“On the day of our wedding” by Julia at the sudio

Monday September 18, 2017
3:38pm
5 minutes
Swing Low
Miriam Toews

We got hitched in Vegas (no not a Trekkie wedding, even though that would have been funnier)
and decided that every year we’d renew our vows. Not the same vows from our wedding day. Those were too wine soaked to reuse. But luckily we remember deciding to write new ones for each year’s cermemony so we could include all the growing we’ve done in three hundred sixty-five days and feel like our marriage was growing too. On the day of our wedding I found out that I was pregant and I never told him. I didn’t keep the baby. I made a secret vow to myself to keep some secrets with my own heart. That I would never betray myself to ease the guilt that would one day pass. I promised him that I would tell him what he needs to know and he laughed because he was drunk, but I’d like to think he laughed because he knew that it was for the best.

“others take longer than expected” by Julia at the studio


Monday August 14, 2017
9:52am
5 minutes
from a greeting card

It’s hard to hold each other because we tend to be busy figuring out where to put our hands on our own skin. Where does this limb go? Tucked into the corner of self and hope? Where do we put this paper cut? I don’t know how to give you all of me if my wrists cry out in the night to be touched. Some things aren’t meant to be shared. I have stashed cookies all over this place. In containers above the sink, in baggies nestled in the secret pouches of the living room, in plain sight, behind the placemats. Some things aren’t meant for other people. Once I figure out just how much sneaking I need to do to feel like I haven’t given all of myself away, I move my spots. I stop for a while. I become satisfied with the memory of stealing opportunities that no one needs to know about. I get obsessed with wondering where to hide this hand; this ingrown hair.

“This I wore when I met Margaret Thatcher.” By Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 17, 2017
5:17pm
5 minutes
Women in Clothes
Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 Others


We didn’t break bread until we had broken each other
into pieces
the stir before sunset set our dining room to
incubation, warming the alibis of forgotten promises
She was wearing sheer nylons with a tinge of lavender
She was wearing someone else’s face, not mine, not hers
Standing on opposite corners of our equally divided turf
we had to wonder, is this artifical power or are you really
stronger there by the kitchen and I better next to the balcony?
The show is going on outside our tiny terrarium of
heart ache and mishandled history
Our secrets, both undone and left spilling
onto the floor that seperates us
from forgiveness and missing
our reservation

“The worst kept secret” by Julia on her couch


Sunday August 21, 2016
10:26pm
5 minutes
lifehacker.com

Somebody told me once that discharge was called sperm. Okay it was my sister. We used to fight a lot. She was older. I wanted to do everything she did. I believed everything she told me. I was so confident in her that I never questioned a single thing she said. I admired her. Now we’re older and she tells me when things I believe about myself are just stories. She tells me when she hears me choosing not to love myself. I believe her. I know she doesn’t say things now to break me down. When we were young, she wanted to tease me. But maybe to see how much I could take. How much I would hear before I pushed back. It’s trusting someone outside yourself. She knows everything I’ve never told anyone else. She will always be the keeper of my secrets. She keeps the ones I like next to the ones I never will. She keeps them for me, but she forgets they’re there. She doesn’t see me through eyes of things I wish I didn’t do. She does not love on condition.

“bore you with another list ” by Julia on her Couch


Sunday August 14, 2016
9:25pm
5 minutes
theestablishment.com

1.I can’t apologize enough; I am always sorry for something
2.I buy the cheapest toilet paper because it’s the only kind that doesn’t stick to your bits
3.If I pass by a basil plant, I will steal a leaf off of it
4.If I pass by a rosemary bush, I will pluck as many sprigs as I can carry
5.Sometimes I cry for no reason
6.Sometimes I take long showers when I’m trying to forgive you
7.I drink from the carton and jar and double dip knives and cross contaminate condiments
8.I make lists of ways to be nicer to you
9.I sleep really well all things considering
10.I don’t feel good about all the things I don’t know

