“The children are the adventure now.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday December 7, 2017
11:17pm
5 minutes
Mating in Captivity
Esther Perel

I want to take Shayla to the Swiss Alps. I want to hike in the mountains with her and take photographs. I want us to sleep in side-by-side twin beds and talk until one of us falls asleep. When she was little, three to six, I had to stay with her until she fell asleep and she’d want me to talk the whole time. I would start by telling her a story, and then I would tell her things about my day – cucumbers on sale for a dollar each, Charlie’s bad breath, the stress of trying to keep up when everyone seems to be getting younger while I’m just getting greyer. If I stopped, even for a moment to think of what to say next, her blue eyes would pop open and she’d cock her head a little, like, “What are you trying to pull here, Mom?” I’ve been saving. Tickets to Switzerland are expensive, and it’s not like I have a lot of extra cash just sitting around.

“Calls of guilty thrown at me” by Sasha at her desk

Monday November 27, 2017
10:51pm
5 minutes
Cherry Wine
Hozier

Mariah Carey makes me think about the Christmas that Ken dressed up as Santa and got wasted. Her Christmas album was playing, that must’ve been it. I don’t know what Ken was thinking. Dressing up was Dad’s thing. He found the suit when he was looking for tinsel in the garage and I guess he just couldn’t help himself. He was already starting to lose weight, so he wrapped a bungee cord around his waist as a belt to keep the pants up. Dad was a bit pissed, but he got over it and I think he actually was relieved that he didn’t have to sweat his balls off in that suit for four hours.

“Orange County wild fire” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday November 26, 2017
9:41pm
5 minutes
From an Instagram post

Vivian isn’t sure if anyone will remember her name. This is a big fear, taking up the space between temples, up neck, across shoulders. Fredrick suggested that she take some sort of weekly class, and at first she said that they didn’t have enough money and then she came around. Fredrick is virtuously patient. That’s the main reason she married him. She also very much likes his hands and feet. She parks near the entrance and checks her face in the rear view mirror. She isn’t sure what she’s looking for – salad in her teeth? She hasn’t eaten salad since last Tuesday. Fredrick was surprised when she chose a pottery class because she doesn’t like getting dirty. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.

“Orange County wild fire” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 26, 2017
9:25pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Aunt Lisa calls my brother’s phone because she’s afraid of talking to me. I would be afraid of me too if I were her. But right now I want to talk to her. She doesn’t know what kind of mood I’m in; what kind of wisdom I’m tapping into. Keith puts the phone on speaker and Aunt Lisa, whispering, tells him, “You don’t have to tell your sister.” I grab the phone from his palm and I flip off the speaker phone. “I’m not doing this with you, Lisa. You will get the pendant dad wanted you to have and that is it. Okay? Stop trying to get your grubby hands on anything else.” After I hang up, Keith is staring at me. “Is that what dad would have wanted? Don’t you think we’re supposed to be coming together right now?” I almost feel bad for him. “She’ll take the skin off your back if you leave it open.”

“Can we burn something, babe?” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday November 23, 2017
11:29pm
5 minutes
Love On The Brain
Rihanna

Larry drinks a macchiato sitting at the bar drawing hangmen on a napkin waiting for Liz to arrive. She’s notoriously late. He’s spoken to her about it twice and each time she says that she’s sorry and that she’s trying to change. Maybe it’s because his father was in the army and if he was ever late for anything he’d get a slap on the side of the head maybe it’s because his father loathed him most of all more than his three brothers and one sister. He fumes. He checks his phone again and nothing from Liz nothing from Liz only the same old time and date and three unread emails he’s avoiding from work fucking Cathy and her meeting notes fuck fuck fuck.

“Acceptable for Breakfast” by Sasha at Moii Cafe

Saturday November 4, 2017 at Moii Cafe
4:45pm
5 minutes
Smittenkitchen.com

My Mom and Angel have completely different ideas of what’s acceptable for breakfast. My Mom believes that sugary cereals and bacon are only appropriate for Sundays. Every other day has to contain whole grains. Angel will slather anything, and I really mean anything, in Nutella. She loves the stuff. My Mom goes on and on about how much crap Angel eats, but how she keeps the body of “Cindy Crawford”. I don’t tell her that I have no idea who that is. Gotta add that to my Google List. Whenever I have access to my Mom’s computer, or Bruce’s tablet, I go through my Google List and check off the things that have been accomplished.

