“our bodies amalgamated from the great melting pot” by Julia on her couch

Sunday June 10, 2018
11:45pm
5 minutes
The Communion of Strangers
Brian Jay Stanley

tonight you are coming home
this morning
tonight’s border with morning and you will be crossing the border too
I think we talked about the amalgamation of our bodies
but I know you’ll be tired
I can wait one more day
been waiting
been staying up late to avoid going to sleep without you
I’ll put my hand in between your shoulder blades
wake me up if you can last long enough to say hello
my body will know you’re there in my sleep
the human heart is pretty amazing like that
I can meet you in my dreams
we used to do that but this whole time was different
we forgot
we had other things going on
I tried not to make plans but plans were made
I’ll be leaving the bed before you and then maybe
I’ll see you at breakfast
maybe lunch
definitely dinner
how can we be in the same city and see each other after everything happens
I hope our sleep bodies find some peace before we
get to lay in the curve of one another without a plane telling us it’s time to go

“World’s Greatest Dad” by Sasha at the Diamond Centre


Tuesday February 16, 2016
3:05pm
5 minutes
From a picture of Joe’s t-shirt

P. is on a date at a Painting Cafe. You know, those places where kids get all messy during the day and then adults get flirty at night? One of those places. She’s never been to one of them before. Her date suggested it. She wasn’t sure at first, and then thought, “Why not?”

P: I’ve never painted before…
A: Oh, me neither.
P: Not even as a kid?
A: As a kid?
P: Yeah.
A: I guess I did as a kid.
P: Not me!
A: No?
P: My mother is a total neat freak. She wouldn’t let me paint at home or at school. Too messy.
A: Wow.
P: I had to stay inside at recess if it was muddy, snowy or raining. I had a special doctor’s note.
A: Woah.
Silence.
P: Anyway, don’t judge me if my thing looks like a six-year-old did it –
A: I won’t. This is just supposed to be fun…
P. starts painting. Silence.
A: Nice use of purple.
P: I love purple.
A: Purple Polly.
P. laughs but is very engrossed in her painting.
A: So, did you grow up here?
P: …
A: Polly?
P. cocks her head towards A.
P: What?
A: I just –
P: I’m trying to focus.
A: Oh –
P: Sorry, I just –
A: No. No…

“what you can expect” by Sasha at Harvest Community Foods


Monday, January 18, 2016 at Harvest
5:32pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I wouldn’t say no to you becoming a seagull and riding a wind pattern West. Because that’s what you need. Because your wings are achy from underuse.

I would kiss your feathery cheek and whisper, “be safe.”

I would watch as a feather fell into the water and I would strip off my clothes and run in even though it’s cold out now and I would catch the feather in my teeth and carry it to shore.

I would wonder when I saw other seagulls in the weeks to follow if perhaps it was you or a new friend.

“from bridges to clouds” by Julia on Amanda’s patio


Monday, June 22, 2015
8:16am
5 minutes
theawesomedaily.com

My sister, Monica, loved a book when we were growing up: Bridge to Terabithia. I never read it but I didn’t have to cause my sister told me all about it 2 billion times and it was somehow my favourite book too. I would have favoured anything that already had my older sister’s stamp of approval. She knew good books. I trusted her. Monica also knew how to french kiss and told me to practice on the crook of my elbow. She said that space there felt the most like a mouth that I could get. She was right about that too. She was very wise and so I waited for her opinions before I gave mine. When I told Monica that I wanted to shave my head like her, she told me I should wait until the full moon to decide cause in that moment I wasn’t making the decision for me.

“Overthinking it” by Julia on Amanda’s couch


Sunday, June 21, 2015
2:10am
5 minutes
from a tweet

When Alana showed up everyone else had already taken their pill, or their half, or their second by that point. She was the only one who was seeing the world the way she was and she didn’t know if she wanted to even be there. Someone offered her some M and she took it in her hand but didn’t put it in her mouth. She wondered about leaving with the pill and doing it completely by herself so she could experiment with the environment and have access to recording devices. Alana couldn’t stop pre-planning and she was getting excited by all the possibilities of finding herself away from these people. Some guy with a bow tie danced past her and told her she looked exquisite in the moonlight. She smiled and said, “so do you”, and she meant it, but she wanted to mean it the way he did. She debated where that would best occur.

“suffers from a lack of imagination.” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, June 20, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
from a quote by Oscar Wilde

Teeny had all her materials splayed out on the deck. She was painting her white canvas sneakers–had the idea to make them look like sunsets without actually being sunsets. She wasn’t allowed to actually paint sunsets. Just the feeling of sunsets. The essence.
Teeny’s paints were smeared across her face and neck. She was allowing herself to “get messy” and “stay messy” cause that’s what professor Islington told her she was missing in her life. “You need to let go and paint from that place of freedom and ease. Stop trying to control the product.”
Teeny couldn’t help herself, she wanted to control everything. Even this uncontrolled shoe painting that’s supposed to be free and easy was becoming work. Too meticulous and too formulaic. Professor Islington made Teeny feel like she lacked imagination. She would show him with these half planned and structured canvas shoe sunsets.