“We got a good surge” by Julia by her bed


Thursday, July 21, 2016
12:16am
5 minutes
overhead at The Rickshaw

Because there was an opening
we stood up tall on a mountain and opened our mouths to the wind
We wanted to
We wanted to shout
out
all of the sadness and all of our lungs
Just in case she was listening
Just in case she was sorry
I dream of her in reds and yellows
In basil and lavender
In honey and lace
She is perfect still in a world where compliments cannot buy her
I dream of her in here yes today please
She is gone like a feather from a wing
And I can only let my agony
into the wild
As a ghost
As a whisper
As a lullaby

“his eyes were heavy, his muscles ached.” By Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Thursday March 3, 2016
11:46pm
5 minutes
Walkabout
James Vance Marshall


Poor thing had just come in from an unexpected encounter. He was sore all over, one eye glued right shut-save for the little drop of blood that squeezed out and marked up his left cheek. I didn’t know what to do, seeing him like that. I imagined Teri wouldn’t want to know that her little boy had been horse whipped by her own brother, but she was bound to find out sooner or later. I took him over to the sink and I tried to dab a cool cloth on his face, on that nasty eye. He pulled away at first but when I started humming to him he calmed down a bit. I told him over and over again I was so sorry. I didn’t know Elliot would be home so early. I didn’t even have two seconds to hide the sweet little thing before he got his monster hands on him. When I bent down close to meet his eyes with mine, little thing whispered to me, please don’t tell my mom.

“what I could imagine” by Julia on her floor


Sunday, January 31, 2016
8:39am
5 minutes
The New Song
W.S. Merwin


As I lay here, invalid, senior citizen before my time, I imagine the ceiling above me holding all my secrets and hanging each one within the perfect distance of one another. It’s like they all float up there when there’s no where else for them to go. They loom, they threaten to fall, or dangle, tease, disrupt. They’re not all bad, not all good. some of them are not so secret: I am a young person stuck in an old person’s body. I injure myself a lot. I am breakable. I am Samuel L. Jackson. I am worried by this. It still gets pinned on the ceiling even though I just divulged it. I think the real issue is that I keep it a secret from myself-not wanting to admit that I need help with my body and I will need more help as I age. You’d wonder, if you could lay where I am, seeing what I see, if I have any secrets left at all inside me. Are they not all on the ceiling? Hanging at different heights, holding space between them all? Do some of them ever co-mingle? They probably do, but maybe they do it in secret too. Like the one where I am on the floor, feeling old and broken, and I actually like it…

“Secret Sundays” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday January 28, 2016
11:55pm
5 minutes
A Mission Kitsilano business card

It’s a secret that on the Sundays the salsa dancing starts
It’s a secret that with that comes horses and carts
It’s a secret that everyone whose no one is there
It’s a secret that those that don’t know just can’t care

It’s a secret til somebody says something out loud
And the secret’s no longer dressed in a shroud
It’s a secret to someone else tells all of Tulsa
It’s a secret that on Sundays we will dance the salsa

“Bye” by Sasha on the basement at Bowore


Monday, December 21, 2015
10:41pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

R. never tells me she’s a surgeon. I find out from a process of elimination. After spending a third night in her bed, no sex, just cuddling and laughing at the strange sounds my stomach makes when I’m falling asleep, she gets a text and says she needs to take off for a few hours. “Sleep,” she insists, “I want you to stay.” I feel strange in her bed without her, smelling her cocoa butter smell.

After two weeks of this, and finding strange, comfortable, clog-like shoes in her gym bag, and seeing how tired she is and how much she knows about my concussed skull, I realize. We’d agreed not to talk about what we do, but this, this was something.

