“Most families” by Julia at her desk

Thursday October 11, 2018
6:10pm
5 minutes
Poor and Poorer
Jerrold Ladd

Most families are not all families. I have to tell you I’m lucky.
Lucky that I never had to prove myself anyone. Lucky that I could
move out and move far and the guilt wouldn’t be there. The guilt
wasn’t given to me. I am lucky that my father shows love in sauteed
shrimp and that my mother will talk to me on the phone for an hour
if I’m walking that far. I am lucky that my sister sees my insides.
That she thinks my growth is beautiful. That she isn’t afraid to
tell me the truth. That she never pulls me down when I’m up.
That my brother let’s me call him whatever I want. That he wears
the bracelet I got him for Christmas 6 years ago. That he will pick
me up from the airport during a blizzard. Drive me to the airport
on his only day off. Tell the story at the table that makes me look
hilarious. I am lucky that my family gives what they have and doesn’t
count favours. That they send me photos of their meals when the only
thing missing is me. I am lucky that my family holds me. That they
think I’m important enough to wait for.

“she died before age forty” by Sasha on her couch

Friday September 7, 2018
5:11pm
5 minutes
F*** Face
Amber Dawn

She died before age forty
and it’s okay don’t be sad about it
she was ready she’d lived
a full life
she’d fucked
and fled
and funned
and stayed
and stopped
and loved

She died before she turned forty
right but she lived more in those
years than most people live in
their eighty two or seventy six

She called her sister
before she died
because her sister couldn’t be there
she was the only on
she had two new babies
two new babes
and she called her sister
and her sister cried and cried
her nipples dripping milk
the twins sleeping beside her
she rocked them with her foot

“full of tenderness” by Julia in Amanda’s kitchen

Wednesday August 8, 2018
11:36am
5 minutes
Chant
Wang An-Shih

I sleep in your bed when you’re away and I toss and turn and have nightmares about people breaking into your apartment because I’ve done something wrong in a past life to ruin the trust you have in me. On a different night I dream of having to find an outfit for prom. 13 years later and I wonder what I have accomplished since then. Still trying to fit in. Still worrying if I will be perceived by them as I perceive myself. On the night with the nightmares I am landlocked to the bed. I can’t rise. I can’t wake up. Sleep paralysis plays a slideshow of disturbing footage and I’m not allowed to leave. I’m not allowed to leave. Your bed used to be softer. I think you gave that one to our parents. I think your heart full of tenderness gives everything to everyone. I’m sorry my body heavy with jet leg and self-doubt can’t ease into the gift. You’d be sorry if you knew it was hard, and it shouldn’t be hard. It should be soft. You’re sleeping on the cold ground right now and I pray that your bones aren’t wet all the way through. I hope you’re sitting on the garbage bag instead of a damp log. I hope you find peace in the stillness of the wilderness. You impress me. Someone who knows when to say yes.

“a family house can remain empty” by Julia on the couch

Wednesday August 1, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
The Highest Bidder
Kerry Gold

My sister answers the phone when I call even if she is with her friends. My brother did the same a few days ago when I called him on his birthday. He was at Montana’s eating a burger before going to the Falls. I felt bad for calling but it felt like he would have chatted all day. That’s the home I’m going back to. The house emptied of the three of us years ago. I was the first to leave and stay gone. I keep boots and books and pictures there. I like going back if we watch the old home videos. We all keep saying we should turn those VHS tapes into DVDs so we can keep our memories longer but no one ever does. If I can find my old glove in the garage I suspect we’ll hit the field behind the house and go long.

“Modern medicine clashes” by Julia at her desk

Thursday May 17, 2018
10:16pm
5 minutes
from The Observer (UK)

The lady with the floppy hat tells me that I should not let the doctors give me anything.
Don’t let them try to make you take more than your body needs.
Rely on homeopathic remedies.
I tell her my mother will flip her shit when she hears this.
The lady is concerned about my mother flipping and I have to tell her, out of joy.
My mother has been researching pills.
I think she thinks she has to prove to my sister that she knows what she’s talking about.
My sister will not take one wikepedia page as Gospel.
She used to take gospel as Gospel and would tell you that she is not that person anymore.
I didn’t want to take pills for my headache because the lady with the floppy hat
tells me that my body is too sensitive.
She tells me no alcohol either if I can avoid it.
I am about to tell her my mother will flip her shit again and then I stop.
I didn’t want to mess anything up but my head was already so messed up.
I took one of the white pills and swallowed the water.
I wasn’t going to take the second one because she said always take less than I need.
And then I took the second one.
Because I really didn’t want this headache.
I don’t know who to believe.
A faint throb quickens.

“It’s always too soon to go home.” By Sasha in the bath

Thursday, March 22, 2018
11:35pm
5 minutes
Hope In The Dark
Rebecca Solnit

My sister makes a mean coconut curry. She roasts squash in the oven first, and then just when it’s starting to get sugary and brown, she throws it in the bubbling yellow. I haven’t had my sister’s curry in a while though. I don’t get home much. It’s not like it’s far, it’s not like I can’t, it’s just that I don’t, I won’t, I can’t.

My sister is a woman of few words. She’s almost a full foot shorter than me. She had a growth spurt in fifth grade and then stopped growing. She was the tallest for awhile and now she’s the shortest. That’s how it goes sometimes.

February is the month that I crave my sister’s curry. I wake up with the taste on my tongue, but it’s a ghost.

“the beauty and challenge of facebook” by Julia at her desk

Sunday February 18, 2018
9:40pm
5 minutes
Multitudes
Margaret Christakos

Earlier today I was on Facebook deleting all the people who I no longer want to have access to my life. You don’t get to see what I’m up to if you’ve been a bad friend. Or not a friend at all. It isn’t your right! I decide, okay? I’m getting heated up forof a myriad of reasons. Sometimes it feels like the whole damn world is watching. Sometimes I want to be left alone. Tina and Guy send messages from each other’s accounts and that drives me up the wall. Speaking of walls, I don’t need some stranger commenting on a conversation I’m having with my sister’s boyfriend. I don’t need to be having conversations at all on Facebook but I’m on it and that’s that. I don’t want to miss anything. My brother posts videos of his kids in the pumpkin patch. I don’t want to miss my mom accidentally telling me she misses me on my profile picutre. But I don’t want the people who don’t deserve my time to witness my activities. If they can’t be in my life, they shouldn’t get to see it. I don’t just post all the best stuff either so it’s really, really my life.