“Feed your creative juices” by Sasha on her bed


Monday, July 14, 2014
6:23pm
5 minutes
from a pencil case


You’re a dick. I love you, but you’re a huge asshole dick. Sorry. I’m not sorry. I am but I’m… not. You come in here and you haven’t shaved so you know I’m going to be overwhelmingly attracted to you and you smell like pinecones and tobacco so really? Actually? Fuck you.

And then? Then, you have the nerve to pull out a guitar? Nope. Sorry. Not gonna fall for that.

We’ve been here, Scott. We’ve been down this road. It didn’t work. Remember? You called me a “cow” and I called you a… dick. Wow. Nothing’s changed. Or, it has, but… I haven’t. Damn it! I have! I have changed! I’m so much more… well adjusted. This city has a way of really bringing out the worst in people, have you noticed that?

“100th Birthday Party” by Julia in her bed


Friday, July 4, 2014
2:12am
5 minutes
a poster at Cafe D’amour


A hundred days even seems longer than a hundred years. I mean, I know it’s obviously not longer. I know that. But it feels easier to comprehend, to grasp, maybe. If I have to explain I’d say because a hundred years doesn’t even seem to exist at all, therefore in comparison to something that does exist (100 days), it seems like less. You know,cause ghosts are infinitely less human than humans–right? If this doesn’t make sense, I apologize. I used to be so good with expression and communication. I guess now that I’ve been doing this for a hundred years…whoops…there I go, proving my point even there! 100 years in declarations, in hyperbole, does not exist at all–the listener understands it and is not annoyed by it as its usage is wildly celebrated, therefore proving that it’s not real. It’s the forever amount of time. It’s infinity. From here to there-from now to 100 years.

“a few pieces of furniture” by Julia at Cafe D’amour


Thursday, July 3, 2014
2:22pm at Cafe D’Amour
5 minutes
Design UK
Max Fraser


You know it was hard for her, cause she had to fast, but my sister was saying that the colonoscopy results showed nothing. Yes. She’s really starting to slide. We’re not sure what this is, if it’s part of her cancer condition-you know, we keep having to watch her fall a part and it’s kind of emotional for us. Okay. Well I would appreciate it if you could pass it on. Like I said, I think it’d be nice to get her a wheelchair just so she can feel like she’s–yes. Oh excellent. Thank you so much. But if you can pass on to Doctor Lowen about her physical condition. We’re just worried about–yes I know it’s not actually officially cancer. But something’s in her lung, something’s in her brain. We need to have some answers here. No, no, Yana, I appreciate you getting back to me. Thank you so much. They eliminated the lumps in her uterus, they say they’re benign, but you know, we have all those other tests to get scheduled. And you know what I’ve been hearing is that all the guys who run those tests are just out on vacation right now. Well thank you, I’m glad that you–oh sure, we will. We’ll be in touch. Thanks again for getting back to me Yana. Thank you for understanding, it’s been a bit rough for us. Okay well I’ll tell my mother you send your best, of course. Bye now, Yana.

Sorry about that. I just needed to get that call. I don’t normally answer. Anyway, what’s your timeline today?

“a few pieces of furniture” by Sasha at La Merceria


Thursday, July 3, 2014
11:11am at La Merceria
5 minutes
Design UK
Max Fraser


He sent me a money tree for my nineteenth birthday. There was a note, scrawled on the back of a receipt:

Happy Birthday, Sara.
Love, Your Old Man.

It wasn’t in the best shape, the money tree. Who knows how long it had travelled, how thirty it was. I was mad at him for sending me something that was living and needed care and attention. Those things didn’t come easily to him.

I put it in the window of my room. The corner of its leaves started to turn brown so I moved it out of the bright light.

“Homicidal computer” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday June 19, 2014
11:49pm
5 minutes
CBC News

Brian: I’m not sure what to say to you, Clara… I mean… I… I got home and she was on the computer and I said, “Jules, are you allowed? Did Mom say that you could surf the net without anyone home?” And she nodded! I thought that the rules changed or something, you know…
Clara: The rules changed?! Without us discussing it? I don’t think so –
Brian: You change the rules about her all the damn time. I can’t even keep up. One minute it’s half an hour of TV, the next it’s only movies at the Cineplex…
Clara: That’s ridiculous! I’ve never said anything about her only being allowed movies at the Cineplex!
Brian: It was an example –
Clara: It was a LIE!

“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.