“the Moon moves into harmony” by Julia on Joe’s couch


Friday, August 28, 2015
11:37pm
5 minutes
from the Gemini horoscope in Cafe Astrology

I can feel her calling
Tugging on my heart
Pulling me close to her
Dancing with me till the night’s song is over
And she flows through me like a light
Like a flame
And she gives me freedom like a flight
Like a dream
She brushes the hair away from my ear and whispers the truth so no one can hear
Cause it’s meant for me
And it has to be
This little thing called faith
Calm shore rocky sea
She spins me around before the morning wakes up
Twirls me unfurls me
Spreads me wide for the wind

“And she put her arms around me,” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 7, 2015
12:12am
5 minutes
A Complicated Kindness
Miriam Toews


My mother hates to see me cry. She doesn’t hate to offer me money, or sneak a 50 in my coat pocket when she thinks I’m not looking, even though she knows those exact things will make me cry, but when I start with the tears, it breaks her abundant heart. She doesn’t want to make me feel bad. She just wants to love me. But I feel bad because I’m self-hating and dramatic, and I cause trouble where there doesn’t need to be. She wishes I could see me how she sees me and that only means so much since I’m her baby and she’d look at me and see Mother Theresa even if I burned an entire nursery school with the children still in it to the ground. I know this because when I told her I had deep, steadfast, secret thoughts about poisoning Auntie Ellis because she scolded me in public one time, she put her arms around me and she squeezed me with so much love that I started to cry. Then she wiped my face with her kisses and said, “I would want to do the same thing if I were you.”

Choosing what is important for her” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday March 27, 2015
6:42pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

She’s kept a food journal for twelve years. Mostly it’s been a secret. Only three people know. Sonja – because they spend so much time together and secrets are boring to keep for so long with someone so close; Pete (her once removed ex) – because he once caught her writing in it, when she’d thought he’d been asleep, and he asked and asked until she caved and then he made endless fun of her (via questions) and then she left him; and Jillian – because when Jillian was going through her sex change she felt it was only fair to reveal something private and strange and a bit shameful because Jillian was revealing so much so publicly and it was all she could think to reveal of herself.

She decides, one particularly rainy evening, as she sits cross-legged on her bed, her sheepdog Oscar snoring beside her, that this madness has to stop. She’s taken to recounting everything she’s eaten before bed, a kind of calming ritual, perhaps similar to putting ones legs up against the wall or praying (but entirely different). Today, she can’t remember what she’d eaten for lunch. Was it a can of tuna on baby salad greens? Was it miso soup? Was it half a cantaloupe with cottage cheese? Was it a protein shake? It was as though every day was every other day and nothing was as it should be. “Why am I doing this?” She asks aloud, Oscar waking up and cocking his head towards her, just the amount of sympathy she needs.

“One male one female” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday March 11, 2015
2:38pm
5 minutes
from an online acting breakdown

It was everything and nothing
One male
One female
She cradled his heart gently in her palm
He unraveled his entire soul at her feet
Everything
And nothing
One male
One female
She held his sobbing head
On her lap
In the dark
He poured out his deepest secrets
To the folds of her jeans
To the softness of her thighs
Everything
And nothing
One male
One female
She waited until he was able
He held tight to her patience like a wounded bird

“landed immigrants” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday March 13, 2015
4:09pm
5 minutes
from http://www.banffmediafestival.com

We have finally found the rainbow and it’s better than we’d heard
The blue tastes like french fries and the yellow
is smooth like velveteen rabbits
We have finally learned the secret and it’s gentler than we’d assumed
The Lost Boys know their times tables!
The ketchup has magic in it!
The library door is never locked!
We have finally burned the glass and it doesn’t shatter like we’d guessed
Friendship bracelets keep the moths out
Your grandmother is rolling cigarettes and blaring Edith Piaf from her
imaginary record player

“2 hours or longer” by Julia on the plane


Tuesday January 27, 2015
12:30pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada cafe booklet

Saw him standing by the vending machine. He was biting the inside of his top lip again. There’s a little flap of skin that he likes to chew when he’s focused. His fingers were in his pockets fiddling with a twist-tie or a beer cap. I didn’t see in his pockets but that’s the stuff that’s usually in there. I was already late to meet him but I stood where I was, watching him from my hiding place,and wondering if this was the real him. Alone. Unknowingly being spied on. I could have stood there for 2 hours or longer, just making assumptions and being deeply curious about this human. It made me question if anyone really knows anyone at all. If everyone has a secret self that even we don’t know about..