“a forest lake frozen to the bottom” by Sasha at her the Diamond Centre

Wednesday January 31, 2018
5:20pm
5 minutes
Seen
Pia Tafdrup

Back when the lake would freeze solid
or at least it felt like that
or at least I was a child and trusted safety still

We would lace up skates too tight
double layer of socks
double layer of love and comfort

My sister and I
all girlhood glow
all wonder and piano fingers
all stir-fry bellies
all blue eyes

Dancing swirls and future
carving the ice
carving the present
carving ourselves

Cheeks rosy
sweaty underneath layers of sweaters
pink jackets
snowpants

Darkness coming in
over the horizon
across the lake
time to get up
to the house

“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.”

“Water music” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday, October 2
6:59pm
5 minutes
Major Orchestral Works
Felix Mendelssohn

I take a bath in the tub where I learned to swim
My sister across from me
Peppermint soap in our ear’s
The hum of our parents voices rising through the floorboards
Fluffy comfort that we don’t know can be broken

I think about writing this
How my appetite’s returned
Words haven’t satiated or helped or healed
But now they can
And they will

I lather my head with shampoo
And fill an old yogurt container with warm water from the tap
I rinse and rinse and rinse
A blue jay sits on the branch right there outside the window
Sings for awhile

There are stains where the drain is
And my love makes dinner downstairs
My parents live in different houses with different loves
My sister rocks her baby to sleep and sings the
Lullaby we heard
Here

“more than 20 pages” by Julia in her bed


Monday September 11, 2017
12:35am
5 minutes
from bcartscouncil.ca

I found more than 20 pages of post-it notes stapled together
in the garage
top shelf
under dad’s old baseball glove
I liked the style
it got me wondering if I’m the one who did it
maybe all the way back then young me would have wanted to
the writing was worn off save for a few Ands and Obviouslys
I couldn’t make out the phrase
but each square had the same line written in with red ink
for 20 whole pages
it kept going and going
like a man who will answer your questions but never asks you any
I imagined my sister being the author
she could have written her diary out in fragments because of me
it would have been safer that way
everyone knows threatening punishment by way of Jesus
was not enough to scare me from reading it

“big sister” by Julia in her bed


Sunday August 13, 2017
11:23pm
5 minutes
from Nannies On Call

Big sister gets a big girl bike and rides up and down the sidewalk. Wears her new shorts and her jacket. Big sister learns how to ride on the street. Big sister gets from A to B to Z. Big sister plans the route and then rides it. All the way to the store and back and to the school and back and to the sky and back. She peddles her legs and goes goes goes. Big sister cannot stop. She’s a husky. She runs because she must.

“I’m still on the boat.” by Julia on her couch


Friday August 4, 2017
10:57pm
5 minutes
Sea Sick
Alanna Mitchell

I’m trying to read to pass the time. Everybody is taking Gravol. My sister gets carsick on tiny windy roads and gets to sit in the front seat of the good car. I have to sit in the back seat behind the same t-shirt going on twelve days in a row. I don’t know how no one notices the oppressive stench but I can’t seem to pretend otherwise. My sister is not looking forward to the boat ride to go see the blown glass in Venicd. There really isn’t a front seat on a boat. My mother is the same way. Neither of them do well when the waves get choppy or even if there’s a bit of wind.
My uncle has taken us on this exact tour for the third time now and still explains everything like it were the first. I don’t know how no one notices.

“quite desperate to escape all the people” by Julia on her couch


Saturday July 29, 2017
12:39am
5 minutes
The Humans
Matt Haig


Melissa throws a party for her sister by accident. She doesn’t mean to be in charge but she’s the most capable and everyone knows it. She tries to stay out of it and offer mild help here and there but ends up running the show with a forced smile and a couple stollen tokes. I feel bad that she gets stuck with all the planning. All the dark stuff. All the alone. Her parents don’t call her to ask about her health. They don’t wonder how she’s doing after finding out she needs surgery. They don’t wonder how she’s doing after going through surgery. Instead she’s the reliable one. The one everyone calls when they need to complain. Or throw a baby shower. Or pick up her nieces from dance camp. Melissa tries to be sweet for her sister. For her sister who doesn’t even care about being at the party thrown in her honour.
When I finally manage to get her alone I ask her. Why are you running? Where do you plan on going? Do you need any help?
She laughs in my face and tells me I’m her funniest cousin.

“I’ll just call out the names and tell them to wait” by Julia at Pearson airport


Monday July 24, 2017
6:44pm
5 minutes
overheard at the airport

I asked the woman if I could have an aisle seat instead of the middle one they keep putting me on. Last time I got stuck between two giant men and their elbows locked me in while they slept. She told me it was full and likely not possible for me to switch. So in front of everyone I told her I have to go to the bathroom a lot. She didn’t care. Why would she, I didn’t go into details. I didn’t tell her that I
had explosive diarrhea because I don’t but maybe that would have made her feel something for me. I also could have said I’m a barfer but I am not that either. I feel like I let my sister down by saying I was going to declare IBS to get a better seat and then chickening out when the time came. I know this is not a big problem to have. At least I don’t actually have to shit everywhere.

“blackberry bushes” by Julia in her old room


Thursday July 20, 2017
2:23am
5 minutes
from an email

People have been taking care of me my whole life. I was lucky. I got a good sister. One who sees me, needs me, shows up brings her friends, laughs at my jokes, heart beat frees me. And I got lucky still. With a good brother who calls me and carries me and picks me up at the airport and takes me to and from the beginning and to and from the end. And then I didn’t have to worry. Because my mother’s skin sings olive oil and resilience. And my father fries me up an egg with a zucchini flower and tops the plate with garden tomatoes and hugs me long and tight.

