“I cried during the silent walking meditations” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday October 15, 2019
Halina Larman

There is no such thing as silence in this house
this house is a home and no silence exists in it

I give myself five minutes so I don’t have to hear
myself or anyone else (you) say anything

and even sometimes the timer is on and the silence
is close, but it is not mine to hold

Someone (you) comes in with your questions and
your funny jokes that instead of me laughing

and letting them roll off the back, I condemn to
the floorboards so the downstairs neighbours

have to forfeit whatever silence they were
cultivating as well. I could laugh…

but instead there is 2 minutes and 30 seconds
left and instead of masterfully practicing

I am languishing in the almost but not quite.
I should display a sign that says “In the middle

because even when it’s clear this is what I’m

doing, you are doing whatever is clear to you
and what is clear to you is that you speak

during cooking meditations and walking
meditations and laying meditations

“Part of the explanation” by Sasha at Ideal Coffee

Friday June 9, 2017 at Ideal Coffee
5 minutes
The Globe And Mail

When Maggie feeds her snake, she says a prayer for the mouse. It actually isn’t her snake, it’s Tova’s, but Tova is in Switzerland and Maggie isn’t sure when she’ll be back so as far as she’s concerned the snake now belongs to her. It was actually Tova’s sister’s boyfriend’s snake, but his landlady lost her mind when she found out a snake was in the apartment, so what was Tova’s sister supposed to do? Take the snake. And then Tova’s sister, ever the pacifist, couldn’t get over the feedings so Tova took pity and said she’d take the fucking snake.

“A failure to be my best self” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday January 15, 2017
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett

When I broke into your home, your roommate was fucking her girlfriend. I wasn’t sure if I should stay, or go, or pretend that this was a normal way to spend a Wednesday evening. I knew that you were in China, and that a million different people were taking you out for every meal of the day. I knew that you hadn’t texted me back in exactly seventy six days. I get in your room, the moaning and screaming coming through the wall, and I’m not even sure what to do, I’m not even sure what I want. I take off all of my clothes. I climb into your bed. I drink in your smell.

“sky turned red then erased” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday November 17, 2016
5 minutes
Ellie Sawatsky

Walls thin as butterfly wings I know that your ear is there
High on the sky turning red with the possibility
of midnight I know that your ear is there
pressed on the monarch tissue paper
Sigh lifts above the ceiling
lifts us up the only division between us is us
the only difference between us is this
The chrysalis shed
The womb bare
The holy
water falling over fingertips

College kids smoke joints outside the window
leave rolling papers on the sill
A queen bee makes a hive around the rebellion
the sex the nicotine the so in love
so in love
I am the queen bee and you are bringing me gifts

“really only happy when working” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 3, 2015
5 minutes

Monique chews her gum like she talks. Loud. She’s one of those people that doesn’t have a sense of appropriate noise levels. On the bus, with sleeping babies and little old ladies in plastic hair covers, she’s the one on her cell phone, all shrieks and exclamations. What am I supposed to do? Sit her down and give her some constructive feedback? Is that my role now?

When she asked if she could move in after Kenny decided to move to Alaska, I said, “Sure.” I followed up with an email. “Given that it’s a bachelor, maybe think about finding a place for the New Year?” She ignored it. I re-read it, over and over, resenting her stinky shampoo and her dirty coffee cups in the sink. “I never should’ve said, “maybe”… That’s where I went wrong!”

“and I’ve begun to name things.” By Sasha on her porch

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
5 minutes
Shane Michalik

It happens when we buy a juicer. Amy points it out to me and I’m horrified. I’ve begun to name things after Hector. Multiple things.

“What should we call it?” I ask, standing back and admiring the juicer’s regal stature on our countertop. “You’re the one who anthropomorphizes,” Amy says, “I don’t care about naming appliances. In fact, I’d rather nap. See you in a bit.” She goes to her room.

When Amy wakes up and emerges, tank top askew, she says, “So, what’s the verdict?” “HECTOR!” raise my arms up, like I’ve won the lottery. “But the toaster’s named Hector,” she is unimpressed. “Are you obsessed with Hector?” “I don’t even know a Hector!” “Um…” She takes out her cellphone.

“I might be” by Sasha at Matchstick Coffee Roasters

Monday January 19, 2015 at Matchstick Coffee Roasters
5 minutes
from a poster in Ricardo’s studio

I might be the only one here with any real love in my life. Sorry. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way but like, I feel badly because in some ways it feels like I shouldn’t even be here, you know? Why am I fucked up when I’ve got all this love going on all over the damn place?

We have mice. My roommate and I. And she’s new so I feel like a dick that’s been leaving granola out or something… Which I have been doing… I just, like, I forget, you know, I forget about wiping the counter. There’s better shit to do.

My name is Alana and I’m an… Shit. This is so fucking weird. It feels contrived. Or, like… I don’t think I belong here. I might be that one person that everyone looks at like, “I feel bad for you…” Feel bad for me! Do it! I dare you!

“Her bedroom” by Sasha at Lit on College

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
10:49am at Lit on College
5 minutes
Diana Evans

When she gets home she always changes into one of his undershirts and a pair of his boxers. Their seventh floor apartment is hot, but it's not even that, it's the cling of her work skirt and her pressed blouse, it's the stretch of her nylons across her belly, it's the heels digging into her baby toe. He's been asking her if she's seen his clothes, his underthings, and she shrugs. "I don't know, dude, probably that freaky guy at the laundromat stealing stuff from the dryer." By the time he gets home from work, the door to her room is closed, a fog of soft light whispering through the cracks. She hears him frying an egg and making toast. She hears him pop the cap off a bottle of Budweiser.

“If you’re free” by Sasha on the subway going East

Sunday, June 9, 2013
5 minutes
from a poster at High Park Subway for Ottawa

Never remembered why Bernie moved to Philly. Remembered that he left, though. We were roommates since 1984. We met at the bar down on Princess Street, the one with the really good Jukebox. He’d play Springsteen and I’d play Cockburn and we’d laugh about how they are both named “Bruce”. Bernie had a bit of a drawl, a bit of a bushy moustache, and he only wore red Converse high tops. He had a daughter in Brooklyn who lived with her mother, who’d been a one-night stand, or at least that’s the way that Bernie told it. He called himself a painter but I never saw him do it. Saw him sketch, in this book that he’d carry around all the damn time. I guess painter sounds a bit more fancy than sketcher… Bernie liked to make tuna casserole and it would stink up the whole apartment, how fish does. I’d curse him hard for that. He’d tell me to shut up, that it reminded him of his Gran. He didn’t tell me he was going, that he was moving to the ol’ U S of A. One morning, woke up, put on the kettle, and peeked in his room. He was gone, just the bare mattress there, on the floor and his key on top, like it was a taking a nap.

“you do it because” by Sasha at Nova Era Bakery

Monday May 13, 2013
11:15am at Nova Era Bakery
5 minutes
Wild Mind
Natalie Goldberg

It started with a tube of toothpaste. I didn’t think anything of it. I guess she had used mine once, when she hadn’t felt like using her own, when she’d wanted a break from Colgate. Fine. Totally okay. I’m cool with that. Then it was a haircut. As if, maybe, she’d brought in that photo we took on my birthday and said to the stylist, “Like that. Like hers.” Next, she’d asked where I bought my boots. “Vintage,” was a safe choice. A lie, but a safe choice. “Damn,” she’d said. When I walked by her room, door open, teddybear pertly displayed beside white and yellow pillows on her bed, a journal tossed at the foot. I gasped. “That’s my fucking…” I grabbed the book and opened it, seeing that it wasn’t mine at all. It was new. It was hers.