“laugh-out-loud funny.” By Sasha in the bath


Wednesday January 14, 2015
10:51pm
5 minutes
From the i heart huckabees DVD case

I’m writing secrets on leaves again. It’s less poetic then it sounds. I want them to dissolve into the mud in the backyard. Chuck is buried there, maybe the secrets will sink into him. That’s what makes it hard. To sell the house. That’s what makes it the hardest. Chuck and the secrets – all of them just back there and knowing that someone else might find the bones and the veins and the letter “S” or “X”. I’ve got this one down pat – the packing and the taping. But the leaving? The leaving is tough.

“The secret to a good table setting” by Sasha on her couch


Friday January 9, 2015 on Katerina’s bed at The Hilton Kensington Olympia
10:12pm
5 minutes
You And Your Wedding Magazine Jan 2015

The secret to a good table setting is act like you care. Even if you don’t, pretend that you do. Eff that – I don’t have any God damn secrets. I’m an empty bag of shoulda dones and mighta beens… But what I can tell you about is how to pack a good suitcase. Yup! The secret to packing a good suitcase! Roll, don’t fold. At least with items like jeans and sweaters. Always put shoes in a bag. Do you want dirt on the inside of your undies? Think about everything you’d like to bring and then cut that list in half. You must be relentless. You must be unwavering in your commitment to not bring too much. The want is there. Okay. Fine. Get over it. Don’t bring a hair dryer. Don’t bring three hardcover books. A photograph of your parents, laughing? Oh yes. A water bottle? Absolutely.

“friends to build your community” by Sasha on the couch in Mississauga


Monday December 22, 2014
9:12am
5 minutes
from grooveshark.com

I want to tell you something small. And massive. And yellow. I want to tell you about moving across ice, fawn legged, and reaching up to catch a tired branch and missing. I want to tell you about the shame in my hips, tight and sepia toned, how she hums when the nights are cold, how she moans when the fire has turned to embers. I want to tell you how I see the tired in your smile, how I see the memories of before and the forgetting of now. I want to tell you to stop reading the Tabloids, that slow drip of mediocrity, and I want to tell you that I won’t judge you if you don’t stop, but I will keep shoving books of poetry under your bed in hopes that you’ll find them when you’re most filled with longing.

“to listen to when feeling nostalgic” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday November 25, 2014
10:12pm
5 minutes
from a YouTube comment

I used to listen to my Walkman under my covers, pretending to be asleep. It was my only real radio phase. There was a doctor that would come on and council people about a whole slew of weird stuff. It electrified me. I couldn’t believe that people would come on the radio and say the kind of things that they said. I couldn’t believe that there was a place where you could listen to people’s voices, in all their beautiful vulnerability, and imagine their faces, the sound emerging from them – driving down an interstate, or leaning against a pillow, or looking out the window at the snow.

“Men can be really great allies” by Sasha at Kits Beach


Wednesday August 27, 2014
3:28pm
5 minutes
The Georgia Straight

I want to tell you that there’s a secret to success but really I think that “success” is a fraudulent notion to begin with.
I want to tell you to drink lots of water, because we’re made of it and it’s good for you and it allows you to feel your own tides, that wax and wane with your heart.
I want to tell you that there’s lots to be afraid of, but don’t be afraid. When you’re afraid your muscles tense and when your muscles tense it’s so much harder to be free.
I want to tell you that there’s no secret recipe to keep you young, or full-hearted. The things that help, though, are being outside, with trees, and good conversations with people you trust.

