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

Wednesday May 8, 2013
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.

“Any siblings?” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
5 minutes
Margaret Edson

Tal was born four minutes after May. She screamed bloody murder, awaking the children asleep next door. He, on the other hand, gazed into his father’s eyes, silently, a faint smile curling his small lips. This wasn’t some sort of prediction of what was to come – in all of their years they would both rebel, they would both be insolent, and lovely, and indignant, they would both love, and lose, and succeed, and dream. Tal would bite the ends of many pencils, May would drink a few too many tallboys of beer. Believe what you hear about twins, how they’re inexplicably connected, how one feels one thing and the other does, too. It’s truer than the fog, coating the park outside May’s window this morning. She lifts the purple receiver of the phone she’s had since she was a teenager. Her fingers know the map of Tal’s phone number without her brain having the kick in. “Yup?” says a voice more familiar than the sunset. “Tal?” says May, “I forget how many eggs go into Mom’s pancakes… Three or four?” “Three.” Tal is a man of few words. “K…” May doesn’t want to let him go. Portland is too far away. “Have you decided about Easter?” “What?” “If you’re coming back?” “I can’t get away. They need me at the paper.” “But..” “May, I gotta go.” “K…” “May?” “Yeah?” “Love you.” “Love you, too.” They pause for a second. “You hang up first, idiot.” “No, you…”