“Virginia” by Sasha in her garden


Thursday June 5, 2014
7:18pm
5 minutes
from a sign on the wall of the Antique Shop

Virginia buys soy sauce at the Seven Eleven and goes home, via streetcar, via walk from the fourth block to the tenth. She drinks it, once she’s safely in the walls of her own making. “Just half a bottle tonight,” she whispers to no one but herself who isn’t no one but someone, but forty three, but two breasts and a million greying brown hairs. She wonders if she could shoot it, through her veins, through her rivers. She wonders if she took a syringe from work if anyone would notice. One of the vets. Three share the practise. Do they notice her? Or, do they just notice the bunny face, the dog paw, the cry of the non-human. Sometimes, just to see, just to try her wonderings out on them, she’ll say something ridiculous. “I ate a whole watermelon for the protein,” or, “have you ever licked the inside of your fridge?” They smile. Funny Virginia, she’s a strange duck, she sees, behind those eyes, a layer of compassion, a layer of caffeine.

“we pass the time very well” by Sasha at Dark Horse on Queen East


Saturday May 24, 2014 at Dark Horse Queen East
5:25pm
5 minutes
Sambuca Grill Drink List

I want you to think I’m a really good listener.
I nod my head.
I “uh huh”.
I smile and I furrow and I gasp.
I want you to see me as a compassionate person.
I want you to think I’m filled to the brim with dignity,
with grace,
with ease,
with love.
I want you to know me as a kind soul.
I’m a kind soul.
Okay?
I want you to look at me and see health,
see vitality,
see brightness.
I want you to know I’m smart,
and articulate,
and creative,
and sensitive,
but not too sensitive,
just the right amount of sensitive.

“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.

“You’ll always be older than me” by Sasha on the Queen streetcar going West


Tuesday December 17, 2013
12:03am
5 minutes
From a birthday card

Dear Allison,
I want to be mad at you. I want it like SAT scores and peanut butter cups. But I’m… not. I look at you and I see our effing grandmother. I see the photograph of her wearing the red hat and black coat. Your face is shaped just like hers – like the moon. You’ll always be older than me. You’ll always have a birthday in January and I’ll always have a birthday in August. Aquarius and Leo. Those should be our names. Who needs “Allison”! Who needs “Suzie”! I want to be mad at you. You left me here with the depressed dog and our Father, who would rather be playing hockey than making me dinner. I hope University is really great. I do. I really do. I hope you’re kissing lots of attractive boys and that you’re wearing a great pair of boots. I hope that the food isn’t making you hefty. Joking. Joking. I love you, Al. I miss you. See you at Thanksgiving.

“She snapped the shutter” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday October 12, 2013
10:13pm
5 minutes
from the 2011 Toronto Star article ‘American Girl still walking tall’
Murray White


When Tash and Rowan found the bird, it was barely breathing. Rowan picked it up from the rusty leaves and cradled it in her open palms. She could feel it’s heartbeat, rapid and quaking. “What should we do?” Tash whispered. She was usually the one with the plan, but knew she should refer to the reader of the Eye Witness books and the winner of the Zoology prize three years in a row. Rowan held a pointer finger to her pursed lips. Tash nodded. They had both worn their purple sweatshirts and rainboots from the Hardware Store. Rowan’s were bigger. Tash’s sweatshirt had a stain on the bottom cuff, from when she ate spaghetti with her fingers. Rowan cupped her hands around the bird so that it was fully enveloped, and walked as if there was a stack of books on her head, like she’d seen in a movie. When they got to the library Tash looked confused. “It’s Sunday. It’s closed!” She whispered. Rowan walked to the back of the old building. She knocked on the small door three times.

“GTA” by Julia at The Common on Bloor


Monday, June 24, 2013 at The Common on Bloor
3:49pm
5 minutes
The Toronto Star

She was leaving the GTA that afternoon, said to me, Darlin’I have to get out of this city. Tipped her wide-brimmed beach hat at me and left the bar after doing a shot of Amaretto. Said she wanted to feel the sweetness on her tongue all the way to the airport. I had never met anyone like Elsa in all the time I’ve been here. She made me question who I was for two short weeks when she forced herself into my life. I don’t know why I was so open to her, so accepting of her UFO believing ways, or her constant reliance on whiskey and pecan butter tarts. Elsa was a mover, a shaker, and somehow that woman knows more about me than I do and I’ve only known her for a brief excerpt of it. Didn’t tell me she would miss me, but she did say that I should check my mailbox before the month was up. Elsa wasn’t going to send me a letter, but a tiny sculpture with the bottom carved out, stuffed with weed, then corked back up again, laying flush against the opening. She didn’t tell me this, but I knew. I knew Elsa better than she knew herself too. Sometimes you meet those kind of people and you don’t need to really keep them with you until you see a bottle of Maker’s Mark on the shelf somewhere.