“lease holders and approved occupants” by Sasha on her floor


Wednesday August 20, 2014
10:15pm
5 minutes
from an apartment memorandum

I find the skeleton
The big one
Bigger than the one that stood on Mr. Reynolds desk in Grade 12 Biology
Bigger than your new nephew
Six months old
Eyes brown like his mother’s
I find the skeleton
You’ve been wishing the tide would take
It hasn’t
The moon isn’t on the side of deception
She’s on the side of the ocean
Who is relentless
And forgiving
Your skeleton is a hand-me-down
Don’t forget that
He sings the unsung song of your father
And I have compassion for that
I find the skeleton and I take him out
I close the closet he came from
I put him in the garden beside the chives

“No, that was so wide!” by Julia at Grand beach


Saturday, July 19, 2014
5:28pm
5 minutes
overheard a Grand Beach


So those two were shooting a soccer ball, right? Right at us, no less. But we weren’t worried, obviously, cause they were kids, you know? Just two little rug rats trying to have fun. But thennnnnn, I’m telling you, it all got weird. Cause Madelyn is laying beside me and she has no idea what could happen, and suddenly, without warning, that damn soccer ball comes flying right at us. Right at Maddy! And Mad’s asleep cause that woman can sleep through a tsunami, knock on wood. She has no idea it’s coming, but I know she’s still sensitive from that jaw surgery she just had. Okay, okay, you got me, it was still sensitive because of the lip injections she had over the weekend. She was trying not to tell anyone about it because she was worried people would start calling her names or saying she was fake. You know how many women get lip injections? More than you would even know, and you wouldn’t even know this one if I didn’t open up my big ass mouth just to tell you my wife’s little secrets. Anyway! So I dive right?

“Anytime. Anywhere. Anything” by Julia on the subway going east


Friday May 16, 2014
8:20pm
5 minutes
from the side of a van

I’ve got you
Under my skin
I don’t know but somehow
I let you in
And if you went
A little deeper
You would see what
I was keeping there
I can’t hide
Not anymore
The wound is peeled
And you can see to my core
And if you stayed a little longer
You would taste
what I was feeling there

The lights are on
and I’m exposed like a secret
The world is quiet and that’s
The way I try to keep it
Ask me no questions
I’ll tell you great lies
The answers are twisted
The avoidance of whys
And an actor is born
Out of flesh and
Of pain
And we all struggle
To bear the truth we witness
Without placing the blame
In safety
And in vulnerability
I tell you this
I tell you


I’ve got you
Under my skin
I don’t know but somehow
I let you in
And if you went
A little deeper
You would see what
I was keeping there

“set yourself on fire” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday May 13, 2014
6:20pm
5 minutes
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
Stars


It was out of extreme desperation but I was no longer happy with anything about my face. So I decided.
I decided to change the way I see myself. Change the way the world sees me because of the way I see me.
So I decided.
I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it. I couldn’t risk my aunt or my mother finding out. Of course not my grandma. They’d kill me before they let me do something like that. And that would then defeat the purpose of re-branding myself.
My grandma always loved my hair. My mom always did too. My aunt was a hair-dresser and thought I did something right in my former life to have the head of hair that I had.
And so I decided.
I lit a candle. One that smelled of fig and honey.
And it was nice, and I was enjoying myself.
And then I slowly dipped a strand or two into the flickering flame.
It sizzled. And I snapped my head back out of impulse.
Then somehow found the secret strength of carrying out plans to completion when it’s for nobody but me.
And I put more hair into the flame, smelling no longer like fig and honey, but like burning.
So I decided it would be dramatic.
Because I’m dramatic.
Because I’m so goddamn dramatic.
And I let the flames engulf my pretty hair until I could feel the heat deep in my scalp.
That’s when I smothered it.

