“the hypocrites will teach.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday May 7, 2018
11:10pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Suzy Kassem

“I’m so glad you’ve come, Genevieve! I didn’t think you were going to – “ Katherine smells like Clinique.

“You didn’t tell you Mom I was coming?” Genevieve whispers out the side of her mouth.

“ I did,” says Sara. “I absolutely did.”

Katherine’s white collar is popped in a way that Genevieve has never seen, and somehow it looks good on her. She dyes her hair a deep red, almost purple. Somehow it looks good on her.

She’s slicing watermelon for the salad. “Sara says your almost done your thesis, is that true?”

“Why would I lie?” Sara looks at Genevieve like, “I’m sorry.”

“Oh my god it HURTS!” By Sasha at Anytime Fitness

Wednesday March 7, 2018
8:31pm
The Stand
Stephen King

Hands on hips and butt naked Martha gives me a look like I’m never escaping. “But you lied to me!” She shouts at the top of her lungs.

“It’s a white lie…” I look at Billie, her mother, and Billie tries not to smile.

“I don’t even know what the is!” Martha wails.

“Why don’t you put on your pyjamas, sweetie,” says Billie and Martha slowly goes to her purple dresser and chooses a striped nightgown. It’s flannel. Billie made it.

“You’ve both really disappointed me,” Martha says, and we can’t help but laugh now. We laugh and laugh and then she laughs a bit too.

“Will you still give me a loonie? Even if the tooth fairy won’t? Can we pretend that she’s real? Just til I’m eight?”

Billie and I pinky swear.

“plush and pregnant into my palm” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday, March 3, 2018
11:46pm
5 minutes
Ode to a Desiccated Olive
James Cagney

You used to make jokes about people like me. And now I’ve become one of those calorie counting, jegging wearing, decaf guzzling zombies. It wasn’t the kids. I can’t blame them. Change doesn’t happen overnight, it happens slowly, right? You used to mock the mother’s, smiling through a scream in the grocery store line-up, buying their kids Timbits in the drive thru just to shut them up for one fucking second?! Hahahaha! Ha. Joke’s on us I guess. You never wanted to be a father, or that’s what you said before Jonah started to look exactly like you and then it was all, “He’s the best little guy…” and “Jojo, say “Li-on”!”

“A queen travels” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday, February 24, 2018
10:08pm
5 minutes
Winter Watch
Jennifer Elise Foerster

Mom sits us all down in the living room. Penny’s sucking her thumb and no one calls her out. Liam is playing on his Gameboy and Mom says, “Put your sh – STUFF away, please,” and that means that she really means business. She almost swore.

Dad won’t be home for another twelve minutes and so we just kind of sit there, waiting. “What’s going on?” Liam says.

“Put your socks back on,” Mom says, “your feet smell like Cheetos.”

I hear Dad’s key in the lock and jump up. “He’s home!” Finally. Phew. Penny might suck her thumb right off.

“We’re in the living room, Roberto,” says Mom and I’ve never heard her call him that. It sounds like another language, one that doesn’t belong in 326 Hemingway Avenue.

“There is a dream I remember having” By Julia on V, J, W, and A’s couch

Thursday, February 22, 2018

10:01pm

5 minutes

The Wilds of Sleep

Kat Duff

I am younger than nine

I remember just fine

Not the age or the stage

But the people and the place

It’s not scary

but it’s a nightmare

I go down to tell my mom

Having a bad dream again

But it’s my dad shaving in the bathroom

And he’s smiling

And I ask where she is

And he says right here

And then my dad enters again

And my dad stands beside my dad

And my dad shaves besides my dad

As in, my mom is my dad

As In, my dad is my mom

As in, my mom has been absorbed by my dad

As in, my mom is turned into his copy

Two dads, as good as he is, is not

a substitute for one of each

My mom signs my report cards

My mom toasts my bread

My mom reads me stories

Let’s me sleep on her side of the bed

“We are writing to confirm” by Julia on the 99

Tuesday November 21, 2017
8:59pm
5 minutes
from an email

YOU HAVE BEEN CORDIALLY INVITED TO SHARE IN THE NAMING CEREMONY OF OUR BABY!