“is there somewhere else she could go?” by Julia on the 7 bus


Friday June 30, 2017
5:30pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 7

Bobby smoothes down the peach fuzz under her chin to calm down. When she was new to school in the 6th grade two of the good looking boys used to tease her about it. She had no idea they were doing it. For some reason she always instinctively reached for it when she needed to feel close to herself and to her inner child.
Maxwell is banging every pot and every cupboard door but refuses to say anything. He is very aggressive about his passive aggressiveness. It is clear he doesn’t want Bobby’s younger sister, Hannah, to stay with them over the long weekend. He doesn’t think he should have to share his living room with anyone.

“Remember that time” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday June 14, 2017
7:27pm
5 minutes
From an Instagram post

Remember the time we got caught in a lightning storm in the woods? It was just Dad and the two of us. Mum never came camping. It was the kind of storm where there isn’t rain, just thunder and lighting. But you know it’s coming. We stood under the tarp, strung up with bungee chords (it was before all the literature came out about how dangerous they are), and watched the storm move across the pines. Before the rain started, we brushed our teeth (peppermint Tom’s) and peed, squatting down and feeling the grasses tickle our bums.

“All my creative juices” by Sasha on the couch at Lewis St.


Wednesday June 7, 2017
7:54pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Mercury Espresso Bar

I stop
mid sentence
mid thought
mid moment
in between
mid moment
a monarch
flies over
our heads
I notice
that it’s
been a long time
since I’ve seen one.

A truck honks
it’s horn
the moment
is broken
the butterfly
is gone.

My sister
and I sit
on a brown
blanket on
the grass
her daughter
all blue eyed
wonder.

We talk about
gurus and love
friendship and
motherhood.

“borrows and ruins your clothes” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday May 7, 2017
9:42pm
5 minutes
From a tweet by Mara Wilson

The sweet sluttery of fingering through your sister’s closet, touching the dewy tank tops in maroon, purple and grey, the high-waisted jeans, the eyelet dress that you know for a fact she got for thirty-two dollars at the thrift store in Kingston. It’s a drug you can’t quit – touching her stuff – and you wonder about the morality of it, the fairness of it, the injustice of it. You know that every time you do it, you cross a boundary. You know that. But you keep doing it.

“I had been able only to grieve” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday May 2, 2017
8:58pm
5 minutes
The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion


Grief is a sister to
all of us I’ve come
to know this now better
than ever

These days
she sits in the lotus
position
in my throat

unnamed
untamed
uninvited
unbelievable

She wags her finger
at the lazy zeal of
a screen made of mirrors
chasing a time before
the dollar signs and the
gas station blow jobs

“Did you know?” by Julia on the 14


Sunday April 23, 2017
11:34am
5 minutes
from a bus ad

“Did you know that if you make your bed every day you’ll feel more accomplished? I read that in an article about the army and why they make you make your bed every morning. It teaches discipline and says to the world ‘I value my bed, my rest, my belongings, ETCETERA.’ I have been making my bed every morning, even if I have to get right back in it later to sleep. I have been feeling more accomplished. I like crossing off my to-do list. They say if you start your day with something easy then the rest of your day feels a whole lot more manageable. I told my sister this and she refuses to believe that it works. She doesn’t listen to me about anything. I’ve told her about vision boards and angel cards and manifesting and avoiding night shades but she does not like to be told anything. ”

“”when you sign up” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday April 22, 2017
7:00pm
5 minutes
From the Aeroplan flyer

It’s fine, like, if… if you want to come over before you go? I won’t be mad… like last time? I wasn’t seeing people, anyone, I wasn’t seeing anyone last month. It wasn’t personal. I didn’t go out. Thank fuck for those grocery delivery services. Did you know that Save On does it now? You can shop from your bed in your pyjamas. Come over… okay? Even if it’s for ten minutes. I have something I want to give you. I don’t know when I’m gonna see you next and I really just want to – … I’m not going to tell you what it is, but you’re going to want it. Trust me. Ah… It’s Mom’s bracelet, okay! I have it! I didn’t lose it in New Mexico, I have it, I didn’t want you to… I’m sorry. Fuck. I’m sorry.

“Judging your early artistic efforts” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday April 20, 2017
8:48am
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


hours at the round kitchen table
pencil crayons building

bungalows making circles
and roofs the paper

my playmate my confidante
my lover my dreamcatcher

embroidery thread spun
into small balls

the summer of the hair wrap
the friendship bracelets

Layah and I had a store out of the living
room where our parent’s friends would

purchase anklets for a quarter

“marinated citrus” by Sasha at Matchstick Coffee Riley Park


Wednesday March 15, 2017 at Matchstick
6:55pm
5 minutes
From the menu at Matchstick Coffee Riley Park

When Beth gets home she sees a salad on the counter – endive, roasted beets, marinated blood orange, goat cheese, pickled red onion. “Hello?” she calls, unsure who she is expecting to reply, and if she’ll like it if someone does. Dustin gave his key back the last time he looked after Jemima, the cat. Of course no one answers, she doesn’t know what she was possibly thinking. Lily. Of course! She watered Beth’s plants when Beth was white water canoeing in August. She texts her sister, “Did you make a most beautiful salad at my place today?” and then she backspaces because she remembers that Lily is on a ten day silent meditation retreat.

“I don’t ever think about death” by Julia on her couch


Monday March 13, 2017
9:31pm
5 minutes
from Glory And Gore
Lorde


I don’t ever think about death in the dying kind of way. I think I’ll be here then gone then always haunting the people who loved me. I think I’ll be able to reach them. I will try to send them messages until I know they’ve received them.
I will sleep in my sister’s bed and tell her she’s not alone.
I will ride shotgun in my brother’s Lexus and tell him that he is loved.
I will curl up on the couch with my mother and tell her how lucky I was to get her.
I will kneel in the garden with my father and tell him that he is enough.
I will live on the lips of my love and tell him that it’s okay to let me go.