“my mother gave me his toolbox” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday Novermber 1, 2017
11:34pm
5 minutes
My Father’s Hammer
John Hodgen

Emma opens the toolbox and smiles, thinking about how Jim would make a joke about how organized she keeps it. “Take after yer mother on that one, that’s for sure,” he’d say. It’s two years to the day since they last spoke. She was riding her bike home from work, and she pulled over to answer her phone because she thought it might be Zac. When she saw that it was her father, she thought about not answering and she feels so guilty about that. She did, though. That’s what Libby always reminds her of. She did answer.

“tired of having sex only with me” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 31, 2017
10:52pm
5 minutes
A Few Portals
Debbie Urbanski

It’s okay
You say
Brushing my hair out of my face
Can’t stop crying
Won’t stop crying

Joy
Shhh
You say
And I breathe in your smell
Applesauce and bicycle tires

I go into the bathroom
Splash water on my face
Let it run down my neck
You knock on the door

Go away
I say
I will not
You say
I love you
I say

You make us bagels and cream cheese
I don’t want tomato

“It goes on one at a time” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday October 28, 2017
5:41pm
5 minutes
The Low Road
Marge Piercy

Probably should’ve thought it through, you think, swelling hard. You taste last night’s tequila and Doritos. You should never have drunk that much, or eaten all those chips. When you drink, you overeat. That’s what Stu used to say. Fuck you, Stu. You flush the toilet another time, just in case Candice is in there staring at herself in the mirror. If you had a dollar for every time you catch her making a duck face at herself. Holy shit. You should go down to Starbucks and get a coconut water. You’re dehydrated, that’s all.

“She insisted I make no special concession” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Wednesday October 25, 2017

3:21am

Swing Low

Miriam Toews

Invited me over for tea and sandwiches

Said the sandwiches are going to be first priority and tea very much second

I didn’t know what that meant

I went over for tea and sandwiches

hoping for a few easy laughs

crusts cut off and tucked away

Opened the door and shushed me upon entry

Said the baby was sleeping

But there is no baby

Led me into the dining room and turned off the light

Turned off all the lights

Sat me down in the middle of the room and asked me all my thoughts on God and grape jelly

The tea didn’t make an appearance at all

The sandwiches might have only been a metaphor

Nobody was allowed to use the toilet

Take escape in the next room over

The only one that had a lock

“being interviewed” by Sasha on the plane

Tuesday October 24, 2017
6:32pm
5 minutes
From a tweet

Miriam closes her eyes and prays. She would never tell anyone that she does this, a few times a day. It’s new for her and she holds new things close, a smooth black rock in her pocket. She would specify though, if she did tell you, that she isn’t praying to God. She prays to the sky, the colour of raspberry jam right now, sprawling wider than she’s ever seen. She wonders if Dad will still be alive when she gets there. She only brought a carry-on, even though she’s unsure how long she’ll stay. However long it takes. “Some things can’t be rushed,” Dad used to say when they’d be waiting for a calf to be born, clutching thermoses of hot peppermint tea, their breath dancing through the icy barn.

“research purposes only” by Sasha at the casita

Sunday October 22, 2017
6:04pm
5 minutes
From an Air Canada survey

“It’s just for research,” Jonah says, and for some reason I don’t totally believe him. “Would you like another beer?” He has long eyelashes. He has a disarming smile. I shake my head.

He calls me three days later. I’m not sure how he got my phone number, and I don’t ask. Am I doing the thing that I roll my eyes at? Shit. I am. I’m doing the thing.

“What exactly are you researching?” I ask, popping a tortilla chip in my mouth.

“Cultural anthropology,” Jonah says, checking his phone, and then putting it on the table face-down.

