infect the words not yet written just by being there. The trick is to avoid thinking about it at all, not in a dismissive way pretending that it doesn’t exist, but to accept that it’s a part of the process and to carry on without being discouraged. The same can be done with a pen although it is, for some strange reason, a million times more distracting. In pen it looks like I was one hundred percent certain about what I was writing, only to find out later that it was wrong. That the ideas were not formed fully, that there was thoughtlessness involved. I don’t like thinking I’m thoughtless because the opposite is true. I am careful for the most part, but even being careful won’t dismiss the fact that I am human and I must always move forward.

“we have the luxury of time” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Tuesday September 30, 2014 at Culprit Coffee
5:48pm
5 minutes
On Directing Film
David Mamet


“We have the luxury of time, Jenna…” He says, as he cracks another egg into the steaming pan. It sizzles. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” She responds, pouring orange juice into cups. She drinks hers quickly, and pours another glass. “I love your hair like that,” he says, putting two english muffins into the toaster. “Why don’t you wear it down more often?” She smiles. “It gets in the way.” They’ve only been in London for two weeks, but she feels at home. It’s taking him longer, but that’s okay. She opens the window. He flips the eggs and she goes behind him and puts her arms around his middle.

“Detour 23” by Sasha on the porch at Knowlton Lake


Sunday Aug 3, 2014
3:11pm
5 minutes
from a Pembina Hwy sign

At Detour 23 I pull over and change Lenny’s diaper. He’s been wet since Detour 17 and screamed bloody murder for the last handful of miles. “What kinda mother are you?” Cody kept saying. “Go back there an’ do it! I’m driving!” Cody got a DUI last November. His favorite thing to do is drive. It’s made him a different kinda person… The kinda person you wouldn’t trust around a kitten or to make you breakfast. “He’s your kid!” Cody screamed. I will not get into this, I will not get into this, I will not get into this, I will not get into this… I close my eyes and imagine the Old Growth forests we’re driving towards. I imagine climbing into a tree, Lenny strapped to my bike, and living there for a very long time.

“experience learn hear” by Sasha on the dock at Knowlton Lake


Friday Aug 1, 2014
2:12pm
5 minutes
from an expired TPL card

The water is still (my heart is racing). The dragonflies dart (I sit still). Nature is funny (I’m less so). The trees are always changing (I am too).

We’re packing all of our things in boxes and duffle bags and backpacks (the loon calls her love). We’re going West to be near the mountains and the ocean (the lake will turn and turn and the sun will rise and set here, and there). We’re letting go of cards from Grade Seven and cookbooks from friends who are no longer friends (there’s a frog singing).

“BLUE & GOLD” by Sasha in her bed


Wednesday November 27, 2013
5:02pm
5 minutes
a poster in Kerr Hall

When you walk in you feel immediately at home. It doesn’t matter that the stairs need sanding. You’ve never lived on your own before. In the kitchen, you smile. Sure, the floors could use a good scrub and the walls have scuff marks. Okay, you wish that the living room wasn’t grey but you just heard about a cheap paint store where there are leftovers from the biggest and best paint jobs in town – The Opera House to the Shangri-La Hotel. You hear the upstairs neighbour calling to her child. “Lunch!” You walk into the bedroom and your breath catches in your throat. Blue walls with gold baseboards, not muted gold, bright, shiny, sparkly gold. Marisa, the landlady, her red fleecy zipped up under her chin, laughs. “The last tenant, she was a leetle crazeeey…” You sit down on the floor and you cry. Marisa rubs your back and you apologize and you say you’ll take it. You say you’d like to move in on Monday. You say that you need this place more than anything, that you’ve been couch-surfing since September and you’re going crazy. You don’t mention your cat. You wipe your cheeks and Marisa hugs you and says she’ll call your references and if everything checks out it’s yours.

“For their swim records” by Sasha at Brooklyn College


Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at Brooklyn College
4:55pm
5 minutes
Super Fish Thorpe
Kaci Tami


How are you being so fucking calm! What the fuck? I found your passport. I found your hiding spot. I found the letter and the blow and your stupid knife! Vinny! Listen to me! I, I… You said you weren’t going back there. You fucking promised. Now, I’m all, I’m all homeless and you’re… you’re fucking around with those dumb, cross-eyed brothers! I don’t care if it’s over and we’re, we’re… over! You made a promise! They’ve got nothing for you. All they’ve got is trouble, and that bubbly water that’s not even good for you. People think it’s fancy but I heard someone say that it’s not. It upsets your stomach. Vinny. Okay. I’m, I’m going to pick up Gio from swimming class. When I get back I want you to have some kind of cool and collected response for me. You’ve got, like, forty five minutes. Get it together.