(Please turn over)

Your attendance and your baby names are requested to attend the aforementioned event on Tuesday November 21, 2017 at 8:59pm, located at the fountain (you’ll know it by the baby lights, can’t miss em).

We ask that in lieu of monetary gifts, you and your guest please bring three names you would like to see our baby be called. Points for creativity and uniqueness will be awarded! Cemeteries are great places to get baby name inspiration-they’re not using them anymore so why not! Also, words in various languages that mean positive things will be most welcomed.

RSVP ASAP!

“Water music” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday, October 2
6:59pm
5 minutes
Major Orchestral Works
Felix Mendelssohn

I take a bath in the tub where I learned to swim
My sister across from me
Peppermint soap in our ear’s
The hum of our parents voices rising through the floorboards
Fluffy comfort that we don’t know can be broken

I think about writing this
How my appetite’s returned
Words haven’t satiated or helped or healed
But now they can
And they will

I lather my head with shampoo
And fill an old yogurt container with warm water from the tap
I rinse and rinse and rinse
A blue jay sits on the branch right there outside the window
Sings for awhile

There are stains where the drain is
And my love makes dinner downstairs
My parents live in different houses with different loves
My sister rocks her baby to sleep and sings the
Lullaby we heard
Here

“Why does having children” by Julia in her bed


Sunday September 3, 2017
11:49pm
5 minutes
Don’t Even Think About It: why our brains are wired to ignore climate change
George Marshall


why does having children have to be the norm anyway
what if I’m not too interested in seeing myself reflected back
oh that’s why you think people have children in the first place
so they get another stab at living
or so they have enough hands to help around the farm
tell me again how me holding someone else’s baby makes you feel
when I come home and tell you that it is so nice to be able to give them back
you know how S says that some people aren’t meant to be drivers
how if you don’t have a real interest in driving then maybe you shouldn’t be on the road and there is nothing wrong with admitting that
it’s preferable to someone who acts like they love driving but then causes several traffic accidents
that’s what it should be like for parents
or whatever you call humans who don’t want to be parents

“if everyone else forgets” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday August 24, 2017
6:55pm
5 minutes
From a greeting card

In 1976 it’s the coldest birthday you’ve ever had
February brings hail and relentless freezing
Marg and Bob forget too
and that makes everything colder
Brittle and bone-chilling

You get home from your job
as a teller at the bank
and Bob is in his chair
CBC is on the radio
Marg is hacking at a frozen slab
of pork or at least it looks like pork

“Hey hon,” Marg says not looking up
You feel
tears behind your eyes
at least something’s hot
Your cheeks burn

You go upstairs and close your door
and lament still living with these two
who you’ve sworn to no longer call
mother
father
Marg
Bob
You roll a joint and hang your head out the window
like you’re fourteen again

“change the towels in the bathroom” by Julia at the studio


Monday July 31, 2017
4:54pm
5 minutes
Amelia Bedelia
Peggy Parish


Mona in the bath tub on her knees, scrubbing.
Finds a collection of black mildew. Furrows
her already furrowed brow. She curses his
name under her breath, Fucking Dennis and your fucking
lack of purpose in this life except to make me
fucking miserable. She hasn’t washed herself in
a week. She’s protesting. Maybe one of these
nights Dennis won’t try to stick his dick in
when she’s asleep on the couch. He tells her his
mother is going to inspect the bathroom and Mona
laughs as if she cares. But here she is, in the tub,
on her knees, bleeding for a man who does not bleed
for anyone but himself. And his mother.

Later, the kitchen tile is spotless and the food
is on the table. Dennis lies and says he’s
been working hard all day.
At what?
Drinking. Complaining. Leaves out the only
parts that are true.
His mother pulls a sprig of rosemary out of her mouth
and spits into the tomatoes. Mona’s lips turn upward.
Dennis throws a chicken leg at Mona’s face.
I told you my mother hates rosemary.

“Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds” by Julia at the studio


Sunday July 30, 2017
8:59pm
5 minutes
Youtube

1)Don’t go to bed with makeup on
2)Don’t go to bed with strangers
3)Don’t go to bed
4)Tell him how you feel
5)Tell her what you want
6)Listen to your body
7)Listen to her body
8)Be gentle with his body
9)find the joy
10)Give thanks
11)Visit your parents when you can
12)Write the date on your journals
13)Leave if you want to leave
14)If you want to stay, then really stay
15)Spend the money on quality items
16)Speak to children with respect
17)Watch a sunrise
18)Kiss in public
19)Refuse to let other people decide for you
20)Save yourself
21)Don’t save the red ones for last
22)Kiss your own body parts
23)Take initiative
24)Practice your cursive writing
25)Give thanks

“quite desperate to escape all the people” by Julia on her couch


Saturday July 29, 2017
12:39am
5 minutes
The Humans
Matt Haig


Melissa throws a party for her sister by accident. She doesn’t mean to be in charge but she’s the most capable and everyone knows it. She tries to stay out of it and offer mild help here and there but ends up running the show with a forced smile and a couple stollen tokes. I feel bad that she gets stuck with all the planning. All the dark stuff. All the alone. Her parents don’t call her to ask about her health. They don’t wonder how she’s doing after finding out she needs surgery. They don’t wonder how she’s doing after going through surgery. Instead she’s the reliable one. The one everyone calls when they need to complain. Or throw a baby shower. Or pick up her nieces from dance camp. Melissa tries to be sweet for her sister. For her sister who doesn’t even care about being at the party thrown in her honour.
When I finally manage to get her alone I ask her. Why are you running? Where do you plan on going? Do you need any help?
She laughs in my face and tells me I’m her funniest cousin.

“I tried to do it years ago” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday May 3, 2017
4:43pm
5 minutes
Devices On Standby
Joan Didion


I remember writing letters to my future self
I made it pretty clear that by 24 I would be married just like my mom
that I would have dated a man for at least 6 years before the wedding
that I would have met my husband in high school
that my first love would be my only
I thought it was a pretty good model
today is my parents’ 37th anniversary
and they are still happy

I told myself I would be a gymnast and/or a lawyer and/or a children’s author
(.5/3 if you’re counting)
I don’t remember if I had factored in life being any different than how my 10, or 12, or 17 year old self imagined it to be
I am 30 now and I am not married
I have dated a man for 7 years
and I met him in university
(1/3-if you’re counting)
I am a writer and/ or poet and/or artist
I am not like the letters said I’d be
but I am happy

“the reconnection of a couple” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday August 17, 2016
10:31pm
5 minutes
roommagazine.com

He had been gone for a long time. I think he was fishing with his new wife, Amber. I hadn’t seen him after he left my mother with a hospital bill and a bag of rotting carrots in the fridge. I hoped he and Amber caught all the fish they could carry.

I was mad because of what he did to my mom. I mean even to this day it’s weird to say “did to” as if he did himself to her. He behaved himself to her. He was himself to her seems more accurate. I was mad because he would be so capable of disappointing someone who loved him that much.

I found out this year that my mother was horrible to him too. I didn’t know that before. I guess I needed someone to blame but I needed someone to stay more. I guess I chose wrong.

That’s when he called. He heard my mom wasn’t going to make it and he came home. He came back to what home used to be. He didn’t bring Amber. I respected him more for that. He didn’t bring any fish. I thought that was kind of rude.

“how she wants to move herself” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday June 27, 2016 at Starbucks
7:04am
5 minutes
Apartment Hunting in the East End
Don Austin


How she wants to move herself is her business! My father exclaims from behind the island in the kitchen as he emphatically chops up the rabbit he’s getting ready for dinner. Why are we all spending so much time worrying about her? His cleaver comes down hard and clean, splitting leg from torso. I don’t know, Honey, I think this is a call for help. Tanya needs us right now and we’re just watching her spiral! My mother remains at her makeshift office in the corner of the dining room that connects to the kitchen. Her glasses are balancing on the tip of her nose. She wants to pay a bunch of strangers to crack her mind open so they can fill it back up with useless garbage!
Rita, my father shakes his head. We don’t need to get involved. She’s a grown woman. We did our job already. I don’t know, I just don’t know, my mother grumbles to herself.