“I wanted to go on sitting there” by Julia on the 84

Friday October 20, 2017
6:10pm
5 minutes
Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurer

Kenneth and I haven’t spoken since last winter and he knows why. I don’t like it when people call me sensitive when I’m just feeling my feelings. I don’t go around telling everyone who seems to be under reacting that they’re insensitive. They’re entitled to their own way of expression. Obviously. I’m not trying to take that away. But Kenneth knows how I feel about the word and how I don’t like being labelled emotional when I am simply being alive. Yes, of course it goes back to high school. The girls thought I was a loose cannon, fine, that’s what I became. I put on a real show for them too. Throwing pencil cases and screaming, crying a lot. They thought I was a nut job. And to hear someone say that I’m sensitive after knowing that the word only sticks a knife into my heart, really makes me whirl. I wish I could have stayed still, sat there without bubbling up, but I’m not that kind of person. And yet I am a kind person. And he was wrong to try to tell me how to respond. He was wrong to even put me in the position. Anyway he’s probably enjoying Gran’s oatmeal crisp right now. Sitting happy and quiet without me.

“Better questions to ask are” by Sasha at the beach

Wednesday October 18, 2017
1:17pm
5 minutes
You Can Heal Your Life
Louise Hay

Margot isn’t sure about egg salad sandwiches. She isn’t sure if she likes that Mrs. Jenkins puts tiny pieces of cut up pickle in, as well as red peppers, and gherkins. Before she leaves for school Margot checks her brown paper bag to see if it’s going to be egg salad, tuna salad, peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese, or salami sandwich day. Those are the sandwiches that Mrs. Jenkins makes. Margot notices that it means there’s no repeats in the school week, but that Mondays aren’t always egg salad and Tuesdays aren’t always tuna and so on and so forth.

“Show them yourself, your highness” by Julia on the 99

Monday October 16, 2017
10:39pm
5 minutes
from a dream

She opens the door and stands back as she gestures for me to enter. The door is covered in cobwebs. I’m supposed to be impressed? She clears her throat and then starts down the foyer. Her heels are click clacking and I imagine what her tongue looks like when she’s disappointed in someone. I don’t want her to see me looking around so I don’t but I clock everything. Listen for grandfather to signal me the hour. Even time is shrouded in mystery here. She brings me to a tiny room and shows me in. She waits at the door while I put down my bag. I think I’m meant to gasp or cover my mouth in honest surprise. She glares at me with anticipation and I’m still not sure if I’m allowed to speak. Suddenly the door slams shut and she is nowhere to be found. I am acutely aware now that she was waiting for me to leave. The lock thuds in the door. I understand how it looked like I was staying. She sealed the deal for me.

“She is giant and bossy and funny as hell.” By Sasha at the casita

Saturday, October 14, 2017
2:10pm
5 minutes
From a text

Darla, you gotta meet her. She’s giant and bossy and funny as hell. When you get her going she will not stop. She will make joke after joke until you really have to say, “Darla, you must be quiet. You must stop talking!” She must be close to six feet, and she’s got the biggest breasts anyone has ever seen. It’s problematic only for those of us that come up to her nipples and have a bard time seeing her face. She has this great bit about how both her parents are half a foot shorter than her, her father being shorter than her mother and how maybe her Mom actually fucked the big friendly giant.

“It was a wild weekend” by Julia on her couch

Friday October 13, 2017

5:33pm

5 minutes

cnn.com

Holy balls I can’t hear out of my left ear and I am not even mad. I thought I would be devastated if I lost my hearing but I’m fine. I think that’s what happens when you get older. When the real things matter. Anyway I’m not even bragging just trying to make peace with the things that are out of my control. Been cleaning more these days. Been organizing everything I can. They say it’s best to organize things that don’t have a heart beat. Cause you can’t control anything with one but sometimes you still need to put things in their perfect order. I’m upset that Lara is sick. She won’t tell me how bad it is but I know she’s been going to the doctor’s office more and more. At first I thought she was just pregnant. That would have been a whole different jar of worms and I think it’s safe to say now that a baby would not be the solution.

“I’d be fucking rocked if I were you.” By Sasha at Casa Violeta

Wednesday October 11, 2017
12:10pm
5 minutes
From a text

I know it’s good news. I know that I should be happy. I know that you’ll act like you are, that’s for sure. But under that veneered surface smile congratulations, you’ll be wondering what it means for you. You’ll be wondering if it will mean that we have to move again, or be separated again, or … again again.

“I don’t have to take it,” I say, and you kiss me on the cheek.

“I’m just going to run to the bathroom real quick. Let’s talk about all the options, babe.” You say.

“Okay, I say… again again.

