“Later I found the fork” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday November 8, 2019
7:38am
5 minutes
Because These Failures Are My Job
Alison Luterman

I used to steal rice pudding from Mrs. Crasinski’s house. She paid me five dollars to feed her demented cat when she went to Sarnia to visit her sister and I justified the inconveniece (which, in hindsight, was minuscule) by stealing her delicious homemade rice pudding. She always had a big jar of it in her fridge. I think she served it to the ladies who would come over for Bridge on Tuesday afternoons, and to her granddaughter, Cassandra. I feel really badly often about a whole milieu of things, but at the top of the list is stealing rice pudding from this poor, lonely old lady. She never noticed I don’t think. I never ate enough to really put a dent in the big jar. I’d take a fork from the cutlery drawer and eat it with the fridge door still open, a rush of adrenaline and milky sweetness surfing through my veins. 

“Light like sugar cane.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Oct 17, 2019
11:11am
Daybreak

Gerry Lafemina

Light like sugar cane through the kitchen window and you’re wild with belief, whirling dervish of possible outcomes. You dream of rivers and oceans over and over, research water metaphors, read poetry written by women who came before their time. You meditate on the round stone in the park garden, grown over since summer’s ripe peach, sun is still here though, sun is still here. You were once groped by a man on a crowded train, ass and vulva, rubbed top to bottom, or bottom to top depending on who is telling the tale. You said nothing. This haunts you more than the time you cheated on the first man you actually loved, more than stealing fifty dollars from your grandmother’s handbag, more than lying to your friend about why you couldn’t make his birthday dinner (a new beau who turned out to be a sour stale egg, barf barf barf). You looked the groper in the eye, though, that’s one wee bit of action you took. You made it clear that you saw him, in his unshaven violence, in his hand violating the body of a woman, of a fawn.

“seemed to love us anyway” by Julia on her couch

Friday, March 16, 2018
11:53pm
5 minutes
Beauty: 1976
Ruth L. Shwartz

We stole little things from her vanity-a ring, a sample bottle of eau de toilette, a hair pin. It didn’t look like she would notice them gone. There were so many more important things to notice. After she told us about the robbery and how they found Granite’s debit card being used in six different diners in two days, we felt bad. Here she was telling us about how people keep stealing from them, and we were there, stealing from them. It was so easy to convince ourselves she wouldn’t notice on account of how many stories we’ve been forced to listen to for the 60th time. People who tell the exact same story to the exact same people year after year are not the look around and see what’s new about the room kind of people. People who are so damn sad do not have time to count their broaches, or their Jean jackets.

“for what little he had left” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
Ordinary
Curtis LeBlanc

This place is good for my pen obsession. Roller tip, flowing ink, black, fine, blue, turquoise. Anytime I’m here, in the copy room, I have to be careful that I don’t get sticky fingers. That’s what Da used to call it, when me or one of the twins would pinch something at the corner store. “How’d ya get those sticky fingers, hey?” He’d say, shaking his big head. “Wasn’t from me, that’s fer sure,” he’d scold us and make us bring the thing back and then Mrs. Dowers would crouch down and look us in the eyes and say,

“Stealing is the devil’s work.” She’d be smiling a little, got some sort of sick pleasure out of tormenting the little ones. Fear of God in us, it’s be months before we pinched something again… at least Tyler, it’d be months before Tyler did. Me and Jim were good, it only took one of those talks.

“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.”

“butler service, gourmet dining” by Julia on the plane


Sunday October 23, 2016
8:51am
5 minutes
Westjet magazine

I don’t want money
I just want to be able to buy things
I don’t want money

Yesterday I slept over at Laura’s house
Not a house
Laura’s mansion
Her grandparents invented The Ponytail
or something like that
Something that makes money
I slept in a bed bigger than my
whole house
Laura asked if I wanted
to try running away with her
again and I said for once
I would really really like
to stay

I don’t want money
I just want to be able to want things
I don’t want money

When Elsie came back from the
bathroom she had devised a
plan for our
Office Heist
She said if I tackled the pens
she would make sure we
had enough paper
to last us for our entire lives
I told her I didn’t know how
to get them
and she smiled sideways
Just show me some charm
And some leg