“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”.

“She wants to keep the baby.” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 10, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
from Facebook post

-So we’re going to do this then? Is this actually happening?!
-Well you’re not exactly doing anything, are you.
-Sam. What the fuck. This is my baby too.
-How do we know if this will even be a baby? What if I change my mind-aren’t I allowed to do that?
-Woah. Yes..I mean, of course you… But I thought we talked about it. I thought we made the decision together?
-Yeah, if I remember correctly, I told you I was pregnant and you said you wanted me to keep it. The end.
-That’s not true, Sam, you wanted the same thing! Where is all this coming from all of a sudden?
-Where is it coming from? How about there’s a living thing growing inside me right now and everyone around me seems to be an expert on the situation but when I say something, it’s “coming out of nowhere.”
-Okay. I… didn’t realize–
-No, you didn’t realize, that’s the first smart thing you’ve said.
-I’m sorry, babe, I really am…

“your comfort and ours” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday April 9, 2016
8:32pm
5 minutes
from an email

My mother and father on their wedding day

Anthony and Sharon
Twenty nine – both of them, born the same year

1979 – August
U of T Faculty club
“My friend got us in” My mother says now, on the rare occasion that she talks about their wedding.

A modern dancer
A justice of the peace
His Catholic family from Edmonton
Her Jewish family from Montreal
Finger foods made by aunties and the Thai restaurant on Baldwin St.
They danced to Joan Baez and Rikki Lee Jones

I imagine my mother running her hands over the ribs of the brown corduroy
I imagine my father touching the soft floral cotton of her dress
“I didn’t wear a bra,” My mother says now, we’re only talking about weddings because I’m planning mine.

“Your grandma loved that.”

“We ate cabbage rolls and pad thai and Richard drank too much and Bubby was anxious and it was just what it was supposed to be, I guess.”

“It is important to notice the differences and similarities in the success stories” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday March 20, 2016
3:32pm
5 minutes
from authorspublish.com

When William came home from his first day of grade 1, he showed me a chart he made- a Venn diagram with the titles:

THINGS I DO AT HOME

THINGS I DO AT SCHOOL

William had scribbled in Colouring and Playing and Fun and Story Time in the At School Circle. In the At Home one he had written Eating and Bath Time and Bed With No Dessert and Chicken Nuggets
I realize how little I can control what he will do or say when he’s not around me. How I can’t protect an identity or a culture that I’ve built in my own home because people will always have their opinion no matter what the context. I realize how much he absorbs and how he defines himself as a member of my household. It makes me want to make a spinach salad for dinner and spend time cutting out magazine images for a collage to hang in his bedroom.

“As a heavy-metal band” by Julia at Platform 7 Coffee Brew Bar


Wednesday March 2, 2016 at Platform 7
2:59pm
5 minutes
The Comic Toolbox
John Vorhaus


I am joining a band!
A Circus!
I don’t care about the big hair part! I just want to eat music for breakfast!
I’m big when I want to be, loud when I’m allowed. I don’t like walls, unless they’re made of sounds.
Mama says
BE CAREFUL
Pa says
DON’T SHOUT
Baby Brae says
AHHH! AHHH!
And I say
YEAH!! YEAH!!
Mama says
YOU MAY BE TOO LITTLE
Pa says
NOT LITTLE ENOUGH!-patting my head, chuckling HA HA
I want to tell them I can be what I want!
I am big like a thunderstorm.
I am loud like a parade!
I am going to sing with my mouth open like this:
( )
( )
Swallowing songs and guitars and applause!
Mama says
BE WHAT YOU WANT!
Pa says
DON’T FORGET US!
Baby Brae says
AHHH! AHHH!
I say
YEAH!! YEAH!!
I am going to see the world!
I am going to be the sky!

