“they couldn’t handle you?” by Sasha on her balcony


Friday July 28, 2017
9:15pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Kits beach

I often feel I’m not keeping up
the dust bunnies collect in the corners again
the kitchen floor needs scrubbing again
I explain the rules of writing dialogue to children
but meanwhile break them in the quiet of the solitude

In fifty six days I will be married
this is not an accomplishment
or a humble brag
it is a fact
plain and simple
like my Diva cup sitting in a teacup
of boiling water on the counter

I often look at pictures of women
either pregnant or with
small cinnamon bun children
I wonder what it will be
to roll dough between my hands
and sift genes in my womb
“God willing” I say

Almost husband
my sweetheart
you put a Persian rug on the balcony
you leave plaque on the mirror
you fold my underwear into perfect shapes
you hold me tender and rough

“God willing”

“intimate questions” by Sasha on her balcony


Friday June 23, 2017
10:39pm
5 minutes
From an e-mail

I thought maybe we’d start by talking about the cities where we were born
I thought we’d start by making small talk about the weather or
the government
or
the smell of the season the smell of the summer
Instead you inside my head and you say

I know we’ve met before

We have

Yes

Oh

Mundane intimate words
Rubbing soft gentleness
Mundane words that mean
everything now
in my memory space
as I contemplate
the colour of our love

“I was speaking body-to-body.” By Sasha at her desk


Wednesday June 21, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Lidia Yuknavitch on http://www.bloom-site.com

We don’t have much to say to each other
with these things
with these words
with syll-
ables
broken and frayed
and drunk on vowels

We speak body-to-body
sweaty sheets wound round
thighs and arms and
you touch me with the
conviction I’ve always
wanted to be wanted
in this articulation

When we walk down the
street you are distant
one hand on the handlebars
of your bicycle
I’m not used to this
arrangement of hard
K’s and V’s and
you disorient me
with your vague
interpretations of
song lyrics of the
band I wish I knew

I am gutted when
you stop calling
because I’ve only known
this body-to-body to mean
something
something languid
something truthful
something gracious

It’s two years before I
know the true taste of sweetness
of gentle whispered w’s and a’s

“He lowers his eyes and I know” by Sasha on her balcony


Sunday June 4, 2017
12:25pm
5 minutes
Years Later, I Go Back To Thank You
Anders Carlson-Wee


He lowers his eyes
and I know that he’s
thinking of the space between
clavicle and neck
the tender taste
of summer skin
sweat and watermelon
salt and sunscreen
“Look at me” I say
the unfamiliar crack
of fear
of wishing
He raises his eyes
forest floor of longing
stretching the width
of this city
reaching up towards
the sun

“As the vibrations release” by Sasha at her desk


Friday June 2, 2017
10:45am
5 minutes
Freeing the Natural Voice
Kristin Linklater


“What are you getting at?” Ben puts his hands in his pockets. That’s never a good sign.

“I just…” My mouth is pasty. My knees are weak. My heart is beating like I’m running, but I’m still.

“Spit it out, Caroline,” Ben says, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.

“I want to go by myself.”

He steps back, putting more space between us. Maybe he understands.

“We bought our plane tickets,” Ben says in a soft voice.

“I know, I know… You can go, too! But, I want to travel alone. I need to do this. I really need to do this.” I will tears not to come. Please please please.

“This is fucked.” Ben walks into the bedroom and slams the door.

“I don’t even think that your songs are about me” By Julia at her dining table


Wednesday January 11, 2016
2:40pm
5 minutes
Like You
EXES


When we saw each other again for the first time in three years, you looked different. You smiled different. I felt like you did that on purpose so I wouldn’t look too closely at the you we both know you used to be. It didn’t work. Distractions don’t work on people who have seen your entire insides. I should know. I can’t hide from you either. Even if I was panicking about how I looked seconds before you met me at the underground station. I didn’t want you to think anything other than I Used To Love This Person. I wish I didn’t think that appearances were the only road to remembering that. When we hugged I tried to hold on a little longer so I could smell your neck. I don’t know if I was expecting the same smell you used to have, or hoping for a new one to break all my stupid patterns. Either way I might have been the only one in that hug, and it broke my heart a little. You told me that it’s good to see me and I wanted to say Yeah? But Can You Define What Good Means To You Real Quick? Instead I laughed and swatted at your arm, saying You Too, You Too.

“We talk all about our relationship” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday November 6, 2016
8:50pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio

We talk all about our relationship until our tongues are heavy
and our hearts are downward dogging stretching
tailbones to the stars
You notice the curl of a lip too quick
the taste of salt on a throat kept tight tight
Fireflies lead us outside and we follow them
into the forest where the dreams of six months from now
call us quietly
by our names
We strip off our clothes and it’s cold but
we don’t mind
I don’t mind
We jump into the water and it’s so cold it’s hot
Takes breath like you do like I do
Takes courage
this
this
Early nights in the fall as the temperature drops

“let us communicate” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday October 18, 2016
9:00pm
5 minutes
From the back of The Sun

He never asked me what I wanted to do or what I loved or what I was thinking.
He didn’t need to know, I assumed. He didn’t think it was necessary. I don’t
know how you go your whole life as a parent not thinking it is necessary. I don’t
Know how you go your whole life talking to so many people each day and saying so
little.