“winners are allowed acceptance speeches” By Julia at her desk


Friday March 3, 2017
9:11pm
5 minutes
http://www.filmfreeway.com

I can’t believe this is happening. I really, truly didn’t think I would ever live to see this day. I am touched and honoured and humbled by this moment. Truly. I am in shock. I have a lot of people I need to thank: my sister for bringing me my own clothes every week and for reading to me while I couldn’t do much else but lay there. I want to thank my brother for driving into town instead of going on his honey moon. Thank you, that was very meaningful to me and I will never forget it. I want to thank my doctors. Without you, I would still be thinking this was all in vain. I owe you much more than gratitude. Thank you for enstilling a faith in me I thought had been snuffed out. I want to thank my friends for writing to me. Your letters kept me lifted and I will respond to every last one down to the line, I can promise you that. I’m sorry, I’m just-this is inconceivable. It feels like moments ago…and also like a dream.

“trying to teach them technology” By Julia in her cabin


Monday February 27, 2017
4:47pm
5 minutes
from a text

my sister turns 32 and the entire family eats
stuffed lobster tail and shrimp
they gather around the table and tell
each other some of the same stories
after hearing some temporary new ones
my siblings make my parents use cell-phones
I am the only one missing
I am the only one on an island
I am the only one in a different time zone
my mother calls me on my birthday 4 days earlier
proud that she finally got the day right
she doesn’t forget my birthday
she just doesn’t know which day it is anymore because
she isn’t forced to look at a calendar all day
she asks what I am planning and I say nothing really
then my father gets on the phone
he asks me what I’m planning and I say I’m going to the island
he asks me if it feels different being 30
when yesterday I was only 29
I tell him sort of because sort of but not more
because my eggs are getting cold
he sighs and says that at the end of the day
it’s all just soup anyway
I laugh because he is so Italian
but he has a point
he says the first bite tastes like soup
and the last bite still tastes like soup

“For twenty-five years my father” by Julia on the 99


Thursday January 26, 2017
5:21pm
5 minutes
In Recognition Of A Quarter Century Of Contribution To UMA
Curtis LeBlanc


Spaghetti is his favourite dish
Doesn’t matter how many new things he’s tried, he’ll tell you, if you ask him, that it’s spaghetti
Me too, I would chime in, loving very much the idea of having the same favourite food as my father’s
Me too, I would say, when he’d crack open a chile pepper with his teeth
He cooks the way I do
My mother says I cook like him
Not sure these days if it’s Can’t Follow A Recipe or Won’t
We both like inventing
Never making the exact same thing twice
We didn’t grow up with Daddy’s Girl in my house
Maybe because there were two girls
Maybe because my older sister was Daddy’s Girl until I was born
and then there were two of us so they had to give their thing up before I could figure it out
Maybe because it took 25 years
for me to realize that
he was mine
and I was his but
in my own way and
so was she and
so was my brother after me and
so was everything everything

“Oh gosh I would be so horrified” by Julia in Amanda’s bed


Thursday January 5, 2017
12:47am
5 minutes
from an email

When aunt Maxine died she left all her beloved jewelry to my younger sister, Annie, instead of to her own daughter. Gemma stormed in and out of my apartment that year like a horse trying to buck off a leech. She always brought with her an impossible tension followed by a cloud of smoke that she would sometimes beat herself up for. You never need that first cigarette! Trust me, I know, she would shriek. You never do but you think you do and that’s when bad shit starts to happen-dark shit like not trusting yourself! Gemma, I’d beg, can we please stop talking about it?

“Can you take that out of the oven?” by Julia on her couch


Thursday December 15, 2016
9:20pm
5 minutes
Overheard in my mother’s kitchen

-If Rachel is going to be in one of her moods–I’m gonna be honest–I don’t think I’ll be able to be around her.

-Quin. Come on. It’s not going to be like that.

-I’m not kidding, babe,like I’m not going to do well in a setting like that.

-So what are you saying then.

-I’m just saying.

-Okay. But that she’s what?

-I’m just saying that I know she will 100% be in one of her moods and it will 100% destroy my time there and maybe everyone’s. So I don’t want to go if Rachel is there. Not this year.

-I can’t believe you would ditch me and my entire family’s Christmas because my sister is going through her things.

-I need this year to be good. This new year of good decisions and good behaviour and good food and good drugs. I can’t truly embrace my year if I’m anywhere near the things your sister is going through.

“she honestly does not have those impulses” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday November 16, 2016
8:48pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio


I used to say no when I was younger
Labelled difficult
Used to feel everything so strongly
labelled irrational
emotional
sensitive
weak
My sister is 7 and I am 5 and she is having her first Holy fucking communion
I am 5 and she is 7 and she is wearing white, hair in a bun, dressy shoes, holding a rosary
holding attention
getting gifts
for being older?
For having hair that cooperates into a bun?
I am 5 and she is 7 and I have to smile in photographs because my dress is being cute and that is my only job too?
I say No to the photos and to the people fussing over her and to this stupid fucking dress that is not cute enough to keep me from scowling
Labeled younger sister
labeled difficult
irrational
sensitive
jealous
I am 5 and my sister is 7 and everybody loves her more than me
and no one explained this part to me
and nobody warned me about the shadow
and nobody told me I was allowed to feel anything
Nobody heard No and thought
that’s right
let’s not betray ourselves
let’s feel what we feel
and still love each other

“Lying flat because my back is killing” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday October 19, 2016
9:31pm
5 minutes
from a text

Oh no! Me? I’m THRILLED to stay at home laying on the hard wood floor instead of watching Lauryn Hill and being changed for the better. Trust me. I couldn’t be happier that my back is no longer functioning enough to hold me vertical and allow for even the most casual of swaying. I tell myself I will get an opportunity like this again and not to worry. And not to cry because crying hurts my entire body. My sister’s voice on the phone echoes off the floor. She yells at me to stay strong and to remember how many people wouldn’t dare complain about much worse. I don’t know what the fuck that means. I am missing Lauryn Fucking Hill. I don’t even have a good reason. Slipping on a patch of ice is not a good reason!