“A boy in my algebra class nicknamed me “terrorist”” by Julia at English Bay Beach


Saturday September 12, 2015
8:01pm
5 minutes
https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/life-as-a-hairy-muslim-girl-after-911

I think Luke heard it from his dad or something. Luke is always coming into class with his big words and his big hate and it sounds like stuff his dad says. My dad says that Luke’s dad is a vessel of pure sadness. I don’t get how he thinks he’s sad, cause Luke’s dad is always yelling and screaming and swearing and stuff and that seems like he’s pretty angry to me. Sad is when you cry and when your nose leaks and your stomach gets that empty feeling. How do you get that sad empty feeling when you’re always filling your stomach with cans of beer?
Luke is always saying things to me or to Ruby about our skin and about our voices. He laughs and his face goes all red when he holds my arms behind my back and calls me a “terrorist.”

“grabbed by the notion” by Julia on the 505 going West


Tuesday, July 21, 2015
11:28pm
5 minutes
from a letter to a celebrity

I’m on the ocean
The waves are healing me
I’m looking deep
In the cave in my chest
I’m on the ocean
The water is curing me
I’m holding tight
To the magic underneath

I remember these words better than I remember my own address. They’ve been sung into my soul so many times that they’re practically mine, top to bottom. Grandma used to sing it to me before bed. She dreamed of the ocean, and taking me there to live with her. When Aunt Christina passed away, Grandma said she knew a place where I wouldn’t feel any pain. She asked Mom if I could go but Mom said, You’re not leaving me too, not now, not ever. And Grandma tried so long to get me there. I didn’t know how much Mom hated to be alone.

“a boy like me calls his mother.” by Julia on her patio


Monday, July 20, 2015
6:19pm
5 minutes
http://www.howlround.com

I HAVE A DOG! Daddy saved a little black one from the shelter and brought him home for me TO KEEP! Mom said play nice with Joseph. Daddy thinks it’s better to call him Joseph than mom’s name, Peanut. He laughed when I picked it and looked at me with big Daddy eyes. Peanut is not the winner! I tell mom this and she storms back into the kitchen with the dish towel over her shoulder and tears in her big mommy eyes. Don’t worry about it, she likes to make things about her, Daddy tells me. She’s just mad you didn’t like her name, but guess what, Joseph didn’t like it either. Daddy goes into the kitchen after mommy. How could you, I hear her yell to him. Dammit, Karen, I hear him say back.

“the important mother” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday, June 16, 2015
11:47pm
5 minutes
Back of the Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar bottle

She wasn’t a very good mother, I can say that without even feeling the slightest pang of guilt. Wanna know why? Cause she wouldn’t let me love her. Not even a little bit. She made me call her by her first name. She didn’t want to be a mother, you understand? She didn’t want me at all. She used to send me to school with half used packets of Sweet And Low. And that was it. No PB&J with the crusts cut off, not even bologna and mayo. Sweet and Low, not ever the full packet. And that’s what she expected me to eat. Or that’s what I thought. It took me longer than it should have to figure out that she was trying to get me taken away from her. She thought maybe the teachers would see what she was packing me for lunch and send a note home, a warning, then maybe get a social worker to come and break the door down or something while she was watching Days of Our Lives. I guess every system failed me, cause I was never questioned. Maybe Deena’s first mistake was sending me to a school that couldn’t give a fuck about me either.

“Let me just say he did some pretty terrible things” by Julia at Valens Restaurant


Friday, June 12, 2015
5:01pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Valens

Graham was finally allowed to see his daughter in two years and he wasn’t going to sabotage himself this time. No chance in hell was he willing to risk anything getting in the way of that sweet angel face. Gina didn’t want to bring her. She said a prison is not the place she wanted Olivia to associate him with. She said this isn’t good for the baby. Graham wanted to believe that she was still too young to be affected by this or anything that he was guilty of doing. But Olivia wasn’t a baby anymore. She was three now. She had nightmares and daydreams and memories. And graham had missed the part where she didn’t have those. Where she hadn’t grown up without a daddy yet.