The best gift he ever gave me was a necklace: black gem stone, elegant.
He brought it home for me the day after my sister gave the other half of her best
friends forever necklace to someone other than me. He said he wanted me to have one
of my very own. One that I wouldn’t need somebody else to complete.

“let us communicate” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday October 18, 2016
6:29pm
5 minutes
From the back of The Sun

Henry builds forts out of pillows and blankets I always thought we’d use for company. When he started sleeping downstairs, in the basement, I thought it was because of the snoring. He felt bad for waking me, he said. When I finally went down there and saw his forts, I wondered if something else was going on. It took me awhile to get up the courage to talk about it. We’re both introverts. We prefer quiet dinners, reading side-by-side at the kitchen table. Sometimes I wonder if we’ve even spoken to one another that day. At least we texted about who was going to bring Bigsby to the groomer, I’ll say.

“out in the burbs” by Sasha at Lit Espresso Bar


Saturday July 30, 2016 at Lit on Ronces
3:12pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Lit on Roncesvalles

James wants to move out to the burbs once he’s done his internship. He keeps talking about the “size of the lots”… “There’s nothing for us here, Carly,” he keeps saying and I don’t know what he means and I absolutely do not agree. There’s lots for us. Lots for all of us, not just me and him. I’m not getting cold feet or anything, but I don’t really feel excited when he talks like that – like he has a plan that I’m not privy to, like he thinks he’s the boss of our future. I actually asked him last night, “Do you want a pool, James?! Do you want a damn hot tub?” And he laughed because he thought that maybe I was joking or something.

“We were two ships in the night” by Sasha on her porch


Wednesday April 20, 2016
10:43pm
5 minutes
Capsized
You+Me


We were two ships in the night for twenty nine nights too long and then I lost you. The unnamed cousin of the Bermuda Triangle, you must’ve been swept up in a wave or a gust of wind, powerful and smelling of seaweed and broken bottles.

I looked for you, sails ragged and ropes broken, but only found a lantern and a tree stump. Remains of something that was once so precious, so present, so tangible.

I call to you sometimes, in my sleep. At least that’s what my lover says, brow furrowed.

“Shrimp only” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday, March 29, 2016
2:43pm
5 minutes
from a recipe in Cowichan Bay

I could live off of shrimp only and maybe some garlic. I really could. I could live off of a lot of things that seem simple like that. I could live off of sunsets and matchsticks. I could live off of olive oil and crusty bread. I could live off of my mother’s laugh and my father’s silly singing. I could live off of silent walks to the beach and quiet crying by the ocean. I could live off of his kisses and his squeezes and his eyebrow scar and his banjo playing. I could live off of people watching and star gazing. I could live off of understanding and connecting. I could live off of summer’s heat and throwing a baseball. I could live off of burgundy pens and graph paper. I could live off of peaches and hot peppers. I could live off of magic and synchronicity. I could live off of curiosity and fresh basil. I could live off of truth-speaking and patio writing. I could live off of my belly soft and my lucid dreams. I could live off of the perfect yawn and the perfect hug.

“What? What’s wrong?” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, March 28, 2016
10:17pm
5 minutes
from some sides

You ask me what I’m not telling you for the second time because my face looks like it’s hiding something from you. I don’t know why I keep saying,

Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.

If this were a year ago you’d have stopped questioning, whether you believed me or not, assuming you believed me, assuming you didn’t care to take notice when I said something I mean or when I didn’t.
Now you won’t let up and you won’t let me wallow and you won’t let me silently hate you or me if that’s what you think I think I’m doing. I should be grateful that you notice my subtleties now, that you inquire past surface level, that you don’t let me get away with the idea of performing perfect or unbothered or both.
But I guess I am holding on to that a bit so I won’t be held accountable to explain my feelings. To name them.
The only thing I want to say right now is,

Sometimes I don’t think you really love me.

Even though that’s ludicrous. I don’t want to say that to you now because I know how untrue that statement really is. I just want to hear you say

Always.
Always.
Always.

“Bye” by Julia on the 99


Monday, December 21, 2015
11:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

I think I have waited for this moment for my whole life
I was testing myself
I wanted to see if I could wait
Reward myself with the news of my body no longer needing you
The way I had counted off the days, like I was reminding myself of how many days I was sober
Oh it’s been 17 days since we’ve spoken
Oh it’s been 2 months since we’ve seen each other
It’s been 2 years since we’ve kissed
It’s been 15 years since I first saw you
I have been waiting for independence
Waiting to see if I could do this thing on my own
This living thing
Sober and Solitary
The title for my autobiography
But I had to quit you more than I had to quit anything else
Ever
You were that good
There has been a lot of recycled peanut butter jars since
But it’s finally here
The moment of magic peace that feels like truly living
I don’t think about you anymore without warning
I wish you all the happiness
I wish myself all the happiness I’ve refused to let in since you left

“for the guy or girl you’re kind of into” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Thursday December 10, 2015 at BATW
6:45pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, December 10, 2015


It’s Christmas Eve and Iris is going over to Reid’s house to give him the cookies she baked from scratch, burnt once, remade, and packaged in her mother’s favourite tin, tied with a red bow.
Reid is shaving his stray mustache hairs that have only disappointed him this entire year. He doesn’t want to look like a Berenstain Bear. He doesn’t want Iris to think he’s trying to be something he’s not.
Reid is thinking about the gift he bought for Iris but is second-guessing whether she will like it or not. He didn’t do any research but his older sister said that all girls like stuffed animals so it was a safe bet. Reid is 99% sure that Iris is not like all girls…
Iris doesn’t want to show up early or late, so she walks around the block three times before knocking on Reid’s door.

