“Kensington Prairie Farm” by Sasha at work

Friday July 27, 2018
5:40pm
5 minutes
www.kpfarm.com

She types on a tickity tickity keyboard
in a square office
in a tall building
on a busy street

The sun shines in through her window
lucky she has one
she tells herself

She wonders about dirt under her fingernails
what that might feel like
she chews a hangnail
and thinks about planting seeds

Literally
she remembers how peas grow
clinging to anything they can
holding eachother up
growing tall

Her garden on the balcony
of her apartment
gets so thirsty she can’t keep up

At the farmer’s market
she touches peaches and plums
radishes and chantrelles
like her children
like her beauties
like her friends

“strikes out at the enemy” by Sasha at her desk

Friday November 17, 2017
5:43pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chodron

Lindsay never believed in enemies until she met Luis. She knew she didn’t like him from the moment she met him. It was a Tuesday morning staff meeting, and he was hoarding the pastries and the Coconut Creamer.

“You must be the new girl…” He said, biting into a danish. A bit of blueberry rested on his lower lip.

Lindsay thought about schooling him on the micro-aggression of using “girl” instead of “woman”. How would she do this without sounding bitchy? Does she have the right to be bitchy? She decides that yes, she does have the right.

“I’m forty-two.” She said, grabbing a slice of granny smith apple

“Rivers till I reach you” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday August 3, 2017
11:16pm
5 minutes
Rivers and Roads
The Head and the Heart


Rebecca starts walking to work in April and she feels like a real winner. Frankie gives her the once over and she rolls her eyes. “Come on, you like it,” he whispers. She doesn’t. She cocks her head to one side and says, “I will not let you take away my endorphins, Frank. Please go away.” He sneers. She never thought much of that word, but it’s the only one appropriate for Frank.

Rebecca thinks about reporting him to Diane in HR, but she’s worried about the backlash. Malinda once said something to Diane, and Diane laughed in her face. Doesn’t help that Diane is married to Frankie’s twin brother. She knows that he’s a creep, but he’s family. Nepotism is a carbon monoxide, Rebecca thinks, as she watches Frankie re-fill his coffee cup for the third time.

“stress hormones can also cross the placenta” by Sasha on the 99


Thursday June 1, 2017
11:32pm
5 minutes
alive.com

Monica makes the sign of the cross and sits down at her desk. She wonders if she’ll have the courage to do it today. The phone rings.

“Dr. Kent’s office, how may I help you?” Her voice sounds different here than at home, when she’s talking to Bozo or singing to the radio as she makes dinner.

“I need to speak to Dr. Kent right away,” says the woman on the other end of the line.

“Dr. Kent is with a patient at present. Might I pass along a message?” Monica reaches for her green tea and sips it. It’s cold.

“I just read something online about how stress hormones can cross the placenta and reach the babies? I’m freaking out! This has been the most stressful three months of my life. It’s bad enough to give one child issues, but two?! I need to speak to – ”

“Take a deep breath. In through your nose and out through your mouth.” Monica rolls her eyes.

“regular procedures” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday April 5, 2017
12:53pm
5 minutes
From the thesis formatting guidelines

I am sitting across from you
you are either editing your novel
(YOUR FUCKING NOVEL!!)
or worrying about being ripped off
Even when you’re busy you look up when it’s time
mouth 1234 to me and smile
wait for me to stop what I’m doing
so I don’t miss it
so I don’t forget to believe in magic

I am sitting across from you
you are either playing a new riff on your guitar
or researching guitars that have headphone jacks
this is a very nice gift for me
even though it comes at a cost for you

I am sitting across from you
I am either telling the world about you
or trying to sell my clothes online
our feet are touching
it’s nice

you told your contract job that your girlfriend
isn’t too happy about you working from home
because she has now gained an office mate
but no other office mate
has let me rest my feet on his before

“we’ve never properly met though.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday April 2, 2017
9:19pm
5 minutes
From a text

“I’ve noticed you for months, but I don’t think we’ve ever properly met?” You reach out your hand and it’s cold. I don’t know if I expected warmth, or if that’s just a fantasy. Warmth.

“How’re you liking it here so far? I know Teddy can be a baboon.” You sit beside me and my arm feels as though it’s turned to ice.

“He’s fine. It’s fine.” I choke on my asparagus salad.

You pass me my glass of water. I drink.

“Are you coming to Krystina’s thing tomorrow night?”

“I didn’t know – …”

“Oh, well, you should come. I’ll be there.”

I am supposed to go to Pilates. Deb is going to kill me.

“Sure, I’ll come…”

You smile, Cheshire Cat. You lean in close and whisper,

“You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

“A cherished pastime” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday March 21, 2017
9:32am
5 minutes
From a Facebook post

It’s Wednesday and the whole notion of “hump day” makes her stomach turn. “Why do we live in a world where two thirds of the population are okay with the idea that Wednesday is a hump we have to get over?” Leila says.

“What?” Su peeks over the dividing wall between their cubicles.

“I’m talking to myself!”

“Lower your voice then, princess. You’re getting in the way of my f-l-o-w!”

Leila loves Sugreet, she really does, but their desks are practically on top of each other and he often sings Beyonce under his breath which gets in the way of her work f-l-o-w, so, she doesn’t apologize. Not today.

“the more you see the grace beyond” By Julia at he dining table


Saturday February 11, 2017
6:25pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Tree Book
David Tracey


Ellen leans back in her new office chair, trying out the arms over the head posture.
She looks around the room and notices that this exact view she has of her office now is the same one she had envisioned when she told herself that she would make it here some day. Ellen has made it and it feels good. The making it she expected. The power she half-prepared for. But the goodness that it created–the light–was unfathomable. Remarkable like staring out at the top of a mountain after climbing it for years. After years climbing a mountain that nobody thought could be done.