“I’d known better” by Julia on her couch


Monday May 12, 2014
12:02am
5 minutes
Stethocsope
A short story by Ben Mauk


Oh yeah I was flying, it wasn’t a dream, I really was.
You can bet on that kind of stuff.
The stuff that feels real but isn’t.
The stuff that you wish was fake, but can’t be.
I once flew in a dream and oh yeah, it was magical.
I was able to get myself off the ground with a couple of good and happy thoughts the way Mary Martin taught me.
I went searching for someone I shouldn’t have been searching for.
He comes up a lot.
Sort of in my mind the way a fly buzzes in your ear, flies into it, out of nowhere.
You try to swat it away.
I do. I try to swat it away.
He comes up a lot.
He comes up so much.
Those are the times the empty feeling of guilt doesn’t haunt my sleep, or my waking states.
Those are the times the guilt doesn’t get to penetrate because I earned the free pass.
From loving him all those years.
From jumping off a tall building and landing in my own heart.
So I see him when I’m not expecting him.
And sometimes I tell him all my secrets even though he already knows them.
I don’t know how he knows but he knows.
He feels the same way about me, sometimes finding me in my dreams too.
And we meet there with a bow tied around the moment so no one tries to unwrap it and waste it.

“do not expose” by Sasha in her bed


Sunday April 6, 2014
12:34am
5 minutes
from the back of a pack of gum

He found a letter from his father, to his mother, in her underwear drawer. It remained in the envelope in which it had arrived. The postmark read “August 2001”. Thirteen years ago He was looking for a bra, one with three small hooks on the back. He wanted to practise opening it. He’d put it on one of Ella’s life-sized dolls and try his best. That way, when it came time to take off Katherine’s, he’d be really good at it. But, he got distracted. he found that letter from his father, to his mother. Her line had always been, “Your father took off when you were five, and that was that.” Ella asked questions, sometimes, but it just made their mother pissed off. “That was that,” was supposed to suffice. He felt the hot rush of adrenaline, of being caught, of finding out the truth. He felt bad for his mother. He felt bad for himself. He tucked it into the pocket of his shorts and went up to his room, bra completely forgotten. He sat on his bed and read the first line. “Dear Reece, I’m sorry I’ve been such a stranger.”

“Spilled secrets” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Wednesday March 26, 2014
10:39pm
5 minutes
Atlantic Business Magazine
Jan/Feb 2014


of course there are spilled secrets all over this place. you think i don’t know that? I know that. I know everything about this place. when i was little i used to run this place. you’re laughing but you don’t understand. i was in and out of room corners and closets and hiding everywhere. nobody knew where to find me and i was damn good at staying hidden until i knew no one was watching for me to come out. that’s how i learned about everyone and everything because i got real good at keeping my mouth shut and my ears wide wide open. i got good at breathing with my mind and not with my lungs. i know about each wall plastered with its tiny mosaics of truth and shame. i know about mom trying to hide the pistol and about dad shouting out for annabell, my sister before he went and not me. i know more than you can possibly imagine. and everyone knows one thing or two, but not me. i know each fold in each sheet like it was my nanny, i know each speckle on each mirror like my own shadow. i could fill rooms of books with what i know here. and that’s why i’m so hell bent on leaving now. not that anyone would stop me..not anyone but the secrets. they whisper to me when i sleep. they haunt my dreams like nightmares that are made up by crazy men in their libraries. only they’re real. they’re so real they could kill me just by being in my head. i have a song i sing right before bed so i don’t hear them. i had to invent something when i was young to make sure they didn’t.