“All in your head” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore

Monday October 9, 2017
11:56pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the Tim Hortons

“It’s all in your head,” they said. “You’re making it up,” they said. “You’re so sensitive,” they said. “Meditate,” they said. “Take a yoga class,” they said. “Try no screens after dinner,” they said. “Drink this tea,” they said. “Go to a healer with long white hair and small eyes and breath that smells like mushrooms,” they said. (They didn’t, but they may as well have). “Don’t eat sugar,” they said. “Don’t eat nightshades,” they said. “Don’t think negative thoughts,” they said. “Re-position your bed according to the Mayan calendar,” they said.

“before we found our planet” by Sasha on the couch at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday October 4, 2017
10:01am
5 minutes
The Enemy Stars
Poul Anderson

Before we found our planet we chased shooting stars and solar flares before breakfast. We did not know the saltiness of addiction – heartache – betrayal. Before we knew the taste of first kiss, we knew blue, the true meaning, gold, the weight and scope of it. Some might call it alchemy, but we call it morning.

Turning the page, our children (by which I mean all the children here not the ones I’ve borne, in fact, I cannot tell the difference, all their faces are innocence and power, curiousity and wisdom)… Turning the page, our children laugh at the nostalgia for a time before time. They wrinkle their little brows at Milky Way and ask for a glass of water.

“Vampire bats also appear” by Julia on the 84

Tuesday October 3, 2017
6:52pm
5 minutes
Dust
Charles Pellegrino

Kinney and I are taking her boys trick or treating tomorrow night. They refused to go with Chet and I don’t blame them. He looks like Beetle Juice to me too. K thinks we should dress up as vampires or something. She doesn’t want to go as Mom for Halloween when she goes as Mom for everyday. I’ll wear your clothes and go as you, I tell her. I don’t want to be a bat. Fine, she says her eyes dead in thought, you give me your fishnets and I’ll go as you. I don’t wear those anymore, I say, but Kinney doesn’t care. She’s dreaming up a costume that has less to do with me and more to do with her enacting some fantasy of me. In her mind I’m the fun one. In her mind that means wearing fishnets. I don’t want to burst her bubble.

“finally coming home” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Thursday, September 21, 2017
11:14am
5 minutes
From a text

Glen makes himself a peanut butter sandwich and wishes that Heather wasn’t allergic. If Heather wasn’t allergic he could bring this glorious sticky mess to work everyday and wouldn’t have to mess with salami or havarti. Glen always thinks of his mother when he packs a lunch. She packed his lunches for twelve years, and then when he moved out and went to community college, he began to pack his own. He followed her formula though – sandwich, fruit, something salty (corn nuts, tortilla chips, or almonds) or something sweet (a chocolate chip cookie, a few jujubes, a fruit leather). Her name is also Heather. HEATHER. He never knew that heather was a flower until after she died. His mother. Not the other one.

“Get me the hell off this bus” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Saturday September 16, 2017
9:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

“Get me the hell off this bus!!!!”

“Open the back door, please.”

“Driver, open the back door!”

Bang bang bang on the window and finally the driver stops and he doesn’t open the back door. He walks towards the back, past baby carriage and a printer in a box and a very fat man with a very kind face and children holding onto their parents’ hands and a woman in a leapord print shirt drinking a grapefruit juice box.

“What’s going on back here?”

“That was my stop! That was my stop! Now I’ve missed my stop!”

“Calm down please, or I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

“never been good at multitasking” by Sasha at the kitchen table


Sunday September 10, 2017
10:56pm
5 minutes
From a text

You’ve never been good at multitasking, sweet one track mind. You complete tasks one-by-one, diligent and focused. If something gets in your way, say, a phone call or the toaster dinging, you are off course, whirling into oblivion. You’ll put on some Eartha Kitt and dance around the living room. You’ll eat blueberry jam from the jar, fridge door open. You’ll call me at work, and ask if I can talk and tell me how one day you’d really like to go to space. I laugh, and say I have to get back to work. You say, “Shit. Me too.”