“the landing cure” by Julia at Hunter’s Landing


Saturday August 30, 2014 at Hunter’s Landing
2:25pm
5 minutes
Hunter’s Landing menu

Tawny lost her tooth at the supermarket and she’s really bummed about it, Kev. What are we supposed to do about the tooth fairy now? Cause she literally lost the tooth and the whole premise is that the tooth fairy takes the tooth and gives her a loonie. A loonie for a tooth, Kev, and now because she got knocked in the head by a box of Lucky Charms, she has no tooth. Some other kid probably has her bloody tooth and is making money on it right now. I mean, do we tell her the tooth fairy just has an intuition? Or do we shape her up for some good quality reality, and tell her that the tooth fairy will not be coming this time because rules are rules and she didn’t follow the protocol. I mean, this is the school of hard-knocks am I right? That girl has to learn sometime. She has to learn to be careful and not lose things of value! She has to learn to be more aggressive while looking for something that has value! She has to be more thoughtful of her surroundings and be more observant so that when one thing changes, ie, her tooth is now somewhere on the floor when minutes before the floor looked a different way, so that she can recognize when she needs to be on guard because consistency is like the thing before they have deja vu in The Matrix!

“be this comfortable” by Julia on the river walk in Minneapolis


Saturday Aug 2, 2014
4:27pm
5 minutes
dipped from Joe’s wallet

Hannah and her teddy bear were stranded on the side of the highway, holding a rescue seance and trying really hard not to cry. Somehow Mom and Dirk thought it was a good idea to leave the Walmart without first checking if she was with them. Hannah and her teddy bear were playing house in aisle 19 and she had accidentally fallen asleep while pretending to sleep on one of the mattress. Usually she heard when someone is coming and “wakes up” right as they walk past her, but today wasn’t very busy at Walmart and Hannah had been laying with her eyes closed, so comfortable clutching her teddy bear close to her body for a long time and eventually she was having real night dreams while Mom and Dirk looked at hunting equipment. When Hannah finally woke up for real, she couldn’t figure out where she was.

“Heavy duty” by Julia at the Marriott in Providence RI


Friday May 2, 2014
11:45pm
5 minutes
from the sponge wrapper

Papa used to get so mad at me when I’d track mud through the house–told me, Deirdre, could you for once stop playing like a little piggy? And I’d say, Papa, I’ll just take them off, it’s easier. He’d smile and say, Sure, sure, Dee Dee, and I’d smile back and say, You’ll miss me to the moon when I’m gone.
I didn’t quite know what that meant but I had heard Lucy-Bell say it to her boyfriend when they were having a big fight out on the veranda. She’d run in screaming just to scream and told me to stay out of her way or she’d yank every blonde hair out of my head one by one. I’d sit by the front window and watch her boyfriend, Dillon, with his hands in his jean pockets and his eyes closed, just sighing at the night and all its bigness. Probably at Lucy-Bell in all her bigness. I didn’t want Papa to think I wasn’t good at listening, I just always forgot to do what he told me cause I’d get so caught up in the fun of it all.

“Entry at the front doors only” by Julia on the 501 going west


Wednesday April 9, 2014
11:28pm
5 minutes
said by the streetcar conductor

I knew I was doing a bad thing, trying to get my baby brother, SJ, on the train without a ticket. I knew I was doing a bad bad thing. But mama never gave me any coins for savings. I had to use all my money just to buy my ticket alone, and I read the rules. And I read that baby brothers still need to pay. So I knew what I was doing but I had to do it anyway. Cause life or death is sometimes a pretty okay reason to do something wrong. So I told him to go by himself. I told him I would be right there when we got there. He was old enough and I told him that too. Didn’t want him to think I was leaving
him. Not even close. But what were they going to do? Try and find his parents? They weren’t going to find that. Better luck that he’d sneak into my car when it was time and hide under my body during ticket checks. So I told him no talking, no noise making. Just walk on and walk around and come to the third car from the front and I’ll be there. He was not happy. Not happy one bit.