“The earth’s insomnia” by Julia at her “New York”


Wednesday March 16, 2016
9:04pm
5 minutes
Moonlight
Lorna Crozier


I have been out stealing rosemary again. Middle of the night. I am not sorry. But I do recognize the pattern. It’s not about much more than needing to have it in my home so I can touch it when I want to and it can calm me down. Some people do the very same thing with animals. I mean maybe they don’t go around at midnight and sneak into people’s front yards, but–I mean they feel comforted by the presence of a pet. So what? I don’t have one of those. I make do. I’m fine. Please don’t ever think my problems will be solved by a cat. They most certainly will not. I don’t need something like that. Thank you for the offer of your offer. I miss my fucking mother. I want to call her and cry and let her love me back to life. I want to tell her that after all that rosemary thieving I didn’t even put any in the roast potatoes. Because I wanted to keep it longer in a vase next to my bed. Because I wanted to hold onto her soft voice telling me for the last time that I was her laugh.

“The owner kindly said it was not working out” by Sasha on her couch


Friday, January 8, 2016
11:14pm
5 minutes
A Facebook status

She slides three fifties from the last tab she closed into the back pocket of her jeans and the rush is like a fountain, is like drinking a whole Coke, opening up your throat like a valve and letting the caffeine and sugar in. Come in come in come in.

Luis asks if she’s cool to close tonight and she says, yes, absolutely. He sends Monique home and a half hour later he leaves, too. “Text me when you’re locking up,” he says, like he does every night to whichever server is closing.

She voids a purchase, writing on the receipt, “SERVER ERROR”. The fifties buzz in her pocket. What will they turn into? Gold, gold, gold. Silver hoop earrings or a new belt or the shoes she’s had her eye on that might finally be on sale.

“The owner kindly said it was not working out” by Julia in Amanda’s bed


Friday, January 8, 2016
12:06am
5 minutes
A Facebook status

I usually don’t, but sometimes when the light is right I feel like I should apologize for all the prosciutto I used to steal from the very first restaurant I worked at. I know there are worse things to steal and I like to tell myself that I had my reasons but even justifying it makes me sort of wish I had chosen a different way to rebel. I mainly remember sneaking the expensive and coveted cured meat for the following reasons:
1. I was trying to punish my boss for making me work every brunch by myself
2. I was trying to punish my boss for never having enough cash to pay me in full
3. I was trying to punish my boss for hating women
4. I was trying to punish my boss for only offering to feed me at midnight

“I see four stages” by Julia on the bench outside Baldwin Laundry


Friday, July 10, 2015
4:08pm
5 minutes
On Writing Zion
Maureen Stanton


Day One:
listening at the door to see if Alistair is still crying into his pillow
making sure he knows he can talk to me if he needs to
hoping that if he needs to he doesn’t bring up Deb
knowing that if he’s going to, he’s going to bring up Deb
preparing to talk about Deb
hand-washing the kimono Rufus stole for me at the charity drive
listening to Marco Beltrami to help focus my intentions

Day Two:
Consoling Alistair again about Deb
Using kind words with him like Easy Does It, There There Sweet One, I’m Not Going Anywhere
Wearing the kimono in front of the mirror to test it out
Deciding to wear the kimono loosely tied when dealing with Alistair
Figuring out ways to move my body naturally so as not to arouse suspicion when dealing with Alistair
practicing the look of genuine understanding and concern mixed with attraction

“About 10 years ago” By Julia at Holy Oak Cafe


Thursday May 14, 2015 at Holy Oak Cafe
1:17pm
5 minutes
From a story by Mikal Cronin

About ten years ago I got arrested for shoplifting and it was the best day of my life. I had been taking things that didn’t belong to me for years, for a lifetime even. I would have killed at living on the streets if I had ever had to do that..I don’t know if saying that diminishes it or not, but my skills were unparalleled. I’m not just talking little kid stuff like embroidery floss, or key chains. It was that stuff plus the good hits. I’m talking fancy face creams, high end jewelry, many expensive bathing suits, and a couple electronics every now and again. I was a little thief and I was having the time of my life. I don’t know how I got away with so much of it. Nobody every caught me, I assumed I’d never have to “pay the price”. And then that day I got arrested and had to own up, for the very first time, to what I had been doing. To who I had been. And it made me realize that I am not invincible. That I am not the exception to the rule. Cause eventually everyone has to learn that somehow.