“drove up to the prison” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday August 30, 2017
11:49pm
5 minutes
This American Life episode 282

I never thought that I would, I mean, I never knew that… Wait. Can I start over? I don’t know… I’m not good when I’m on the spot. I finished high school, even started community college something but I can’t… I’m nervous. If Jay was here I’d be… I’d be… I drove up to the prison last Saturday, for visits… Went all alone. Sometimes his mama wants to come and I’m not gonna deny her that, she has the right to see her son. She doesn’t drive so… It’s hard. It’s hard.

“He presses a button” by Sasha in her bed


Tuesday August 29, 2017
10:02pm
5 minutes
From VO sides

He presses a button and the ceiling opens. Tens of thousands of butterflies swirl like soft serve ice cream. All shades of purple and blue, all moving and swimming and flying and wow wow I’ve never I’ve never. I smile and it feels really good because it’s been days since I smiled and that’s not normal for me. Jim looks over. “I told you,” he says, and it’s true, he did tell me and I didn’t believe him because who would who really would if they said what Jim said I mean Jim says a lot of stuff and it’s not always true. I never knew that a place like this could be be be here. I never knew that Jim, of all people, would have the key, hanging around his neck like something he maybe got at a garage sale. The sky turns dark and the butterflies disappear I can’t imagine where they go and Jim says, “We had better get back.”

“finding my people in unexpected places” by Julia on the 99


Monday August 28, 2017
3:50pm
5 minutes
Bad Feminist
Roxane Gay


In the bathroom stall at the gym, I stick my fingers up myself to help stimulate my bowels. My cousin, Trina, taught me this trick one day during the commercial break for Days Of Our Lives. I was eleven and she was thirteen. “You’d think twice a week would be enough but it’s not. You’d also think you should stick your hand up the back but this is way more forgiving!”
Trina showed me a lot of things. Like how to make out with the silky skin in the crook of my elbow for practice, or how not to move the shower head from my clit the second I started to like it.
Without thinking I let slip a tiny groan. The woman in the stall beside me sighs.
“I get it, girl. Been trying since Tuesday over here.”

“Back then baby it didn’t seem so strange” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday August 16, 2017
7:03pm
5 minutes
Dearly Departed
Shakey Graves


When Saturday came, we loaded up the truck with all the butter lettuce, quarts of berries, cherry tomatoes. We didn’t speak much. Tuned the radio to something like Johnny Cash and wiped the sleep from our eyes and set into town. Gram would watch Milo and Greta. We learned early that if they came to market we couldn’t sell as fast. Greta cried when we said that she could only come if Gram wanted to

“The waters here” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday August 19, 2017
1:12pm
5 minutes
The Lonely Planet Bali and Lombok

It hasn’t rained in ninety days. Pap checks off each one that passes by on the calendar beside his chair and we wait we wait we wait we wait. Nothing to do but wait. Gemma’s read all of Nancy Drew and I’ve got her knitting mittens for the winter. She’s almost done. These poor kids, they can’t go outside. Too hot. Too dry. Rusty goes, he can’t help himself, but he comes in coughing and wheezing and Pap looks to me like it’s my fault I didn’t chain him down.

“When your music ends” by Sasha on her balcony


Sunday August 6, 2017
6:27pm
5 minutes
Spotify

Jonah’s got a case of the Monday’s and it’s not even noon. He asked Trev for a BJ to get the day started and Trev just looked at him like, “WUT?” They were out of eggs so Jonah couldn’t even have his “in it to win it breakfast”. Screw you, Monday.

Ever since he quit his job and started freelancing, Jonah tried his best to work from home for the first part of the day and then he went to Grump’s three blocks away. He likes the music they play. Nothing too heavy. He can’t work with anything too heavy playing

“I’m still on the boat.” By Sasha at her desk


Friday August 4, 2017
12:00pm
5 minutes
Sea Sick
Alanna Mitchell


When I go to sleep, I’m still on the boat. There’s a gentle rocking and it’s pure comfort. Nothing like it was in reality – nausea and puking. I wake up and walk to the toilet, and it’s like I’m finding my land legs again. It almost makes me nauseous. I can’t eat much for breakfast, even though Steve is on this diet where he eats a whole whack of protein right when he wakes up. Who wants to cook a steak at six thirty in the morning? I had to tell him to stop with the salmon.