“for a fun birthday” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday August 25, 2016
6:59am
5 minutes
SAD MAG
from a TMZ video

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

I am not celebrating my birthday this year.

I AM NOT CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY THIS YEAR.

So. You can all go back to what you were doing. WHAT wERe YoU DOinG AnyWAY?? Celebrating something else?? Probably anything else??

I am very upset.
UPset. UPset. because. BECAUSE: I WAS Set Up. That is the truth. TO FAIL. set up to fail and to deal with the repercussions on my oWN. Which is painful. I mISs My Sister.
I miss her laugh. I miss her handssssssss.

And they want me to KEEP PUSHING?

How far before I am edging off the face of this planet? How FAR BEFORE I AM JUST Another NEWs STORy. This Just In: Everything is wrong and nothing is right and someone who needs those things to be switched is feeling the sadness of losing someone close and needs to be held but people are afraid and needs to be told IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY by someone WHO KNOWS and by someone who Won’t Turn It Into A Media Scandal.

I am not celebrating my birthday this year. I have disappointed everyone and nobody will come and everyone is mad and nobody can fix broken with cake.

“comrade in arms” By Julia at her dining table


Sunday July 31, 2016
9:25pm
5 minutes
from a text

I asked Lindsey if she wanted to come to my sister’s citizenship ceremony and she told me she wouldn’t miss it. When I reminded her that it was this week, she told me it was a date. When I called her that morning asking what she was going to wear, she gave me a detailed description and helped me choose a necklace for me over the phone. So when she didn’t show up for the ceremony I knew something wasn’t right. I called her a million times and it went straight to voicemail. I was freaking out, trying not to let my sister see me. I had a terrible knot in my stomach. Nothing was making sense, the room was spinning, and I was struggling to stay standing. My sister caught my eye and looked concerned. She motioned for me to leave. I nodded, I ran, I stumbled out of the auditorium and into a burst of fresh air. When I saw Lindsey standing there I almost threw up. She was holding her throat so the blood wouldn’t spill out.

“the new thing in us” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Thursday July 28, 2016 at BATW
7:10am
5 minutes
Letters To A Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke


She hopped to her seat at the back of the aircraft and chuckled to herself as she heard the voice in her head refer to it as an aircraft. A craft that belongs in the air, she thought, how magical. Someone thought this thing up and then built a bunch of Popsicle stick models out of it before building the real thing.
She was anxious to get home for her brother’s surprise 30th that her whole family was apparently gathering for. He was the one who invited her to it in the first place, but they were close and couldn’t keep secrets from each other. Her brother had found an envelope in the garbage that had the details on it. She was excited to get back to her life as she knew it best for a little while. Familiar streets and faces, going strawberry picking with the family, spending quality time with her dog.

“gathering the medicine you need for re-birth.” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, April 4, 2016
9:26am
5 minutes
Mosaic magazine
Spring 2016


I have been free before I was alone
I have been seen before I succumbed to the fear
A little heart shaped pouch holds my dreams in it
A little heart shaped pouch holds my truth in it
I’ve been running wild in my imagination
Picking pretty flowers that I can carry with me all day long
I paint up the ocean I paint in a song
The mountains they’ve been calling so I can always find my way back
I am missing my tribe
The heart shaped hearts that I live for
Mother laughing
Sister holding
Auntie listening
Cousin giving
And to the wild women I left behind
Who I fit inside my sacred space
My medicine is abundant and flowing
I can take a sip from my blessings’ cup
And take steps to find myself again in the river when the deep in me craves
to be surrounded

“Inside our homes there is usually” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday February 28, 2016
11:46pm
5 minutes
From a magazine cutout

The smell of saffron and raisins, stewing zucchini
and red onion. You play with my hair like we’re sisters
and we are but we’re not. A writer from Paris who wants to
fuck you and might take me too if I offered tells us about
his book. “It’s a ghost story,” he says, rolling a cigarette.
“Aren’t all stories ghost stories?” I ask, mostly myself but
also you, and a little bit him. He looks surprised and asks
if we want to go to the underground liquor store to get wine.
You know ghosts, haunted by things I won’t about
until three years from now. I’m haunted by what I can’t even feel
let alone speak. Sister sister sister.
We follow the writer into the souks
like his ducklings. Every so often he looks
over his shoulder and smiles. He goes into a shop
we wait outside adjusting our scarves and our approachable expressions.

“the window is open” by Julia at her dining table


Monday February 8, 2016
9:44Pm
5 minutes
from the song playing on the radio

I can hear them singing my sweet song, Alina! Those little chickadees outside my window are humming me a get well song. Can you hear them? Hear them sing my name? Loiiiiiisssss. Ha ha! They’re singing me back to good health. Oh now, listen close, you hear that thumping? The knock knock knocking? Woodpeckers! Rattling out their best wishes for me too! I feel so loved, Alina! When your brother calls tell him the forest is taking good care of me and not to rush over here.

I don’t think he’s coming, ma.

Of course he is! He hasn’t been to see me yet because of all his work, you told me that, but he’s still going to come!

Ma, he’s not. He’s not coming. I’m sorry.

Well did you speak to him? Did you?

No.

Well then I’m sorry but how on earth could you know what he is or isn’t doing?

“There was a makeup fiasco!” By Julia on Nicole’s couch


Tuesday, January 5, 2016
2:19am
5 minutes
From a text

Julia (that’s me) dropped her eye shadow on the bathroom tiles and the powder exploded all over the floor and the toilet. Julia (still me) tried to clean it up but kept smearing black glitter everywhere and wasting a lot of paper towel. Julia was lucky that the eye shadow that broke was not the eye shadow that she was keeping that eye shadow container for in the first place and thanked her lucky stars that she only really used the black glittery one for very special occasions (like the burial of her sister’s iguana, Ballet, or the time Jessica dressed her up in a snake skin onesie and asked her to “dance around like a slithering serpent on ecstasy”).