“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

“When ur cat is more” by Sasha on her couch


Friday February 5, 2016
10:50pm
5 minutes
A meme on Facebook

“What are you doing?” Vee asks, holding her nose.

“Eating my snack,” I say, feeling like maybe I have something to be defensive about.
“Is that… a cabbage?”

“Yes.”

“I’ve never seen someone eat a cabbage like that…”

“First time for everything!” I’m overly excited. There’s no reason.

I’m eating the cabbage like I always have, peeling off the layers, rolling them into a cylindrical shape then eating them, like one might a small carrot.

“You’re weird, Liz,” Vee walks away, her bum swinging back and forth all the way down the hall until she rounds the corner and is out of sight.

“winexpert” By Julia on her couch


Saturday December 12, 2015
11:58pm
5 minutes
from a wine cork

Shari was very excited about her work’s Christmas party. Last year Abigail Hayes won a gift card to the Wine Rack and everyone tried to steal it or trade the ones they got for hers. Shari received a ticket to Cineplex Odeon as her Secret Santa gift but she had the idea to quickly hide it in her sleeve so when everyone crowded around to see what Shari’s gift was, she showed them an empty card and everyone felt so bad for her that they all started offering her their gifts. The only thing Shari wanted was Abigail’s Wine Rack gift card, but she refused to give it to her because she said it wouldn’t be fair to all the other girls. This year Shari had drawn Abigail’s name and was going to return the Christmas spirit that Abigail bestowed upon her the year before. In her white leather purse, Shari had a card addressed to Abigail, but she didn’t include anything else inside it….

“The oldest surviving” by Julia on her couch


Saturday November 14, 2015
12:17am
5 minutes
from a tweet

Memo to staff:
Someone left their banana peel in the office garbage can again. Thank you for putting it in the trash receptacle this time, that is much appreciated and far more so than a little office prank of leaving said peel at the entrance of the co-ed bathrooms last Wednesday (Side note, Jamella is fine and will be returning to work on Monday following her post op). But now there are greater issues at hand. The peel left overnight in the bin has caused the entire office to reek of bananas and for some, that is an unkind order. Please ensure to remove the peels at the end of your break and retire them to the outdoor compost bin that has been highlighted on all of your maps in the welcome package that you received upon hire.

“It wasn’t good in the first place” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday, October 10,2015
3:54pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gene Cafe

My first day at the firm I have a raging bladder infection. Fuck whoever started the urban myth that if you don’t pee after sex you’ll get one. I haven’t had sex in seven weeks. And I go one. I’ve been guzzling cranberry juice like my Aunt Gretty and nothing’s working. “Why don’t you go to the walk-in?” Sabrina texts me. I’m hiding out in the bathroom. I’ve realized it’s easier if I just stay put, as opposed to getting up from my desk every three and a half minutes. “I DON’T HAVE TIME TO EVEN BRUSH MY TEETH,” I text back, a few dribbles of pee escaping. “Shitttt,” I wince.

“cake and frozen yogurt” by Julia on the Greyhound


Sunday, June 7, 2015
9:01pm
5 minutes
From a sign on Queen’s Quay

He worked in one of those giant lobbies, his shiny desk the only fixture in the entire space. From the outside his place of employment was like a fish bowl: glass windows all around, anyone looking in whenever they wanted to, the room itself encasing a slab of marble and a couple sparse plants. He had been trying to figure out just what exactly made him so damn anxious everyday about going to work; about sitting in his fish bowl. It wasn’t the fact that he was completely visible and couldn’t risk doing his alone behaviour. He did whatever he wanted without hesitation. It was something else. Perhaps the feeling of intense loneliness mixed with the artificial comfort of being the most important thing in a room.

“A woman staggered into” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday April 2, 2015
4:12pm
5 minutes
Focus
Daniel Goleman


She felt a tiny bit bad about it but not bad enough to change.
Add an extra zero here.
Photocopy a signature.
Scratch this out and add that and BOOM!
She’s walking in those shoes she’s been eyeing since Christmas.
She’s picking up the tab at lunch and brunch and happy hour.

Martha wonders what’s changed.
“Where are you getting all these new clothes?”
She whispers because Mr. Boss doesn’t like when they talk about lady things.
Mr. Boss likes it when they keep quiet, keep pretty, keep working.
“Gifts,” she replies, licking an envelope.
It slices her tongue,
the kind of cut that won’t stop bleeding,
that makes her question her choices.
She wraps toilet paper around her tongue in the washroom,
looking at her hands,
wondering when it was that she got so pale.

“Accountants, Tax Consultants” by Julia on Jessica’s couch


Tuesday, July 8, 2014
5:19pm
5 minutes
from a Monahan and Associates sign


-Okay so Ruby called and she wants to know if you want those “files” sent over to the office, or straight to your house.
-Tell her not to phone here anymore.
-I can’t really do that.
-Well don’t answer the phone when she calls then.
-She’s calling from so many different numbers. I don’t have all of them memorized.
-Okay well the next time Ruby calls, just tell her you’ll pass on the message, but don’t actually pass on the message.
-Okay.
-Okay. What numbers has she been calling from?
-Area codes?
-Yes.
-Umm..519, 647, 204
-Really? 204?
-Just the once. That one was a desperate sounding one.
-Huh.
-Should I go back to my desk now?