“Rivers till I reach you” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday August 3, 2017
11:16pm
5 minutes
Rivers and Roads
The Head and the Heart


Rebecca starts walking to work in April and she feels like a real winner. Frankie gives her the once over and she rolls her eyes. “Come on, you like it,” he whispers. She doesn’t. She cocks her head to one side and says, “I will not let you take away my endorphins, Frank. Please go away.” He sneers. She never thought much of that word, but it’s the only one appropriate for Frank.

Rebecca thinks about reporting him to Diane in HR, but she’s worried about the backlash. Malinda once said something to Diane, and Diane laughed in her face. Doesn’t help that Diane is married to Frankie’s twin brother. She knows that he’s a creep, but he’s family. Nepotism is a carbon monoxide, Rebecca thinks, as she watches Frankie re-fill his coffee cup for the third time.

“associated with anticipated use” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday August 1, 2017
10:08pm
5 minutes
From a GOLDEN artist colours box

I collect plastic bags from the library and when no one’s looking I practise the breathing exercises that Jovi taught us. Did you know that the library gives away free plastic bags? None of that five cent baloney that everywhere else seems to have adopted. Jovi said to use a paper bag but those are hard to find with a mushroom phobia. All the plastic bags are all over the living room when Marnie comes over to pick up my contribution towards the stupid gift basket for Curtis – he has never said any one word to me and now I’m supposed to give a homemade item for his retirement gift basket, I mean COME ON.
“What happened here?” Marie asks in her nasal voice. Blow your nose, Marnie, I think. I hand her the chilli oil and scowl.

“A year ago, even six months ago, it would have been, but not now.” By Sasha on her couch


Wednesday July 19, 2017
11:49pm
5 minutes
Why I Write
George Orwell


A year ago, even six months ago, I wouldn’t have gotten involved in anything like that… but I rewound the tape of the answering machine about seventeen times. Jennie came into my room saying, “What is happening in here? Why do you keep rewinding – …” And then she heard what it said and she asked to hear it again, too.

I had a pretty decent life with Mom and Daddy. I did. I really did. But this little voice inside of me, that liked to dance between my heart and my throat, this little voice always wondered about my birth parents. When I’d ask Mom, she’d say, “We just don’t know, peanut,” and look disappointed.

“I’m superstitious” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday July 16, 2017
6:10pm
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


I’m not superstitious or anything but I mean, hit by lightning? In a place that hasn’t had rain in almost five months? I’m sorry… That’s some sort of sign. The doctors keep asking what I felt in that moment, when I was struck, and there’s aren’t words for it. A hot shower? A wild kiss? Shaving your head? I think I said all those things, but they don’t do it, they can’t explain. They say that once you’ve been hit you’re more likely to be hit again.

“Stanley stepped carefully” by Sasha at work


Friday July 14, 2017
2:17pm
5 minutes
Holes
Louis Sacher


Stanley carefully stepped into the water. He wasn’t sure about any of this. When Uncle Jim had asked if he would like to come with them to the beach that weekend, instead of staying in the city, he hadn’t said yes. Babs, Stanley’s mother, had quickly chimed in, “He would love to!” Stanley knew that Babs wanted some time to herself, to take a bath, eat some salt and vinegar chips, maybe watch a rom com. He didn’t blame her. Moreover, Stanley knew that Jim was a good influence on him. Stanley had never swum in the ocean before, despite living four hours away. Babs was once violently stung by a jellyfish, so she had no interest in a beach vacation.

“it’s too much sugar” by Sasha on the 17


Tuesday July 11, 2017
4:46pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the ride share

Gemima says that sometimes she goes to Church and gets turned on hearing the pastor speak about Heaven and Hell and demons and Mother Mary. She always eats Reese’s before going to Church. There’s a ceremonial feeling to unwrapping the three cups, laying them out on the kitchen table. She even says a quick grace. Her father didn’t let them eat any candy growing up because he was convinced that his sister had gotten throat cancer from constantly sucking on peppermint candies.

“he finally asked me if I wanted these defects of character removed” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday July 8, 2017
12:51am
5 minutes
Alcoholics Anonymous

“He finally asked me if I wanted these defects of character removed and I said, ‘Yes, yes I do’. He looked me deep in the eye like there was something beyond, like there was gold inside me, and he said, ‘Okay, please follow me’. I followed him down a long hallway, the longest hallway I have ever walked. Finally, we got to a yellow door. ‘Open the door,’ he said and so I did. Inside was a big white room. A woman greeted us. ‘Would you like a glass of water, Alice?’ She asked. ‘Why, yes,’ I said, ‘I am parched.’ The man smiled. It was a smile that was neither here nor there but also where and who… That’s what I thought. That’s what I remember thinking. Saying it now I know it doesn’t make logical sense, but something about this place was not at all logical.”