“it breaks my heart” By Julia walking home


Wednesday December 9, 2015
10:10pm
5 minutes
overheard at 49th Parallel

Rip me apart
like a Custard Tart
Pull Away
Hold my hands up
in an I’m Innocent
Not Holding A Weapon
kind of way
Make me your mission
but keep me alive
Steal all my
useful organs
So you can peer inside
Shatter my bones
like an ancient mosaic bowl
that you break to rearrange its pieces
in an order you like better
Crack open my chest
like a safe
without a lock
And watch
my beating heart beat for you
one last time
Then stop

“You wanna build another house?!” By Julia at her desk


Tuesday December 8, 2015
11:46pm
5 minutes
overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can’t move in with you anymore, Kev, it’s not going to work for me.
What do you mean, we just signed the lease, both our names are on it and everything.
I know.
Okay?
Yeah but I know myself too and I’m not going to be able to get on board with a commitment this size right now.
This is unbelievable.
What is? That I don’t want to live with you? I think of all people you should know how hard it is to share a house with you.
What?
Don’t pretend like this is my fault, you’re a difficult housemate, even you said that to me!
But you still signed the lease, you signed up for this whole thing with me. How are you just figuring out now that this is…that you’re not…I seriously can’t believe this is happening.
It is happening, though, so we need to both accept it and move on or something.
How do you not feel bad for completely fucking me over?
Wouldn’t you rather know this before we try to build a home together? Like this is good news, we won’t be blindsided later.
Blindsided?
I don’t know, poor choice of words I guess, but I’m not going to apologize for changing my mind.
So are you saying you don’t want to be with me either?
No, of course not, I’m totally not saying that. I feel like we’ll be better off if we just live in separate houses.

“Junk Email Folder” by Sasha at Moksha Yoga Vancouver


Friday December 4, 2015
10:16pm
5 minutes
from an email account

I put on a blue sweater, stained with paint.

“I’m going for a walk with Toby,” I call to you, in your studio, earphones on. You likely can’t hear me, but as long as I’ve technically told you where I’m going, it won’t start a fight.

I put on Toby’s leash. I scratch his ear, the way he likes, using my nails, and he closes his eyes.

On the trail, I wonder about your mother and her dialysis. It’s the place my mind usually goes. I’ve never liked conflict, or unsaid anger, and your relationship is rife with both. I think about texting you, and even reach into my pocket to do it, but realize I’ve left my phone at home, likely on the back of the toilet.

I let Toby off his leash and he races after a squirrel. I laugh. It’s been awhile since I did that. I keep forgetting to take the Vitamin D drops.

“211 Bannatyne ave.” by Julia at Horseshoe Bay


Friday November 13, 2015
11:50pm
5 minutes
from a business card

Remember when I used to come by your work and wait till you got off so we could go get ice cream and caramel sauce and walk the perimeter of the property together before you’d have to go back to your desk and count the hours till you were actually free? Remember how you’d try to take the long way around so you could spend more time with me without saying that you wanted to? Those sticky summer evenings when you would start late and work late and forget which day you were on. Those are the ones I think about when I think about you. Those are the nights I remember how lucky I used to be. Your building looks different now: someone tried to wash off the graffiti and now it just looks uglier. I have to stop myself from going to Nucci’s Gelati so I don’t get tempted by nostalgia to buy you a coconut cone, even thought we were always so disappointed by the shreds that didn’t even taste real.

“Rainfall warning” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:31pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks. Grant called last night to tell me he was sorry and wished he could have stopped by more. I told him not to worry, there were enough people coming by the house to make sure I was getting out of bed. He asked if Mary-Beth made he famous Parmigiana and I said yeah, for the third time. Hasn’t stopped raining since. When I found out, Grant was on his way over to drop off a pair of winter gloves for Owen so he was there when it all hit. He gave me a long hug and told me it was going to be okay. I didn’t let him leave me that night and he’s still acting strange about it. I don’t know why he feels bad, nothing matters anymore. I’m the one who has to live with it, and all I know is life is pretty short so nothing fucking matters. Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks.