“A woman staggered into” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday April 2, 2015
4:12pm
5 minutes
Focus
Daniel Goleman


She felt a tiny bit bad about it but not bad enough to change.
Add an extra zero here.
Photocopy a signature.
Scratch this out and add that and BOOM!
She’s walking in those shoes she’s been eyeing since Christmas.
She’s picking up the tab at lunch and brunch and happy hour.

Martha wonders what’s changed.
“Where are you getting all these new clothes?”
She whispers because Mr. Boss doesn’t like when they talk about lady things.
Mr. Boss likes it when they keep quiet, keep pretty, keep working.
“Gifts,” she replies, licking an envelope.
It slices her tongue,
the kind of cut that won’t stop bleeding,
that makes her question her choices.
She wraps toilet paper around her tongue in the washroom,
looking at her hands,
wondering when it was that she got so pale.

“Each person comes into this world” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday January 31, 2015
4:17pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Osho

I’m inspired by THIS GIRL
She leaves her stuff unattended
She’s not restricted by fear
like the rest of us

A Mac laptop
Three books
A handful of pens and an
Orange highlighter

They beg me to steal them
Especially the pens
They looks like they have out-of-this world
flow

She’s gone for longer than
a pee
She’s gone for a solid
walk around the block

THIS GIRL
Back like nothing happened
Like I didn’t touch the soft
supple aluminum of her

Computer’s head

“Share with a friend!” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday November 26, 2014
6:45pm
5 minutes
from a thank you card

She stole my baby name and that’s why we’re not friends. I told her, I said, I’m really excited about this name, it means a lot to Philip and I, and I can’t think of a single better name for our future child. So I laid it all out. I was honest, I was candid. I made sure she knew the stakes were high for me. There has to be some sort of unwritten, or even written, fully and explicitly written rule about baby name theft. And how if it’s not illegal, should be. Even if someone isn’t pregnant, it doesn’t mean their baby name is not still something incredibly important. And Sheila was pregnant, sure, and fine, but, but, she took something from me. A million other names in the free world, and my best friend, takes my best name, and then acts like we never had that really clear conversation about what we would name our kids that rainy march saturday afternoon. The nerve. So obviously when I found out that I was unable to conceive, I withheld that information from Sheila because I learned to only share important things with real friends.

“Submit where you can” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday July 15, 2014
12:33am
5 minutes
from a scrap paper

Lady at the counter said she saw me slip the lipchap into my bag and I told her, I said, no that wasn’t me, I don’t steal. And she cocked her head to the side all judgy and she said that she knew what she saw and that liars are the worst kind of thieves. I said, no, maybe you need glasses or something, but it wasn’t me, and i didn’t do what you think you saw me do. So I tried to walk out because this lady was just sitting there acting all tough, and trying to intimidate me. And then, the next thing I know, she’s got her hand on my shoulder and she’s firmly pressing in. I was like, look lady, I don’t want any trouble. And she said, well if you know what’s good for you, you’ll let me search your bag. And I hated her even more then because it wasn’t her right to do that, and I knew it. But I didn’t want her to win, so I threw my bag onto the ground. Make her work for it, I thought. Make that damn lady bend over and throw her back out just trying to prove a point. Teach her something today, maybe. Then she grabs my bag and dumps it on the ground. Just everything comes pouring out and I’m standing there hunched over, watching all my stuff fly. I know it’s in here, she said while she emptied it. I know I saw you put the damn thing in.

“Was she already dead” by Julia in a van in Philadelphia


Saturday April 19, 2014
1:08pm
5 minutes
Her Room
Anja Garbarek


i knelt down close to her unmoving body. i wasn’t about to touch her just in case. i didn’t know why, but just in case seemed like the most appropriate reason. she had on the scarf i gave her. she thought she was borrowing it, but i was planning the whole time to just say, keep it, annie, it looks better on you. i never really got the chance to tell her. now she’s probably on her way to dying thinking that she was dying in my favourite scarf. i would have liked for her to go in peace; still haunts me that i didn’t let her know sooner. all the memories of us stealing earrings and toothpaste filled my head. i can’t remember now whose idea it was to take all that stuff but i do know that i haven’t felt a rush like that since. neither of us really wanted those shitty earrings. we just liked the idea of taking something with some kind of value. the toothpaste, i’m pretty sure we just needed. i reached out to let my energy sort of drip off my fingers and into her scalp just in case. i didn’t know why, really, maybe just in case that was the one thing keeping her from being already dead.