“I didn’t want to wait in that line either” by Sasha at work


Friday July 7, 2017
12:55pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Vancouver international airport

Marylou is sure that the recycling bin needs to be on the curb by 7AM.
She drinks her smoothie (banana, coconut water, pineapple, some protein powder) and wonders if Derek is going to take it out or if she should. Again.
Marylou sees Earl across the street wheeling out his and Anne’s bin. He’s whistling. Marylou wonders what his bum looks like, under his khaki shorts.

“I thought you had it” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday July 3, 2017
1:09am
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

If you’re going to get upset, well, I don’t know Polly, I just don’t. I don’t know what to say… Just take a deep breath, would ya, no one’s dying.

Let’s retrace your steps… First you went to the market to get the eggs, right? And then down to the daycare to drop off Iris? Okay. And then what? Where’d you go next…

But by the time you got to the bank you said you lost the envelope with the deposit, Polly, so I’m a bit confused! We called the market and no one saw anything. They are good people there, they wouldn’t have taken it.

“Popeye was right!” By Sasha at her desk


Friday June 16, 2017
10:46pm
5 minutes
La Dolce Vegan
Sarah Kramer


When your mother brings home Steve, the third potential stepfather, you are immediately sceptical of his black goatee and reddish, greying hair. You know that that is not how nature works. Steve is the “assistant manager” (oh-kay) at the mechanic on the corner of First and MacDonald. His brother is the owner. His brother, according to Michelle St. Bernard, is almost a millionaire. Something about good investments, or the stock market, or Atlantic City. You and Tina kick each other under the table as your mother giggles at Steve’s jokes. You get a few of them, and want to laugh because they are not half bad, but you don’t. Out of solidarity with Tina. Out of mourning for your father. Steve says something about the spinach and rice pilaf and your mother says something about Popeye. Tina’s eyes light up.

“also fun” by Sasha in the basement at Bowmore Rd.


Tuesday June 6, 2017
1:02am
5 minutes
From a tweet

Lisa is serious, a squiggle in her brow most of the time, eyes focused, down on her page. She is also fun, knowing how to roll down a big grassy hill, knowing how to draw animals in 3D. On the night she was born, her father was hit by lightning. He missed her birth. She never knew the difference, but her mother did. Her mother resented that bearded, stout man until he took to the bottle and never looked back. Lisa sometimes wonders where her father might be, mid shade of an eyebrow or sketch of a lion’s mane. And just as soon as the thought arrives, it’s gone.

“wild horses” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday June 3, 2017
10:49pm
5 minutes
From the Microsoft home-screen

Huddled in the closet where your mother keeps bleach, baking soda, laundry detergent, you whisper in my ear that there’s something you need to show me.

I’m wearing purple shorts and a black T-shirt with Phantom of the Opera on it. You’re wearing jean shorts and a stained white hoodie.

“I ate a freezee in less than thirty seconds,” you’d told me earlier, referencing the orange drips. They look like tears, I’d thought, before running to the washroom to check if I’d peed a few drips – sisters.

It’s dark, except for the slit of light reaching under the door. You reach for the button of your shorts.

“Cut cucumber halves crosswise” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, May 29, 2017
8:03pm
5 minutes
The Silver Palate Cookbook
Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins


For her nineteenth birthday, Cath makes Tal a cookbook of all the recipes that she loved growing up. Cath’s still known around town as “Tal’s Mom”. She wonders when she’ll regain her one-ness, sometimes, when she runs into Rita and John at the IGA. “How’s Tal?” Rita says, putting hamburger meat into their basket. “She’s good! Really good.” Cath says. “Still playing basketball?” John strokes his grey goatee. “Yup, varsity,” Cath smiles. “You must miss her so much,” Rita shakes her head. “Girl that talented, you hope that she sticks around…”

“it will be a tight squeeze” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday May 27, 2017
12:17am
5 minutes
http://www.onceuponachef.com

“It will be a tight squeeze, but we can fit you in over there by the window?” Mark yawns. He wishes he didn’t have to do this shit. He knows Gary would kill for a seventy dollar steak. He wishes that Gary could come and put on this charade. He wishes that he could rock the twins to sleep and then watch the Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.