“I put a little twist in my hips” by Sasha at UBC


Thursday, October 15, 2015
4:43pm
5 minutes
Never Been In Love
Elliphant


I put a little twist in my hips just for you, when I got off the bus on Tuesday. In case you were looking. It was extra good because I’ve got an extra ten to twenty three pounds hanging out in my lower region. Even if you weren’t looking, maybe someone else was. Maybe the bus driver was. Maybe it made his day! I hope it did. Maybe he likes big butts even more than you do. Maybe he likes hips you can really sink your teeth into more than you do. I fully welcome the male gaze. I don’t value myself based on it, or anything, but I welcome the male gaze, I welcome your male gaze.

“happy hens, healthy eggs” by Sasha at Elysian


Thursday October 1, 2015 at Elysian
10:02am
5 minutes
from the Rabbit River Farms egg carton

Ryan makes eggs every morning.
“Don’t you think that’s too much cholesterol?”
“Nope.”
“Really?”
“They actually studied that and it’s totally fine to eat eggs every day.”
“What about the cholesterol?”
“Look at me!”
He’s a beanpole, he’s got that runner’s body.

When we first met, Ryan had long hair.

“What are you going to do today, sweetheart?” He asks, cracking an egg into a bowl and whipping it vigorously.
“I don’t know…”
“Why don’t you go for a massage or something?”
“I don’t like strangers touching me.”
“A walk?”
“Maybe…”
“You could get out of the house with me, just go have a coffee someplace?”
“We have coffee here, Ryan – ”
“I think that it would be good for you to – ”
“You’re right. I’ll get out. We need yogurt.”

“willing to launch an attack” by Julia at her desk


Sunday September 27, 2015
10:58pm
5 minutes
Dead Metaphor
George F. Walker


I tell her that I don’t approve of him and now she’s pissed because she knows I’m right but doesn’t want to admit it. It’s not my fault the signs are glaringly obvious that he’s not right for her, that she’s only staying with him because she’s blinded by her “feelings” which, I believe are madly out of touch with reality. She’s asked me once before and I said, I don’t know, Lara, I’m not inside your relationship, you are. You should know how you feel. She got mad then too because I was looking too objectively at her problems. So fine, I think, I won’t say anything at all, but then she asks me one day when I’ve had no time to prepare myself to stay out of it, and I tell her, I say, honestly, Lara, I think you’re better than him and that he’s sucking you dry in every possible way and if you’re serious about your own happiness then you really should take a look at the cause of all the feelings you have that aren’t that.

“three crackerjack female” by Julia on her couch


Thursday September 24, 2015
11:39pm
5 minutes
http://www.shifttheatre.ca

There was a moment I didn’t think you were going to make it. No, seriously bro, you looked like you had tapped out. But I’m glad you didn’t because I get to be the one to tell you that you… you’re a hero. You’re a god damn hero and I’m impressed. So it brings me joy to relay that to you, man. So how’s Nancy? Oh man, she’s so nice to you. You’re a lucky guy. She puts up with a lot of your crap, you must be pretty damn lovable.

“we thought we’d play a little trick” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday February 25, 2015
9:51pm
5 minutes
Betty and Veronica Double Digest
The Archie Library 215


You played a trick on me – running like there was something chasing. I’m being chased but that’s the funny thing, that’s the strange thing, you’re not chasing, you’re TRICKING. Every time you say, “I’m not”, you mean “I am”. TRICK! Every time you touch my face, gentle like dew, you say, “I’m here”, you mean “I’m gone”. TRICK! And then I do the inevitable thing of looking at your phone BEEPING all the damn time and there are names I don’t know there, so many names, S names and L names and M names and O names and I’m overcome with the TRICK and the TRICK tastes like garbage. I do the inevitable thing of pretending. Now I’m the TRICKSTER! I pretend I didn’t see the S and the L and the M and the O and you pretend you didn’t see them either and we’re both so fucking good at pretending, we’re the TOP TRICKSTERS, we’d get the gold and the silver and the bronze.

“Flatten the dough into a disk” by Julia at her desk


Saturday February 7, 2015
1:18am
5 minutes
http://www.happyolks.com/

Mom calls me on Saturday, she’s flipping the fuck out. I’m like, Mom. Why can’t you ever call me to say hi or do you need money? She’s like, this is a family emergency, Deirdre, don’t fucking quit on us. And I’m like, don’t call me a quitter, I’m not even fucking doing anything. Turns out the family fucking emergency was that Rodney fell off the stage at his group home again during “choir time” and really needs us all to be there. When I ask her where “there” means, thinking she’s going to say the hospital because maybe he finally got a concussion or at least a broken leg or something, and she’s like, It’d be really nice to have your moral support without questioning my judgement for once, Deirdre. We’re just trying to go on with business as usual so your brother doesn’t feel like a burden. And I’m like, business as usual? You’re fucking interrupting my business as usual just so you can tell me to be there for him…in spirit!