“MADE IN CANADA” by Julia on her couch


Monday March 31, 2014
1:02am
5 minutes
the hotel shampoo bottle

I was born here, wishing that I wasn’t, cause, when I was young everything was better when it wasn’t, when I wasn’t, when it just wasn’t. Hoped for the things I didn’t even know were things, but wanted them just cause I wanted them, just cause I didn’t have them, and that somehow made it better. I wanted what I didn’t know. Cause I didn’t have to milk any cows growing up, didn’t have to stay up late watching any infants while mom passed out on the couch watching TV instead, didn’t have to run from my parents after the age of 6 cause they weren’t chasing me anymore, they weren’t out to get me. They were never out to get me. But when I was good and young, I thought everybody was. Didn’t trust the people I should have trusted most. Thought maybe it came from reading, maybe it came from the teachers who shouldn’t have been teachers, who didn’t like kids and so didn’t like teaching kids things teachers should like teaching. But I wanted those things too. Wanted someone to see my stories and tell me they would be great some day. Wanted someone to tell me I’d grow into my face and not to listen to those other kids who had parents who didn’t want to be parents who were teaching them things they shouldn’t be teaching cause they weren’t teachers or the kind of people who could be.

“he had heard on the phone” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday February March 2 2014
12:02am
5 minutes
The Murder Room
P.D James


That Margaret would be late, that she’d sprained her ankle played dodge ball and was taking the later bus. He felt his heart sink a little, because he didn’t want to miss out on a single moment with her. Louise’s voice sounded strained, but that wasn’t anything new. “I can’t drive her because I’m going to the Opera,” she said. “Okay,” he responded, wishing that they lived closer, wishing that he hadn’t gotten that DUI so that he could pick her up himself. “She’s got a book report due on Tuesday so you’re going to have to help her with finishing the reading. She’s slow.” Louise was distracted, he heard loud thuds. “What are you doing?” He asked. “Chopping parsnips. Why?” She said. “Margaret should really stay off her leg so maybe you should send a taxi to get her at the station?” “I always do,” he yawned. “Am I boring you, Gus?” He chose not to answer that. “Is she eating whole wheat bread?” “It’s not up to her. She eats what we give her. We’re her parents. We guide her…” He rolled his eyes and said, “Okay, Louise. I should go.”

“He Was A Spy” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday January 21, 2014
10:32pm
5 minutes
Tweet from The New York Times

When he got the call, he wasn’t ready. “We’re here, Mr. Martinez.” He surveyed the table where Rosa used to stuff empanadas and where Ricky would do his math homework. Maria would be coming later that afternoon to pack the rest of the furniture and drive it to San Francisco in the morning. She’d come and see him that evening. He didn’t know if he’d be able to offer her tea, or beer. He shuffled to the front door and kissed the wall that had kept them warm for thirty six years. The driver rushed out to meet him. “I’m fine,” he said, resisting the help. “Mr. Martinez, we’re really looking forward to having you at Bridgewater. Your son has gotten your apartment all set up. I think, once you’re settled in, you’ll really like the community we have. There are lots of fascinating people…” He shot the driver a look that told him to shut up. As they drove away, he watched his green roof disappear. “Don’t small talk me,” he said, not looking to the left or right, keeping his eyes on the meridian, the yellow of his future.

“So I let go of my parents’ approval” by Sasha on the subway going West


Sunday October 13, 2013
11:23pm
5 minutes
The Unhealthy Truth
Robyn O’Brien


I wish our conversations could go like this:
Me: Hey, when were you planning on doing the laundry?
You: Oh man! You read my mind! I’m going to go do it right now!
Me: I love you so much.
You: I love you so much.
What our conversations really go like is this:
Me: Why the fuck isn’t the laundry done, Sam?
You: Calm down –
Me: Don’t tell me to calm down!
You: I don’t have time right now, honey –
Me: I am not your honey!
You: Why do you care so much about this place being so… clean and organized?
Me: Because! Everything else in our fucking lives is out of control!
You: It’s because your parents are coming over for dinner isn’t it?
Pause.
Me: Shit.

“pleasures of science.” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday, September 10, 2013
12:40am
5 minutes
The Norton Anthology of English literature

And here’s where I pick a relatively HUGE-ASS bone with people who refer to their parents as their “best friends”. For the record, I am not saying that one cannot get a long with their parents, or want to spend time with them, or tell hem personal things, or feel loved or love or whatever, blabbity blah blah. But best friends? BEST FRIENDS? This is not okay. Your parents HAVE TO LOVE YOU. They signed up for it when they decided to raise you even after you shat all over their NEW COUCH/KITCHEN TABLE/BED/BATHTUB/CAR/SINK/FAVOURITE SKIRT/PERFECT PANTS. They were like, this shitting machine is still somewhat cute and needs a lot of guidance to stop SHITTING EVERYWHERE, oh look, I’m the only one who spends this much time with it, I might be a good fit to lend some teaching, also, have you seen those cheeks? UNREAL! They were not like, I CHOOSE YOU IN SPITE Of YOUR FLAWS, they were like, I GUESS I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS WHAT THIS CRYING THING YOU’RE DOING MEANS, GODDAMMIT.
So. I rest. Parents can be your “best parents”, but they cannot be your “best friends”. SEEK HELP. K, thanks.

