“picking mushrooms at the edge” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Tuesday February 4, 2020
9:03pm
5 minutes
What Kind Of Times Are These
Adrienne Rich

I don’t know how I got here. I mean, I do. I hitchhiked. I rode in the back of a red Honda Civic squished between my backpack and a mutt named Silas. When I got out, at side of the highway, I was covered in dog hair. I mean, really covered. Ed, behind the wheel, and I shared a joint. Ed was older than my Dad but gave me a look like he might fuck me if the circumstances were right. Sorry, Ed. We sang along to Paul Simon and Silas licked the side of my neck. Ed asked if I’d ever done the season before, that’s how he said it – “the season” – and I told him the truth. I told him, “no.” “You’re in for a treat,” said Ed. He used to pick, but doesn’t anymore. “You’ll smell truffle for months,” he warned, gagging a little.  Now he does something with restaurants and biodynamic wine. I’m not sure. I wasn’t really listening. I was wondering about the effectiveness of my patch job on the fly of my tent. I was wondering if I’d packed enough peanut butter.

“then gave it to his daughter” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 24, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
The Govenlock Hotel
Sharon Butala

He was out in the yard gardening, tending to his beloved cherry tree
Those damn birds…
He propped the ladder up and began to climb, explaining himself each step
Then we pick the ones that are good…
And pops a dark survivor cherry right his mouth
And we keep doing that until they’re all gone…
Or until our arms get tired…
And we wait until the warmer months for the sour ones…
Those ones drive your mother crazy…
He scoops her up little into his chest big, holds her with one strong arm, searching for one perfect cherry with the other.
This is why we come out here…
He presents the cherry like a prize for his little thing to take a bite, deep red squeezing out fast, splattering onto her chin and dripping down her canary t-shirt

“I said karate and she thought I said karaoke” by Sasha


Monday June 9, 2014
2:03am
5 minutes
overheard on Bloor St.

The pick. The lick. The squeeze. The result…
The explosion.
The satisfaction.
The body’s imperfections.

I never had really bad acne, but I had, like, some pimples as a pubescent. Mostly little guys, a few whoppers. “You’ll make it worse if you pop them,” I heard that voice but I ignored it. There was nothing better than the two fingers pushing in, pumping out the bad stuff, the dark stuff, the white stuff. Sometimes at karate, I would get distracted in the bathroom, picking and popping, and Veronica would come in and say, “That’s disgusting.”

I felt bad for the guys with really red volcano pimples. No amount of tea tree oil can really help that.

“Bollywood Chai” by Sasha at David’s Tea in Banff


Friday, July 19, 2013
7:17pm
5 minutes
from the David’s Tea cup

You’ve been picking at your scabs again; the ones on your arms from mosquito bites and the ones on your knees from falling off your bike and the ones on your face from your pimples. You tell me that you do it in your sleep, that you wake up with streaks of blood all over your sheets and red under your nails. I don’t buy it. “Have a little self-control,” I think. It’s as if you hear me, “I do it in my sleep!” you say, rolling your eyes like when we were thirteen. “It’s going to scar,” I respond, bitchier than I would’ve liked. “Why do you care?!” You look hurt. “You don’t need scars! You have enough shit on your plate!” She thinks I’m talking about the divorce, but I’m not. I’m talking about her Mom’s dementia and her brother in prison and how living off of Pringles and Fuzzy Peaches can’t result in anything other than scurvy. She drinks her tea and scratches her cheek. A drop of blood falls down like a tear.