“I’ll try and take it off” by Julia at Mina’s Fabric


Thursday January 29, 2015 at Minas Fabric
4:33pm
5 minutes
overheard at Mina’s Fabric

I’ll try and take it off-the layer of whatever it is I’ve been hiding behind.
I used to be such a pretty girl. Such a pretty pretty girl. And he’d sing to me from the top of the stairs, “I see you and I see you because you make it so hard not to.” And I’d feel like I belonged to something perfect on this earth even if his love didn’t last and his opinion of me changed.
I had to consciously say that out loud to the next one once–that I’d try and take it off—because he looked at me with such kind eyes, but in a confused way as if he desperately wished he could see through the wall and share a moment in my soul–just swimming around, testing the water.
I have to say it out loud so I can remind myself that sometimes it’s more for me than for anyone else: that it’s hard to see clearly just as it is to be seen clearly.
I think of that searching look he gave me when I need to stop myself from fading…

“Inspired by the natural wonders” by Julia on Katie’s couch


Thursday January 1, 2015
9:21pm
5 minutes
from an Old Mout Cider pint glass

hard to believe we’ve come this far
this far
mmm
explain what it is you mean by far
i mean far from where we were before
before being…
young,stupid, beginning
before we were anything
yes
and where have we come now
far from those things in a way that is almost unrecognizable
in a good way
yes
okay
sleepless nights are now filled with affection
yes
angry mornings are now sweet and honest
mmm
we’ve worked very hard on being this good
to one another
yes
to ourselves
mmm
as a working unit
yes mmmm yes
far is a good place to be then
far from what we weren’t happy in
far from what we wanted to be but couldn’t reach
now we can reach
now can reach it all

“not long before you get there with us.” By Sasha at The Arts Club


Saturday November 8, 2014 at The Arts Club
7:41pm
5 minutes
From serialpodcast.org

His eyes are sand
Swirling golden turmeric honey
His eyes are searching
Sky reach twisting to cloud
His eyes tell me how
Why and when and where
His eyes are the reason I come back
Come back and come back and come back
“I want to write a book” he says
I don’t believe it
I shudder and I bite my nail
“I want to write a book about my mother” he says
I stand up and open the window
Even though it’s below zero

“Stufo (agg) fed up (with)sick (of) ” by Sasha at Great Dane Coffee


Wednesday September 17, 2014 at Great Dane Coffee
1:32pm
5 minutes
Availiardi Dizionario Italiano-Inglese

You keep asking me what I wanna be for Halloween and I’m all, “It’s more than a month away! I have no idea!” And you’re all, “You should be a sexy lumberjack!” And I’m all, “What the fuck?”

Sometimes there’s nothing to say and we’re eating cereal and staring into our bowls like they are Crystal balls with all the answers.

“You should be a witch!”

Should I be offended by that, you guys??!

I’m sitting on the toilet, trying to dig my Diva Cup out of my cooch and it’s like a fucking terrible birdsong – “What do you want to be for Halloween?” Sung, by you, tone-deaf, to the tune of Nobody Solves A Problem Like Maria. I’m all, “What?!” And you’re all, “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens! Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens! Brown paper packages tied up with strings!” And I’m all, “Are these… costume ideas?! WTF!”

“You steal the water from the valley” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday September 16 2014
11:35am
5 minutes
Screenplay
Sid Field


I would pickle you if it didn’t mean you’d have to be dead. I would pickle you, just as you are, and you’d keep your shape like the best cucumber does. I’d leave out the garlic and the dill. I’d want you just as you are. I would pickle you if it didn’t mean I’d have to stop hearing your songs. See, those songs are the key to my unfolding. When you play that banjo my heart breaks and is whole and breaks and is the most whole she has ever been. I’d pickle you with your hat on, because I love that hat, I bought you that hat at that stand in Brooklyn.

“Our human lives seem to unravel” by Sasha at Momento


Friday September 12, 2014 at Momento Coffee House
8:04am
5 minutes
from Thunder and Lightening by Natalie Goldberg

I hear you giving advice and I wish you’d take some of what you give. That was mean. I apologize. You do, you do take some. You take a lot… I just wish you took one particular thing that you give, one particular drop of… You know what, nevermind. It’s dumb when I talk when I’m mad. It never ends well for any damn person. Especially this one, especially me. You come home and you look at me like “Where’s dinner?”/”Why are you so fucking sad all the time?” You look at me like you didn’t have a good day. You look at me like you might want sex later but you might not, especially if we eat big plates of pasta. Nothing worse than pasta sex. Please don’t pour yourself a drink. That complicates things further.

“do something which both parties desire but are unwilling to do” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday September 2, 2014
9:46pm
5 minutes
from the English translation of mamihlapinatapai

I woke from a dream that was worse than the ones that I used to have
When nightmares reeked heavy
And my mother was sleepless for a whole year too
You were there
With the two of them
The women you desire
The women who desire you
The women you would be with if you hadn’t chosen me
Am I the only one that has that list?
The women you would be with if you hadn’t chosen me
Should I be ashamed of it?
Should I store it under the mattress
Or
In the drawer by the stove that only I open
Or
Buried in the sand for another woman to find when the tide goes out
Or
Comes in
My stomach in my throat
My throat in my mouth
Tears and gulps
and
Salt water
You’re not home yet
You’re on the bus
I imagine you
Travelling closer to me
The one you’ve chosen
I imagine you
curling against my naked body
I imagine you
I imagine them
I see myself
floating above
Laughing like a crow
Sobbing like a beluga
Your key in the lock

“BAM” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday July 30, 2014
11:54pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Trinity Bellwoods park

BAM! he says it loud and he means it.
SCRAM! she says and she looks away.
WAM! he wishes that he had a better way to show how much he loves her but he doesn’t.
BAM! she shakes her head and she wonders how she got here, so far from where she started.
SCRAM! she wishes she could laugh the way that she used to.
WAM! he makes the best omelettes she’s ever had.