“guiding his life direction” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday November 10, 2015 at Brendee’s table
5:18pm
5 minutes
from a student’s short story

Met up with Cheyrl, the psychic, who was really just my friend’s older sister, Talia, wearing a kerchief and staring into lava lamps. She told me she was going to get my life on track, but first we must see the path it’s on right now. I don’t know, maybe Parker was just trying to help, but I didn’t think I needed a psychic to tell me that I was unhappy. Cheyrl laid out a deck of cards with angels on them. She told me to centre my heart’s vision on picking three cards that are spiritually calling to me. I asked her if it’s just a reaction, or do I actually hear something calling me, and if she could please tell it to me straight so I don’t have to get all up in it for nothing.

“Our favourite woman is missing!!!” by Julia at Valens Restaurant


Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at Valens Restaurant
10:02 pm
5 minutes
From a text

I wait for Dany to close the door fully before I utter a single word about Cynthia. I hear the click. Dany waits at the window watching Mitchell get into his car. She makes sure he drives away then she slowly turns around.
“He’s gone.”
“You sure?”
“Yeah. Watched him drive off. ”
“I don’t think she’s dead. ”
“Don’t say that. I knew you were going to say that. ”
“Hear me out, Dany. I’ve given this a lot of thought. ”
“I don’t like that she could be alive and wouldn’t tell us. Or wouldn’t even tell her own brother. ”
“That’s just it, Mitch can’t know about her. No one can. ”

“Your premium won’t increase” by Julia at her desk


Friday February 20, 2015
3:29pm
5 minutes
from a radio ad at the Dentist

I didn’t want my mother to know but I had been sending sending cheques to her condo once a month and signing them The Canadian Bursary For Deserved Patrons. She wouldn’t take my money if she knew it was me, and my sister tried to send anonymous money to her condo last July and my mother called in a bomb threat. I’ve had to get creative. She’s stubborn and won’t take money directly, but I have two post secondary degrees so I was not going to let that be the end of it. It didn’t matter how she got it, as long as she just got it. Now she’s able to pay off her medical bills without feeling like a charity case or that she’s not able to take care of herself. After Dad died, my mother tried really hard to prove that she could keep up with everything on her own. When she sees the cheque each month, she thinks in some sweet and sneaky way, my father is sending his love to her. Who am I to ruin that image for a woman who gave up her entire life just to raise two little girls with very big dreams.

“It was probably so hard not to slap him” by Julia in Lozzola


Monday December 1, 2014
12:45am
5 minutes
A text from Katerina

Turned around with a fire in my face and I knew that if I did not leave in that exact moment I would be facing criminal charges for the rest of my life. I get like that sometimes. Blinded by rage. Can’t see straight. Impulse impulse impulse. It’s like a movie I’ve already seen is playing in the background of my mind, distracting the rest of my brain from figuring out what I’m about to do. It’s fuzzy, there are a lot of colours, but the moment right in front of me is clear. I’m not sure when it started. I was told to focus on my breathing by more than one person. My sister tries to send me links on how to deal with anger, how to channel my inner black cloud, how not to kill a man who has accidentally brushed up against me at the supermarket while rifling through vine tomatoes.

“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?

“Potting Mix” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Friday June 27, 2014 at MAKE
2:29pm
5 minutes
from the bag of soil

So my friend’s friend’s sister gave my friend’s friend one of those basil growing kits and my friend’s friend didn’t want it so she gave it to my friend who hated growing stuff unless it was pot so my friend gave it to me and told me to “make it rain”. She was clever like that. Sometimes she’d say things like “If the glove fits, hide it” or “Take me, break me, but please don’t forsake me”. Some of them work really well in sentences and some were only medium good. The “make it rain” thing kind of applied though. It was like “Go with God” or “Grow with God” which is what my friend would have said if she had thought about it for just two more seconds. So I wanted to “make it rain” as it were cause it meant I’d be in the “green” or whatever with the basil. Which is green. Like money. You get it. I had never grown a single thing in my entire life. I couldn’t even get behind those sea-monkeys cause what the shit were those even anyway?

“1 Eastside” by Julia at the motel in Thunder Bay


Friday June 13, 2014
10:56pm
5 minutes
The front of a bus in Sault Ste. Marie

We ended up taking a bus to a reserve somewhere with a sign that read “Gravel River Motel: Food, Gifts, Amethyst”. I didn’t realize how important amethyst was, but it happened to be my birthstone so I was intrigued enough to go in. We talked to the shop owner for at least 10 minutes, him asking me how I found myself here and me asking him why he was selling amethyst like cigarettes. He told me that I was here now and that’s all that mattered. I bought two or three of his little sacks filled with the stuff. I said, Thanks, I’ll give one of them to my sister when I see her next. Then we waved to him as we left the shop and wondered out loud if that entire experience was one we had dreamed up or one that truly transpired. I thought about the shop-owner later that night as I laid on the motel bed, counting the times the guy in the room next to ours, separated by a paper thin wall, said “Please” to his girlfriend or lover or something like that.

“Maximize your chances” by Julia at the Holiday Inn in Charleston


Wednesday April 23, 2014
12:55am
5 minutes
http://www.zerve.com

Wendy had a thing for counting. She counted the stars visible from her bedroom window, she counted the number of steps it was her room to Park’s room, from her room to any room, really, and from the basement to the attic. Even numbers were her favourite. Sometimes she’d count again just to make sure she didn’t count wrong because those odd numbers always seemed so odd. Wendy was also very interested in grouping objects in front of her in categories. She grouped gum wrappers according to life story, bread crumbs, according to size, and pennies according to amount of dirt. She was interested in organizing these things and everything, and Park made it very difficult for her because he had a personality that refused to be contained. Park couldn’t even remember his own birthday. He was a disaster of a 3 year old. Wendy tried to teach him the basics but Park was a bit of an idiot and would just wander off into walls and burst out in hysterical laughter. Wendy never understood why he didn’t just count the steps from the coffee table to the kitchen– That way he wouldn’t have that stupid problem every time of banging into something so clearly avoidable.