“Freedom to give” by Sasha at Tarragon Theatre


Tuesday October 8,2013 at Tarragon Theatre
10:14pm
5 minutes
Universal Freedom
George Krokos


Do you want the cast iron pan? Your mom gave it to us when we first… You know what, why don’t you just have it. I mean, you make that cornbread and all those… omelettes. But, you have to season it, Sam… If you don’t, it goes all flakey and, well, like, Google how to season it, okay? Shit. I, I, I… This is… This was… I need more boxes. I’m gonna go to No Frills, wanna come? Or, maybe that’s… a bad idea. I just, I, I appreciate your, like, gentle way. How you’re being gentle? I’m, I hate this shit, this wrapping and labelling and having to remember if it’s your copy of To Kill a Mockingbird or… You know what? If you don’t mind, I’ll keep the pan. I love that pan. They don’t make them like that anymore so…

“OPEN HOUSE” by Julia at Dundonald Park in Ottawa


Thursday, October 3, 2013
3:37pm
5 minutes
from the Saint Paul University Poster in Dundonald Park

Charlie and I are planning to make the big move to the city. She already has a set of cute bowls she wants us to get. “No more second-hand items”, She told me, “unless they’re vintage”. I didn’t want to break her little heart by telling her that people in the city don’t necessarily have nicer things or more money-but she wouldn’t have wanted to listen to me anyway. Ever since I get my promotion she’s been letting her imagination run wild–thinking about how our lives would just magically improve because we’re leaving this itty-bitty town with two stop-lights and a Tim Horton’s that closes every third day for “maintenance”. She thinks the change of scenery will help everything. Help us. I was never meant for the city. God knows I’m only going for Charlie. God knows I’m a sucker for her big brown eyes and her hopeful smile that tells me she’s willing to try. I think the city turns people cold. I think it makes everyone hard and fast and uncompromising. I don’t know if Charlie’s strong enough for it yet. I’d hate to see her loser her joy–over something like finding parking on a one way street, or seeing a hundred homeless teens everyday on her way to work.

“may find offensive” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday, September 29, 2013
11:42pm
5 minutes
from a TV warning on Global

1. I hear a knock at the door.
2. I open the cabinet and throw the bag of chocolate chips inside that I’ve been eating.
3. I go to the door and I open it.
4. She’s wearing a wide-brimmed hat with a sunflower on it.
5. She’s smiling but her eyes are cloudy.
6. She looks how I felt yesterday.
7. We’re all more related than we think/
8. “Welcome to the neighbourhood!” She says, in an accent that coats her words like caramel. “I’m Marlena!”
9. She hands me a casserole dish.
10. “The girls call me Lena,” she says. “The girls?” I say.
11. “The neighbourhood girls!” She looks at her hands, dirty, and then looks at me, apologetically.
12. “We heard you’re expecting!” She smiles.
13. “”We”?” I ask.
14. “The girls, silly!”
15. I touch my belly, an obligatory move.
16. “When’s he coming?” She keeps smiling.
17. “Who?” I say, thinking she’s referring to Geoff, who’s still in Windsor.
18. “The bambino!”
19. “Oh, February.”
20. I invite her in.
21. She declines.
22. I invite her in.
23. She accepts.

“There is absolutely no subletting” by Julia on her couch


Thursday, September 26, 2013
5:50pm
5 minutes
The City Of Toronto Permit Policy

Okay so you’re moving? You’re just up and leaving? Didn’t you think about what I would have to do? Fucking course not. You’re a selfish dick. You could have warned me, at least, that you wanted to move. That you wanted to travel. Like, now I’m stuck either paying all the rent, or finding a roommate, which I know you know sucks ass. You have to leave me your throw blankets now. And the microwave, and the coffee table. I don’t think you get a say, sorry. Selfish people need to be accountable for their actions. What do you mean “not a big deal” ? Huh? Are you fucking kidding me? My best friend is LEAVING THE COUNTRY for an undetermined length of time and you want me to calm down? How about, WHEN WILL I EVER SEE YOU AGAIN? Or, Hey, just a head’s up, you might want to get all your shit-ducks in a row cause I’m about to DISORGANIZE THE FUCK OUT OF THE ONES THAT ARE ALREADY TRYING TO LINE UP.

“UHAUL” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, August 24, 2013
12:58am
5 minutes
From the front of a UHAUL truck

calendar had the days all crossed out, it was the 1st, she was moving out.
made lots of big plans for the dresser she no longer wanted.
had called a couple guys to come in and do all the heavy lifting.
was looking forward to the new bay windows, the counter space, and the balcony.
promised herself she was never going to live in a basement ever again.
no matter how much debt she was in.
and she was in debt.
she had refused her parents’ money when they offered to pay off her student loans so she’d be interest fee.
she said she was trying to make a name for herself and couldn’t do that if she was relying on handouts.
little post-its-remember-me notes were tacked on every single box.
some of the notes to herself, written by herself, were directions on how to hold the box, or where to place the box.
she didn’t have any faith in the couple guys she’d arranged to have.
she didn’t want any of her precious furniture to be scratched because some muscle bound monkey wasn’t capable of being gentle.
she was panicked, but excited.
she was looking forward to this new house, new home, new life, that she was creating.
maybe, she considered, firing the movers. just doing it herself just in case.