“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 Julia on her couch


Sunday April 6, 2014
12:14am
5 minutes
from the back of a pack of gum

Ok so I’m
Sorry about two things
I’ll tell you
But first know that I’m
Sorry
Ok so
In order if I have to?
Number 1)
I should not have taken your blue scarf out of the car
I thought you wouldn’t notice
Now I’m sorry
For more than two things
I won’t say anything
but apologies
From here on out
Sorry for
Stealing your blue scarf from your car
Sorry for thinking
You wouldn’t even
Miss it
Sorry for believing
You were a
Fool
Sorry for not giving
You enough
credit
Because you deserve
All the credit
In the whole world
Sorry for then
wearing
Your blue scarf
To
Mark and Tracy’s wedding
And getting vomit on it
And getting shrimp
cocktail sauce
on it
Sorry for not asking
Sorry for not telling
Sorry for being careless
Sorry
For
Everything
Number 2)
Sorry for letting your plant die

“(that was such a cute plan)” by Julia on the 505 going west


Monday, September 9, 2013
6:16pm
5 minutes
We Think Alone
Week 11 from an email sent by Lena Dunham that includes a picture of herself


And then he chased me out of the shop with a broom, yelling something about “inappropriate” or “this is not how the world works, little girl”. I didn’t mean to steal them…I thought they were free and I left once before for what could have been permanently and he didn’t say one thing to me. So who ratted me out? Does it even matter? I never have to go there again. I shouldn’t even care but I’m finding it very difficult to let this one go. He’s just the type that likes rules. That needs rules. And because I’m at the “whatever whatever” stage in my life, the “stick it to the man and live hard and fast” stage, I didn’t think twice about what he might be feeling. And I liked him right away. I was expecting us to have a nice rapport. I didn’t consider him at all…

“There is an old joke” by Sasha at her desk


Friday, September 6, 2013
1:50pm
5 minutes
The Fireman And The Waitress
Dessa Kaspardlov


I’m not gonna go and say, “Ya let me down”. But ya did. Ya let me down. What the eff were ya thinkin’, Mindy? I was there. Ya know, I was waitin’ and as the clock went round and round my mind wouldn’ even go to the place of “She’s not comin'”. It wouldn’ even go there, ya know? Aften seven and a half hours it did, lemme tell you. Like, how many doughnuts can I eat? Do you want me to get all fat? I’m five feet tall! So, we make a plan, we make a hard n’ fast plan, like, there’s no wiggle room! We were gonna go in there! We were gonna take that painting! An’ there I was, sweating buckets, adrenaline pumping! That can’t be good for you, Mindy! It can’t be healthy, ya know?

“social insurance number” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday, July 23, 2013
12:33am
5 minutes
from the back of an envelope from the government

Somebody stole my identity. I guess I played some part in that, if I’m being honest. I made it pretty easy to steal. I just was out there, living my life, being outward with everything and then bam, one day, you get a call and they’re like “you have been pretty shitty lately” and you’re like, not any more than usual, and they’re like “no, seriously. You’re gonna get fined or whatever.” Like they don’t use that vocabulary maybe, but they basically tell you that someone found it pretty easy to get a hold of your information and your life and just fucking take it like it’s a fresh pie on a windowsill with no guard dog. They don’t tell you in life school that you should get a fucking guard dog. For your personality! That is some crazy ass stuff let me tell you. So now someone is out there and they’re living like I would be and charging all kinds of shit to my credit card and there’s nothing I can do about it. Except reinvent. I mean, it’s too late for the person I was being. I have to let her go, you know? This fuckup of a human needs someone else’s life more than they’re own, then yeah, I’m not going to fight this weirdo. I just want something that’s mine and mine only.