“line ’em up and shoot ’em.” by Julia on the couch


Thursday April 10, 2014
12:23am
5 minutes
From a quote by John Grisham

Franky used to be a real prick. He’d line up my Barbie dolls and shoot the heads and the tits off each one. One by one by Barbie dolls would undergo their painful transformation as my brother Franky (who obviously didn’t believe women existed as human beings), would ruin their bodies and their faces satisfying his cruel desire for violence and nudity. He grew up one day and I told him that he should really try to make sure his own kids didn’t do that to their sister because it was actually pretty traumatizing for a 6 year old to witness her precious little dolls experience such a travesty without an explanation that it’s because some men just hate women.

“Entry at the front doors only” by Julia on the 501 going west


Wednesday April 9, 2014
11:28pm
5 minutes
said by the streetcar conductor

I knew I was doing a bad thing, trying to get my baby brother, SJ, on the train without a ticket. I knew I was doing a bad bad thing. But mama never gave me any coins for savings. I had to use all my money just to buy my ticket alone, and I read the rules. And I read that baby brothers still need to pay. So I knew what I was doing but I had to do it anyway. Cause life or death is sometimes a pretty okay reason to do something wrong. So I told him to go by himself. I told him I would be right there when we got there. He was old enough and I told him that too. Didn’t want him to think I was leaving
him. Not even close. But what were they going to do? Try and find his parents? They weren’t going to find that. Better luck that he’d sneak into my car when it was time and hide under my body during ticket checks. So I told him no talking, no noise making. Just walk on and walk around and come to the third car from the front and I’ll be there. He was not happy. Not happy one bit.

“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.

“for being born and stuff” by Julia at her desk


Friday March 14, 2014
11:44pm
5 minutes
Nelu’s Birthday Card

When I welcome baby Preston I will tell him, “you’re little and I’m big, so that makes me the boss of you!” He will laugh at all my jokes and tell me I’m his favourite sister with his eyes, and we’ll both giggle cause I’m his only sister! I will take him for walks and introduce him to Mr. Andrews who rakes our lawn, and Mrs. Edwards who helps us cross the street with her bright yellow vest. Then when the grass is dry, I will take him to the park and show him what the sun really looks like! I will feed him chunks of bread dipped in Cheese Wiz, and he will make sure the flies don’t land on our stuff by drooling everywhere! I know baby Preston will drool because my Mommy told me so! She said, “He will drool as much as you did,” and I drooled a lot! Baby Preston is supposed to come from Mommy’s tummy in exactly one week from right now. If he doesn’t show up at 2:22 PM, he will be late for his first big appointment. I will teach him how to always be on time and run when Mommy or Daddy calls him. Sometimes you think you’re already running very fast, but I will show him that he should always run fastest before dinner.

“uniquely connected to her” by Julia on her bed


Thursday February 20, 2014
6:14pm
5 minutes
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/theatre
Amanda taught Julia how to read, how to blow bubbles with her gum, how to play games on the Compquest plus, how to tie her hair back in a long ponytail so it wouldn’t get in the way while swimming. She held her hand when they crossed the road and taught Julia to wait until all the cara had passed and after the magic song was finished. Amanda taught Julia the magic song: Never run across the street, it’s the safety of the beat! Julia loved to sing it any time of the day and Amanda liked to remind Julia not to sing it unless there was a road that needed crossing. Amanda didn’t want Julia to fall behind in school, so she taught her how to listen, how to strive for good grades, how to do word problems in math class. She taught her how to kiss a boy, how to trust her instincts, and how to wear her high school uniform so people wouldn’t make fun of her. Amanda taught Julia how to look at the world with a kindness that she would never ever forget.

“The Psychology of Colour” by Julia on her couch


Monday December 30, 2013
10:06pm
5 minutes
www.stumbleupon.com

Apparently the plum colour she bought was meant to signify “confidence”. She believed it I guess. I guess because she didn’t have any to begin with. She planned it out, thought she might wear it to Christmas dinner to show her brother that she was fine without him and that it wasn’t because of her “twisted smile” that made him “run away” She wanted to show him that she was brave and bold and all the things he thought she wasn’t. To hurt her? Maybe. To help her? She rationalized. He, if she had to pick, would be brown, the colour of practicality and ultimately boredom. She didn’t see a colour that he would wear anyway. None of them jumped out at her because he wasn’t a very good person and all the colours on the wheel seemed way too nice for him anyway. Maybe red, the colour of hunger and rage, and the devil. That made sense to her. She was new to this ‘psychology of colour’.She was trying to channel calm, in the light blue, and lightness in the bright yellow.

“SOARING” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar going West


Monday December 9, 2013
11:04pm
5 minutes
from a Ryerson University subway ad

Soaring and falling are awfully similar, Maggie thinks to herself when she’s jumping. She stretches out her arms. The wind whips her braid. “Shit,” she thinks. “I should’ve called Ned.”

When she was five, Maggie got into her older brother, Malcolm’s permanent marker set. He’d gotten it from their grandmother who brought them various art supplies whenever she came to visit from Montreal. She decided that she’d have been better off if she was a boy. It seemed to her that Malcolm had it a whole lot easier. He didn’t have to wash his hair every day. He skateboarded to school. She drew glasses around her eyes, blue frames, just like Malcolm. He had a few pimples, so she dotted some pink onto her chin and forehead. The Housekeeper Svetlana found her before she got to her mop of curly, red hair. Svetlana promised not to tell Maggie’s parents so long as Maggie didn’t speak a peep about Svetlana doing the mopping in her underwear. Maggie and Svetlana pinky swore. When her father crept into her room to kiss her on the forehead, home from a late flight, he saw a small, usually pale face, red and raw. “What happened to Maggie?” he asked Malcolm, reading in his room. “She found my markers and went ape-shit,” Malcolm said, barely looking up.