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


Thursday, July 19, 2013
12:16pm
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

“We take care of you” by Julia at Nicole’s house


Tuesday June 11,2013
5:44pm
5 minutes
The blackboard in front of The Good Neighbour Espresso Bar

Betty wanted folks to feel welcome in her home so she made sure there were always matches in the loo, and a racy magazine in the guests’ bedroom. She was laid back like that; down to earth. She didn’t judge anyone’s hard earned crazy. She embraced it the way she assumed people embraced hers. Betty grew up with an emotionally abusive father, and a mother who killed herself by sitting in and turning the car on in the closed garage. She never got a chance to ask anyone why she did it. Her father barely looked at her, let alone explained things. Now Betty’s home is for the staying. People come to visit and they bring her flowers and potted plants as a thank you. The more things she has from everyone, the more welcoming Betty gets. She likes the idea of a shared property, a shared house, a shared home. “What’s mine is yours” I’d hear her say. She had to put up with a lot of crazy, what with her parents and all, and also with whatever was happening in her old head. She didn’t want anyone feeling like they had to be ashamed for something, or blamed either. She told people they could come and go as they pleased.

“Isabella (image dip)” By Julia at The Common on Bloor


Thursday, April 11, 2013 at The Common on Bloor
2:06pm
5 minutes
IMG_1394
By Julia Pileggi

Jumping time is any time! That’s what Mommy says! Mommy says so many things that I can’t even REMEMBER THEM ALL!! Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Mommy jumps. She wears her bathing suit in the winter time and then runs around in the snow because it’s FUN. I don’t have one with two pieces yet. Mommy says it’s not right for me. I tell her I want to run in the snow with my robe on! Pink and ripped but pink and perfect! Mommy says, do whatever your little heart desires. It desires cotton candy most days. Or CAMPFIRES with ROASTED MARSHMALLOWS!!! Yessssssss!!! I like it just me and Mommy. I can tell her I will not go to bed early and she will say, okay just five more minutes! And that is a nice thing she says. She also tells me to eat my vegetables first to get them out of the way! Then REWARD TIME with a Lindt Bunny! I tell her I want a real bunny and for Christmas she says, It’s looking good, baby! Got a good lead on a new friend for you. Someone for you to play with. But at Christmas I don’t get a bunny. I get a BABY BROTHER! Mommy’s so sneaky. I say, did Daddy come home and stay home long enough to help you make him? And Mommy says, Not quite, baby. Not quite.

“no matter what she wears.” By Sasha at The Common on Bloor


Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at The Common on Bloor
3:47pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Anne Roiphe

“We need to get him to start meditating, Carmen,” he hears his father say to his mother. It’s their Monday night phone call. When they’d first separated they had only communicated via e-mail. Two years later, now that he was seven, they spoke, once a week, about how he was doing. They’d even braved parent-teacher interviews. Together. He wasn’t sure how he felt about it. “He’s having trouble concentrating, Carmen,” his father said. Was he repeating himself. He imagined what his mother might be saying on the other end of the line, if she was raising her voice, if she felt vulnerable because he spent more time with her. His father was, “mmm-ing”. They were agreeing. Great. Great. His father laughed, “I know, I know. Last time I set the timer to twelve minutes and I didn’t tell him!” His father laughed again, louder this time. He had had enough. He went down to the kitchen, where there was another phone. He picked up. “Carlos?” Said his mother, “Is that you?” He couldn’t find his voice. “Carlos!” His father said, “This is a private conversation!” He held his breath. “Honey, I know you’re there…” Said his mother.