“I watch a news clip of” by Sasha in her garden


Wednesday July 9, 2014
9:02pm
5 minutes
We Should Do Something
Laurel Leigh


I watch the news clip again and again and I can’t believe he said it and I can’t believe it’s real.

“Are you sure?”
“Yes.”
“How sure?”
“I went to the fucking doctor.”
Silence.

She’s crying and he’s on the other side of the road, wringing his hands, hanging his head, shuffling his feet.

“Rebecca, you’ve gotten yourself into a very delicate position…”
There are other ways I can think of putting it. There are others ways I can think of. There are other ways that a man can turn away, can run, can forget to return your phone calls or your iPhone charger.

“I’m sorry. We should’ve been more careful…” Is what he says.
I’m drowning.

“Why don’t you meet me at Frans for breakfast and we can talk this out in person?” He’s whispering, which means she’s close by.
“No I will not fucking eat pancakes while you tell me to get an abortion!” I scream and I feel his silence like a knife in my ribs. I hang up the phone.

I call my mother.

“we dare be brave” by Sasha on her porch


Wednesday, July 2, 2014
10:37pm
5 minutes
Touched by an Angel
Maya Angelou


By choosing this, we dare to be brave. By choosing each other, we dare greater than we ever dared. We dare wide, we dare bright, we dare into the deep bat caves and find clumps of hair and photographs of when we were smaller, less brave versions of ourselves now.

We dare to be brave when we break. We dare higher when we leave what we have loved to find what we will love. We dare when we pack our favorite things in boxes and leave them by the side of the road. We have made so many promises. They sink to the bottom or they float on top. One or two have sprouted lilies. One or three have turned to weeds at the bottom and tickle our feet when we swim.

“get a rise outta you!” by Julia at The Forks


Tuesday July 1, 2014 at The Forks
8:41pm
5 minutes
from the Phoenix Rising espresso bag

He started doing it to me when we first met. It was before we were allowed to love each other. Probably because I told a different person and I also told myself that I would be committed to him. The other person. I had met him first, he was my first real relationship. It wasn’t a forever thing but it was a then thing. So was he. The other other person. The one I wanted to love but wasn’t allowed to yet. I would look at him while he glanced around the room taking everyone in and learning something that even they didn’t know about themselves with just one silent look. I would hope that he was looking at me like that. From the inside out. And I would dream about leaving the person I had for the person I wanted but didn’t fully know the magnitude of that desire at the time. And he made sure that I kept wanting him. Because he’d tell me things that I’d believe just because it was coming out of his mouth, when really he was just seeing how much I would allow. I didn’t know there was such a thing as learning someone from the inside out. He showed me that. He once took off his glasses and convinced me that his eyes were wonky without them. He asked me if I thought he should get contacts. I said no.

“not liable for any consequential damages” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Wednesday June 25, 2014 at MAKE
4:49pm
5 minutes
the Canon Camera User Guide

Of course she’d say that. She’s the kind of person who says things like that. Honestly, Dai, I’m not even remotely surprised by her anymore. Of course not. No, of course not. Because she glides around with this holier than though attitude and I can’t stand it no more. No because why should I? No really, she’s supposed to strut around and not take any responsibility for her actions while I sit here trying to figure out exactly what I’m supposed to do with her? She’s a mess. Dai, I’m telling you, she’s a real problem, you’ll see. What are you telling me for? Go tell her, she’s your damn cousin. Yeah so what, I know we’re all related. When she makes me mad like this I pretend she doesn’t even belong to this family. Because, Dai. Because, Dai. Why I gotta tell you everything, what you don’t think for yourself no more? Honestly? Because of the whole baby thing. I know she didn’t mean to get herself knocked up or nothin’, but it’s her choices, you know, all of them, that lead me to think that she had it planned in some way. Oh you see how happy she is, how smiley she is cause she got the nice warm pink smell of a new baby on her skin.

“SO COLD” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Saturday June 21, 2014 at MAKE
1:49pm
5 minutes
a postcard at MAKE coffee+stuff

Hadn’t thought about Missy since last winter when I remembered how much she loved the cold. She somehow disappeared from my life and my mind quicker than she came into it. Them. Both things, in which she was sort of a permanent resident. A fixture. A thing that made me crazy and wild and irrational. She was always going on about getting the right jacket and then just sucking the rest of it up. I told her I had grown up in the cold and ‘sucking it up’ was just not enough. She said if you’re going to complain just move already! And then I understood what everything in the world meant. Something about not wishing for things that are outside of you or wanting things that aren’t in front of you. We choose everything. We choose the temperature we stay in, we choose the people we spend time with, we choose to love or not love someone. We choose to be happy. Missy had that fully realized and she was living it. She chose me one second and the next something else. I’m still alive. I missed her for a while. But I understood that right now is something different from right now every time the second hand on the clock shifts right. Then I thought about getting a really proper jacket and just sliding down some snow hills face first. Cause, you know, choices.