“I believe that life is…” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday March 12, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
10:07am
5 minutes
A writing group warm-up led by Dianne

I believe that life is made up of tiny insignificant dust particles that when stitched together form a quilt of all the moments we pretend we don’t see–or pretend don’t even exist.
I believe that when we close our eyes in the middle of a moment, we capture it better, giving over to the shutter bug in our insides that is in charge of all the remembering.
I believe that life is this: tiny moments, tiny dust, tiny realizations every second– that when we allow them, transform into not so tiny anythings…but the best kinds of love, of want, of joy, of happiness, of pain, of mess, of sorrow, of learning, of flying, of forgiveness, of seeing.
I believe that life is longer than we let it be and more important than we sometimes treat it, that John Steinbeck’s East Of Eden has the secrets to the universe, to this life we’re jumping in and out of, and that if read slow enough and in the right light, we see the God that we wish we knew.

“He Was A Spy” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday January 21, 2014
9:54pm
5 minutes
Tweet from The New York Times

He sat on the edge of the bed with one of those listening gun things. You know the ones that are attached to a wire and you can plug headphones in, and then when you point it and hold down the…I don’t know, I don’t want to say trigger, but, I think that’s in fact what it is…anyway you trigger it or whatever and it amplifies the sound of whatever it’s being pointed at? He was trying to listen to Nadia’s phone call through the wall. And I think it was working because he would giggle every few seconds as if he could understand. I didn’t like that he was doing it. I mean, I know he doesn’t care about Nadia, nor can he understand her thick accent. He just likes that his stupid contraption works. I just worry that if he were spying on her, then maybe he’d be spying on our kids, and maybe me. It’s times like that I have to think back to every moment I thought I was alone in the house, and retrace my thoughts to make sure I didn’t say anything incriminating. I generally like to consider myself a good person, but what if I slip, like we all do? What if I’ve said some things I just didn’t mean, or just didn’t mean to say aloud when I thought no one was around. You’d think that if he…found out anything….that maybe he’d confront me about it. Or he’s saving any and all information to use against me when I least expect it.

“For their swim records” by Sasha at Brooklyn College


Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at Brooklyn College
4:55pm
5 minutes
Super Fish Thorpe
Kaci Tami


How are you being so fucking calm! What the fuck? I found your passport. I found your hiding spot. I found the letter and the blow and your stupid knife! Vinny! Listen to me! I, I… You said you weren’t going back there. You fucking promised. Now, I’m all, I’m all homeless and you’re… you’re fucking around with those dumb, cross-eyed brothers! I don’t care if it’s over and we’re, we’re… over! You made a promise! They’ve got nothing for you. All they’ve got is trouble, and that bubbly water that’s not even good for you. People think it’s fancy but I heard someone say that it’s not. It upsets your stomach. Vinny. Okay. I’m, I’m going to pick up Gio from swimming class. When I get back I want you to have some kind of cool and collected response for me. You’ve got, like, forty five minutes. Get it together.

“The way we judge” by Sasha on her bed


Monday, October 7, 2013
11:35pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz


Amy and Dan’s therapist told them to trade secrets. They set aside five minutes on Monday night to do so.

Amy: Do you ever see someone on the street and think that they’d… taste good? I mean, not sexually. I mean, like, that if you licked their arm, they’d probably taste like… pie?
Dan: Nope… But, I respect that you do. I mean, that’s weird, but –
Amy: You aren’t supposed to judge –
Dan: I’m not! I was just saying… I like that you see strangers and want to lick them.
Amy: That’s not what I said! This isn’t working.
Dan: Don’t say that. Remain hopeful. I’m going to go. Phew. Okay… Sometimes I, well, I never want to lick people, but… occasionally I want to, like, touch their hair. Okay. If I’m being perfectly honest, I want to braid their hair.
Amy: You know how to braid?