“By the window is fine,” says Ken. It’s their third business dinner out this week. “Mr. Sanders will be here any minute.” The hostess – tall, black boots, white cocktail dress, pink lipstick – walks them to the table.

“he can sound like the rain” by Sasha on her couch


Friday May 26, 2017
12:48am
5 minutes
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
Dr. Seuss


“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Gemma-ma-ma, happy birthday to you!”

Mom’s made strawberry shortcake. I don’t have to request it, she knows it’s what I want. Calvin is a vegan so she even whipped up some tofu thing for him to have. What a woman. Her face has changed over the last nine months. She’s looking more and more like Gran. It’s the first birthday in our family since Dad died, and I know that Cal just sang the “ma-ma” because that’s what Dad would’ve done. While we eat our cake, the rain starts. It gets quiet.

“Maybe that’s him,” Mom says.

“I was not able to hold high notes that long” by Sasha in the car on the way home


Tuesday May 23, 2017
10:06pm
5 minutes
From a YouTube comment on a Mariah Carey music video

When the voices told her to steal, Julianne heard a high pitched sound before she did it. Club Monaco just opened on Princess St. The voices asked for a black crew neck T-shirt and a blue and white striped sweater. Julianne was worried. Club Monaco was expensive. Club Monaco sounded like a place the Kardashians would stay, someplace in Aruba, or Mexico, or France. Shoppers was easiest. Mac, the security guard, had loved Julianne since they were five years old and in the same senior kindergarten. He let her go last Sunday when she took three foundations (varying skin tones), an expensive face wash and some almond butter. “You gotta stop it, Julianne,” Mac had said, behind the rolls of toilet paper and dryer sheets. “You really gotta stop.”

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


Wednesday May 17, 2017
11:20am
5 minutes
Women in Clothes
Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 Others


Margaret introduces herself with only her first name. It’s a habit. And a good one. The women, a murder of crows, gather around the snack table and nibble on marble cheese, melba toast, grapes, wedges of cantaloupe.

“So Margaret,” Daisy says, wiping her little hands on a little floral napkin, “What brings you to Gastoville?” She says the name of the town, the graveyard they all stand on, like it’s someplace on the Mayan Riviera. It most certainly is not.

“My husband got a job at the university,” Margaret says, gulping down Pinot Grigio.

“Oh?” Says Daisy. Margaret wonders what Daisy would do if she knew that she had lipstick on her teeth. “And what’s his name?”

“Brad Thatcher. He’s in the History Department,” Margaret scans the crows.

“it won’t matter what house I move into” by Sasha on her couch


Friday May 12, 2017
9:51pm
5 minutes
Love Warrior
Glennon Doyle Melton


Gramma takes us in after the house burns down. We move into her attic, me and Kate and Selma. Ma and Freddie McFly go to the Spencers’. Selma says that they might be swingers, but Kate and I say, “please don’t make us picture that.” Gramma never recovered after Gramps died. She doesn’t smile, or laugh, or do the crossword puzzles. She makes us toast with raspberry jam in a little bowl. No butter in sight. “We can just use jam from the jar, Gram,” says Kate. Gramma scowls. Sometimes, at night, when all the lights are out and we are three in a row in the king bed, we hear her whistling the Canadian anthem.

“All winter we went on like that” by Sasha on her balcony


Saturday May 6, 2017
6:07pm
5 minutes
After Birth
Elisa Albert


My brother Chris and Aaron became friends the summer of 1995. I would watch them playing outside from my bedroom window. It had the perfect view – straight out. We lived in a bungalow. If I didn’t have my bedroom light on, they couldn’t tell that I was watching. I liked Aaron okay, but didn’t trust him. Something in my belly knew that he wasn’t safe. It was a Saturday. Chris was in the kitchen heating up pizza pockets in the toaster oven. Our parents were across the street drinking palomas on the Hendrickson’s porch. I watched Aaron pull the legs off of a tree frog. He held the wriggling body in his hand, a small smile on his face.