“Virginia” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday June 5, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
7:34pm
5 minutes
from a sign on the wall of the Antique Shop

I wanted to call her Ginny because I thought that was cute but Madeleine bit my head off about it and said I had to call her by her full name, Virginia, or everyone else would start calling her stupid “off-shoot” names. She said “off-shoot” as if it were some terrible disease. I think nicknames are sweet. Mad never cared that I called her a short-form. It wasn’t an “off-shoot” as much as it was a term of endearment. Something you call someone that means something to you because it’s your thing and her thing or his thing or whatever. Anyway, Virginia ended up being a boy so we had to think of another name for her after all. I always picture when we have a girl, or if we do, that Mad will want to still call her Virginia and maybe I can call her Ginny when Mad’s not around so it can be our special thing, just the two of us. Names are a very important part of a person’s identity. I don’t want to have a kid that has to go around correcting everybody just because they call her a name her mother doesn’t like. She’s the one who calls me Mike when she knows my mother hates it when I get anything other than Michael.

“was just perfect” by Sasha on her floor


Thursday May 29, 2014
10:22pm
5 minutes
shutterbean.com

She is desperately sad about the recent experiment.
The most recent experiment:
Procedure: Line the entrance way with thirty six votive candles.
Hypothesis: Perhaps Henry will want to have sex?
Conclusion: After waiting for an hour and a half and drinking the champagne alone, she falls asleep, panties up her butt and drool bubbling down her cheek.
Henry came home smelling of books. As usual. The library was his most torrid affair. During exams it was open all night and that was when she lost him. She’d rarely found him lately, actually, and she mourned this every day as she ate soy ice cream from the carton, the freezer door open, the gust of cool reminding her of winter. Winter was better. In winter Henry came home at more reasonable hours and they cuddled to stay warm.

“you want to be chosen” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday June 3, 2014
1:01am
5 minutes
This American Life podcast

You want me to open up a store and sell candles. You tell me this in your half sleep as you kick up the duvet from under you. It’s like you’re mad at me for making us sleep with a cover at all even though the summer hasn’t fully started yet and it still gets really chilly at night.
I ask you what kind of store and you say one that welcomes bulls. I think you mean china shop but your reference is a little muddled in your groggy mind. You tell me, you’ve got to start selling those candles! And I ask you, which candles? And you say, with a cute laugh, the ones you make! As if it were the best idea you’ve ever expressed. I tell you I don’t make candles and you turn over and grunt into the sheets, probably because you resent those too and you’d sleep on the bare earth if I hadn’t bound you to all these societal norms like I have.
I can’t help in that moment to lean over to you and kiss your head.
Sell those too, you say in a whisper.

“we pass the time very well” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday May 24, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
5:20pm
5 minutes
Sambuca Grill Drink List

we have a garden in the backyard that we’re just waiting to use. the guy who lives upstairs says DO NOT TOUCH and he says it with a sign and also with his lawn gnomes. we are not phased by lawn gnomes. he should have picked a scarier thing like a troll or a baby. we stare out into the yard every night and we plot our moves. we tell ourselves that when he goes away for the weekend we’ll take out our wheelbarrow and bring in some quality garden goods to our side of the house. we say to ourselves that we won’t need to take a lot, but enough of everything. he wants the red stuff and i want the green. we make sure that even in our minds we don’t take too much. can’t be greedy in fantasies because that’s being ill-prepared for realities. we pass the time very well when waiting for the upstairs guy to go away for the night or for the whole weekend. we make shadow puppets on the wall and tell each other stories in cooky voices. we drink flat ginger ale and ask each other questions about the rain forest and the prairies. we put an egg timer on the stove and try not to move until the timer goes off. we touch each other up and down our bodies using only our eyelashes.

“No phone or internet” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday May 22, 2014 at Sambuca Grill
4:19pm
5 minutes
a woodgreen.org streetcar stop ad

stranded on a deserted island with the sounds of the water and the sounds of the sky just being open arround me. yeah i’m just breathing here asking the world to forgive me for being so damn stubborn. and i’m meditating incorrectly but yeah, you know, at least i’m trying. and i’m not really on a deserted island and there really isn’t any beautiful calming around me. i’m just locked in my house because dale decided to take my keys on account of the fact that his were “left” at game last night by an unnamed party, aka dale, aka TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS AND JUST FUCKING SAY YOU LEFT THEM THERE BECAUSE YOU’RE A FUCK-KNOB.
and now if i leave i have to worry about my stuff getting stolen because dale convinced me to live in this stupid part of town where things get robbed and windows get smashed. locked in. and the power is out. so i’m sitting around a shit ton of candles trying to find my own inner peace and trying not to listen to dale speaking to me in this state, saying, you know you really should be writing.