“Toronto had one film festival.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, October 5, 2013
1:43am
5 minutes
From an article in the VIA Rail Destinations magazine September/October 2013/

People are writing their secrets on the leaves of the big maple behind City Hall. It’s starting to turn, autumn sweeping her mysterious paintbrush across it. There’s a jar at the base of the tree, I put it there, filled with coloured pens. A plaque sits behind the jar, she made it, and reads, “Tell us your secrets.” She has curly, goddess penmanship and makes writing on wood with a Sharpie look like an ancient Japanese art form. We wait, perched in a chamber with an overlooking window. “Let’s stay for three days,” she says, sipping Earl Grey from a travel mug. The first person comes and reads the plaque and walks away. A couple, in somewhat matching plaid jackets, smiles at eachother. The each take a leaf, low down and write and wait, and write and wait. I trust this tree more than any person. He’s been listening to my secrets since before I was born.

“The thing is this, Eddie,” by Julia on her couch


Monday, July 29, 2013
12:00am
5 minutes
Jack Maggs
Peter Carey


Shelly wanted to flip her hair out the way she had watched Skyla do it a million times. Sky said it was so easy and Shelly just nodded her head and waited till she was alone to practice. Skyla was better at it. She was born that way, Shelly assumed. She wasn’t one of those people that when they’re young they don’t know about shaving their legs until grade 9. Skyla knew about all the stuff a woman is supposed to know about early on. Maybe she was even the first. She had everything that Shelly wanted. Shelly tried to wear pink lipgloss and tweeze her eyebrows when she saw that Skyla’s had a more defined arch than her own. She was told specifically that she was not to wear mascara until high school, so Shelly used vaseline instead, just the way Skyla taught her, and the way just being alive taught Skyla. She wondered if people like Skyla ever had to deal with acne, or even freckles. She didn’t even want to hear the answer to that dilemma as if the response alone would kill her dead in her knobby knees. Skyla was not above giving lessons, but even her beauty sessions came at a price. Skyla always told the girls, “You show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.”

“I’ll tell you anything you want to know” by Julia at her kitchen table


Saturday April 27, 2013
2:13am
5 minutes
The Dark Half
Stephen King


I’m good at keeping everyone’s secrets.
But my own.
My own are those dark ones, half night ones.
The ones that slip out in conversation.
For the sake of a story.
For the sake of a laugh.
Sometimes.
It’s sort of crazy.
How easy I am with them.
Thought I’d save the good ones for a poem, or a novel.
Maybe I’ll always have enough to go around.
Keep doing things that I should be ashamed about.
Keep making sure that I’m making my mark.
I’m good at keeping everyone’s promises.
But my own.
My own are those light ones, half day ones.
The ones that get put on a list and then never crossed off.
The ones that wait for tomorrow because, hey, tomorrow is coming, right?
For the sake of someone else’s story.
For the sake of someone else’s laugh.
Always.
It’s not helpful.
I have stories and dreams and secrets and goals.
All of them sound the same when they’re held under water.
When they can see their own reflection and still want to keep looking…
I’ll tell you anything you want to know.
About how bad I am.
About how much I need to work.
About how I’m the only one who ever made these mistakes.

“Smear out the last star.” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, April 17, 2013
1:02am
5 minutes
Absences
Dom Moraes


You fill me with so many secrets that keep me from being able to actually think about whether or not, one day, we’ll move to Belize and have a fruit stand, as partners (not lovers), as best friends, as allies in this almost-apocalypse. Let’s forget about the time I yelled like a woman who’d lost her legs, and the time that I told you I hated you more than I’ve ever hated anyone ever. It’s a complicated thing, this, and that, too. Yeah. But… You take me the way I am. You don’t add cream or sugar. You take me still rusty, still dirty, still clumsy, still wondering. You fill my belly with secrets that haven’t ever breathed before. I’ve never met anyone who has the courage to do this. If you were a man, or a lesbian, I would be so desperately in love with you, I’d probably die, because my heart wouldn’t be able to sustain the kind of beating it would do in your heavenly presence. I love you like that. Even though you aren’t a man. Screw it. Let’s go to Belize. I don’t care that we can’t afford plane tickets. We’ll hitchhike, we’ll walk, we’ll double ride on that ridiculous folding bike you just bought.