“The bit about the doorbell” by Sasha in her living room

Saturday October 19, 2019
5 minutes
Someday Is Today
Alethea Black

The doorbell rings and Ange stops in her tracks. Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit. Fe wasn’t supposed to arrive until this afternoon. “I’ll be right there!” She calls, running up the stairs and shutting the bedroom door.

Fe is on her phone, talking in Spanish. Ange always says she’s going to learn, but the Duolingo app on her phone goes unopened for the most part.

”What language do you dream in?” Ange asked Fe one of their first morning’s together.

Fe thought about it for awhile. “I’m not sure,” she eventually replied, picking sleep out of the corners of her eyes.

”It’s probably Spanish. I think I read once that we dream in our mother tongues.”

As she opens the door, Ange asks, “Why don’t you have your key?”

Fe cocks her head and glares at her. She’s cut her hair.

“Whose language would he speak?” By Sasha at Ideal Coffee

Friday December 21, 2018
5 minutes
Herman Hesse

You’re learning Spanish
You fell in love with the
language on our honeymoon
and now you’re teaching

yourself by an app
usually at the end of the day
in our bed you repeat

Lo siento

You’re good with languages
in a way I’m not and I think
about how you’ll help our
daughter with her French homework

I’ll look over and remember
counting to twenty

I was good at a lot of things
but this wasn’t one of them

“making a retreat into self-protective cynicism” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday September 26, 2017
5 minutes
Fighting the Cowardice of Cynicism
Caitlin Moran

My cynic wears tortershell glasses
And has brown eyes

Her wardrobe is browns and greys
White black

She has an astoundingly dry
Sense of humor

She drinks dry martinis

She speaks Italian
And a little bit of Japanese
Enough to get by
Enough to order the best sushi

When she speaks
People listen
People hear
Especially men
Men listen
No one
No one
Mansplains to her

She never has to repeat
She never has to interrupt

“Cookie duty” by Julia on her brother’s old bed

Wednesday, January 6, 2016
5 minutes
Overheard at Platform Seven

Marta was busy teaching herself Spanish on her new audio learning app. She had her headphones in at all hours of the day and out of nowhere she’d blurt out a “Donde esta el banio?” or a “buenas noches!” even if she was in the middle of a conversation or an activity that did not require Spanish. Marta’s little sister, Leah, had asked her to help her make cookies for her bake sale and Marta told her “me gustaria help you”. Marta pictured herself making cookies for Ambrosio, the ridiculously hot life guard at the community pool who was the reason for her Spanish lessons in the first place.

“the good life” by Julia on the 506 going west

Monday April 7, 2014
5 minutes
from a GoodLife Fitness sign

started off with a bang and i thought to myself, why do i live so close to other humans?
you rolled over and you said the same thing, only in spanish, and we both yawned like it was the answer to the universe.
we tried to get back to sleep but the banging persisted. was a saturday morning sleep-in just far too much to ask? i wondered about it with my eyes shut tight, trying to keep the light out. i groaned and thought to myself, next time we should close the blinds before the weekend starts.
you rolled over to face the wall and you said the same thing, only in spanish, and we both yawned like it was a signed contract for future weekends to come.
the banging. the banging. why can’t those tiny bottle-seeking women just come back after 10am after the lazies and the tired have forced themselves to get up?
finally i had had enough. i got up from our warm cocoon and hobbled over to the window holding my bare boobs with one hand. it wasn’t a human at all. It was a squirrel trying to get into our garbage bin.
mother fucker, i said out loud.
you rolled over and said the same thing, only in spanish.

“may find offensive” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday, September 29, 2013
5 minutes
from a TV warning on Global

1. I hear a knock at the door.
2. I open the cabinet and throw the bag of chocolate chips inside that I’ve been eating.
3. I go to the door and I open it.
4. She’s wearing a wide-brimmed hat with a sunflower on it.
5. She’s smiling but her eyes are cloudy.
6. She looks how I felt yesterday.
7. We’re all more related than we think/
8. “Welcome to the neighbourhood!” She says, in an accent that coats her words like caramel. “I’m Marlena!”
9. She hands me a casserole dish.
10. “The girls call me Lena,” she says. “The girls?” I say.
11. “The neighbourhood girls!” She looks at her hands, dirty, and then looks at me, apologetically.
12. “We heard you’re expecting!” She smiles.
13. “”We”?” I ask.
14. “The girls, silly!”
15. I touch my belly, an obligatory move.
16. “When’s he coming?” She keeps smiling.
17. “Who?” I say, thinking she’s referring to Geoff, who’s still in Windsor.
18. “The bambino!”
19. “Oh, February.”
20. I invite her in.
21. She declines.
22. I invite her in.
23. She accepts.

“Maybe find a bluebird’s nest” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday, June 2, 2013
5 minutes
Knee-Deep in June
James Whitcomb Riley

Sebastian, just sit still! I want you to remember that sometimes I think in Spanish, or I think in what I think is Spanish, what Spanish would feel like. It used to be Portuguese. It used to feel like Portuguese. I’m not a “classroom learner”, okay, I’m an auditory learner. Trouble is I can’t find a plane that will take me where I need to go, so I’m left thinking in pseudo-languages and hoping one day, when I meet a Portuguese person or a Spaniard, it will all work out. Thanks a lot, Sebastian, but I never really loved you. I gave you time, I gave you hot tea, I gave you an encyclopaedia of exactly how I work but… you still didn’t get it. I don’t think I’m asking too much? Maybe you should just find another nest to land in. We’re comfortable, Sebastian, right? We’re comfortable. But is that really how you want to be? Is that how you want to live? Comfortably?! Nope, no, nein, non… I wouldn’t even say that our comfort is true comfort because it’s making us both lazy and unintelligent.