“lust and power” by Julia at the Marriott in Providence RI


Wednesday May 7, 2014
2:08am
5 minutes
From the Worldstage program of Mies Julie

Remember when we were young and in love and I’d whisper to you that I wasn’t wearing any underwear and you’d take hand and whisper back that if we didn’t leave where we were right then we’d be forced to commit an act of indecency? Remember how you’d send me dirty postcards in the mail and sign them with a fake name so none of my neighbours would know it was you? I’ve been thinking of those things so much lately. I don’t know why I just started having the longing to see you the way I used to and for you to see me the same way. It was so different there. Such late nights, such passionate conversation, such indulgent behaviour–and now when I try to categorize who we’ve become none of those words come to mind. Things like “comfortable” and “static” are what I see.

“All the animals are laughing at us” by Julia at the Marriott in Providence RI


Sunday May 4, 2014
9:22pm
5 minutes
Aeolus
Freelance Whales


It made me laugh that you told me, Sh shh, baby, don’t be so loud, the animals will hear you, and then you put your finger to your lips as if I must recognize the universal signal for Please Shut The Fuck Up.
I couldn’t help it. In fact I hoped they did hear us. In the meeting place for animals being animals to hear or even witness two other animals being animals. I can’t remember whose idea it was to do it right there in the forrest, but either way neither of us had ever done it and we were both pretty into it. I mean, you were very much consumed with the idea that we were intruding or that we’d be disrupting the squirrels or whatever. Who cares! I yelled out at the top of my lungs, just to bug you. You threw your hands up in the air and shook your head, looking around frantically for signs of life, nature, or punishment. Baby, get over it, we’re doing the nasty in a forrest! That’s awesome! Stop wrecking it! And then you laughed for the first time and held my face in your hands and said, We are the most adventurous couple that ever lived! I was like, Yeah, that’s the spirit, now push me up against this tree. You tried doing it but you then couldn’t get over the part where the tree might be a bit pissed off that we were using her as a sex post.

“Marvellous convenient place” by Julia at Small Point Cafe in Providence


Saturday May 3, 2014 at Small Point Cafe in Providence
6:52pm
5 minutes
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Wiliam Shakespeare


Tori found her gold locket, the one she thought she’d lost forever, in the basement of her best friend Jane’s house. She yelled at Jane for a whole two minutes because she couldn’t believe that someone who called themselves her friend would ever think about doing that to her. Tori’s grandfather gave her that locket and inside was a photo of her when she was just a little thing with two hairs on her head, holding both her hands on either side of her grandpa’s face. It meant a lot to her and when she’d lost it, she was in a real state. To her it was like losing him all over again and through teary eyes and sobs she’s say, I can’t go to another funeral. I can’t. Jane tried to explain that she didn’t take it and that Tori must have accidentally left it there–or, she tried, Maybe you weren’t paying attention and forgot to fasten it properly…
That set Tori off into another dimension and she said, I would NEVER be careless with this. And with that she stormed out of Jane’s house and vowed to never speak to her again. Jane was telling the truth. She didn’t care much for Tori’s locket in the first place.

“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.

“The big mystery” by Julia at the Marriott in Providence RI


Thursday May 1, 2014
1:12am
5 minutes
The Q Podcast

I forgot what your face looked like for a brief moment yesterday. I was having one of those fake conversations with you in my head and I was trying to picture your exact reaction- that head tilt to the side and that one squinty eye thing. I kept saying my part over and over and I couldn’t see your face in the response. So I changed what I said and I waited for your face to just magically appear. It didn’t. It was so strange. Up until now all I had to do was think of you and it would be as if I was sitting right next to you, almost touching your skin with mine and hearing you breathe.
This feeling, it was like going blind. It was being able to see my entire life for my entire life, the sunsets, the stars, the reeds sticking out alongside the river, and then suddenly being forced to make out a picture in complete darkness.
I didn’t want to tell you that. I didn’t want you to think it was the beginning of the end or something. It wasn’t. It was just a trick of the mind, a game my head was playing on me. Maybe even just a test to see what I held dear…

“the porn industry” by Julia on her couch


Saturday March 15, 2014
3:07pm
5 minutes
from a web series break down

I come home early from work and don’t tell him, don’t call him, don’t surprise him that I am. I see he’s sleeping on the couch, the News blaring without him even flinching to notice. I never want to see him like this because it makes me feel old, and it makes him seem young. Today’s his day to have the house. We agreed on it before. I told him I wouldn’t be home till 8 or 9, and he said, come when you come! I think coming at 6 is too early for the plans we agreed on and I’m not mad at him for sleeping. I’m glad he is. I just wish I didn’t have to see it. It’s not something I can explain much better than that. But it doesn’t work for me, so I think tomorrow I will come home when I’m supposed to, after he’s had a chance to rest from his long day of lifting. He starts much earlier than I do. 5 AM. I would think if he didn’t nap during the afternoon he would be a zombie by dinner, so I know he does it for me. Especially when he waits for me to come home every night so we can eat together. He doesn’t have to do that, but I think it’s nice that he does.
I don’t want to take away from his day and his time, so I quietly make some crackers and cheese in the kitchen and sit down to the computer. I see the tabs that are all open: Global Tv, Life Hacks, How to get American Netflix, Best Banana Bread Recipes, and Hard..Harder..Hardest.