“documenting, communicating” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday November 13, 2013
10:42am
5 minutes
25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer
Jocelyn K. Glei


Corinne and her baby brother, Emilio, were standing at the bus stop–well, Emilio was not standing, but sitting more so on Corinne’s hip and playing with the gold chain around her neck. She was careful to watch him so he wouldn’t pull off the ‘C’ that hung near her cleavage.
Emilio, according to most, was an accident baby as he had been born 20 years after Corinne. She didn’t think of him like that…A happy accident if any.
Corinne was the only one who seemed to care for little Emilio as her mother was away for weeks at a time attending to “business” which really just meant “business men”. Corinne wasn’t even convinced that her and Emilio had the same father. Her mother was not one to kiss and tell so everyone was always just left guessing.
Corinne was on her way, with unintentional offspring in tow, to meet Carla, her friend from high school who said she had some very important news.

“For their swim records” by Julia at Cafe Uno


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


I failed swimming lessons when I was 7. Or 6. Or something dumb and young like that. I was told in my first year of lessons that I “Swam like a fish”. That was bullshit. Just something Keri, the swim instructor told all the stupid kids. Truth was I couldn’t grasp it. I would try to paddle like a dog and just end up swallowing too much water. I was afraid of everything, the diving board (even when I wasn’t on it), the stairs, the shallow end. Keri said I was doing fine, but there was something different about her tone. Maybe she knew I wasn’t teachable, even at 6. Or 7. My sister wasn’t doing that well in swimming class either, so guess what, I didn’t care to be that great either. I thought if I was supposed to excel at it, my sister would have already shown me how to do it. My sister is the smart one. She picks up things quick, like baking, or when we were kids, being a leader. I was always fine just tagging along and wearing what she was wearing. Not much for making decisions. I wish I could go back in time and re-learn how to learn because something is still wrong with me. I can swim to save my life, I guess, but that’s only because my aunt Kathy forced me to tread water for an unnatural amount of time because she knew I wouldn’t even know how many minutes had passed. I suppose that was a nice thing she did. Either way. Swimming is still bullshit.

“1951-2013” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday, October 6, 2013
11:21pm
5 minutes
from Haroon Rahim Bakhsh’s memorial card

“I’m going out!” I call. Mom’s in her bedroom watching The Price Is Right. She guesses before the contestants on the show, out loud, and if she’s right she rewards herself with a spritz of perfume. The smell is making me nauseous. “Mom!” She can’t hear me. “I’m going to the beach!” “Fine,” she says, and I hear her shuffling. “No need to get up,” I poke my head into her room, holding my breath, “I’ll be back in an hour or so.” “Can you do an errand for me?” She asks. She either wants Rum or BBQ Chicken. “I’m just going to the beach, I wasn’t going to go to the store,” I’m irritated but I hide it, or I try to. A mother always knows. “Fine,” she says. When I’m out of the apartment, I cough and take huge gulps of the Florida air. My cell phone beeps. It’s Vee. She’s been checking in on me every few hours. I think she thinks I’m suicidal. She doesn’t want me to go before Mom.

“one morning in late July” by Sasha on the Megabus


Thursday August 1,2013
5:36pm
5 minutes
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald


She moves one hand over the other, like a grasshopper. She’s listening to the cello in the apartment beside her, how is carves into her gut and reminds her of her sister. She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror near the entrance way earlier and thought, “What’s my mother doing here?” It took a blink of her eyes, long and deliberate, for her to jog that sliver of memory. My mother has been dead for twenty-two years. She went to the bedroom then, to see if her african violet was blooming. It wasn’t. She is waiting. She wonders if she should go for a manicure, what with the wedding on Saturday. She realizes that Saturday is a whole week away, because today is Saturday and not the Saturday when Lilly and Charles will get married. She should wait to get a manicure until Thursday. She wonders what she’ll do with Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Sunday is taken care of, she’ll go to the Basilica and then have lunch with the ladies. She isn’t sure how she feels about Midge’s new hair colour. She is sure, but she won’t admit that even to herself. She hates it worse than dirty toilet bowls and the smell of the hospital.

‘ONE DRY PINT’ by Sasha on her couch


Thursday, April 4, 2013
11:45pm
5 minutes
from the cherry tomato carton

We could cut slices of the tension, like cheesecake, moist and lemony. Instead we pretend. We’re very good at it. From the outside, no one would know. Actually, that’s a lie. Your sister would know. She would raise her eyebrows and say, “What the heck, you guys?!” It had all started when you came into the kitchen and I was eating a whole quiche. “What the fuck, Kelly?” You said. “I’m… upset -” was all I could say, a little piece of crust falling out of my mouth. “He’s dead, I can do what I want,” I continued, you shrinking your eyes so they looked so much less kind, less green. “You’re going to regret everything you’re doing, Kelly,” you said, like you were smarter than me, like you’d figured out the magical recipe of how to grieve well.

“For residential customers,” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday February 16, 2013
12:03pm
5 minutes
The back of the Toronto Hydro bill

He wouldn’t mind seeing her again, against a backdrop of raindrop windows and peacock feather, Bon Iver and a tin roof dancing with thunder. He wouldn’t mind forgetting his sister, eighteen, (looking more like his mother than his mother did at her age), his sister, in her first semester at University, posting pictures of herself in booty shorts and a bra. He wouldn’t mind finally going on that ten-day silent meditation retreat, even though everything inside of him is scared and screaming, “I can’t ever be quiet!” He wouldn’t mind leaving his thirteen hundred dollar a month apartment, and his stainless steel appliances, and his bookshelves filled with books with barely creased spines. What would he have then? What would he have if he didn’t have his carton of twelve extra large brown eggs, and his cologne from France that his uncle sends him (purchased at the Duty Free in Vegas), and the framed photo of he and her on Khao San Road, looked sparkly, tanned, and smarter, even though they were younger.