“I cried during the silent walking meditation” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 15, 2019
Halina Larman

Alice left Jim on a Wednesday. It was a long time coming. At least that’s what everyone said. It wasn’t dramatic. It was deliberate and soft. She had packed a black suitcase, as she knew that she needed to actually leave, not just figuratively leave. The suitcase had been Alice’s mother’s. It was worn on the bottom corner, but still zipped up. Their other suitcases, stored in the basement next to the box of Christmas ornaments and wrapping paper, belonged to Jim. At least she thought they did. It was the division of things that most overwhelmed her. Not the conversation, the “leaving” conversation. The division of their items, their life, parsed out in “I’ll take the immersion blender and you take the coffee grinder?” The older Alice got the more she didn’t care for things that she could turn on, hold in her hand, or cart around. She cared for the feeling of her blood pressure lowering, the October wind bringing her closer to herself.

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

Friday May 12, 2017
5 minutes
Love Warrior
Glennon Doyle Melton

under this roof you will
not lock the doors
under my roof you will not know something that I do not
do as I say, not as I do
do not correct my grammar
do not cry about every thing
do not forget that I would never let anything happen to you
do not raise your voicd to me
do not forget to mix vodka with orange juice
hi sweetie
Cut the garlic, fine
You’re going to be, fine
I love you

“within 15 days” by Julia on her bed

Thursday, July 9, 2015
5 minutes
A letter from Health Insurance BC

“Or maybe we could rent a van and pack it up tight with all our stupid stuff that we don’t care about and just drive it across the country like we did last time?” She says this, rubbing an ice cube side to side across her collar bone, making him sweat, making him want her even more.
“Yeah, we could, or we could purge all our stupid stuff that we don’t need and just be free and minimal.” He says this with a knowing smirk that she’d never go for something like that.
“You mean minimalistic?” She pops the ice cube into her mouth and lets it melt there for a second.
“I don’t think we need to purge. Maybe get rid of a few things. The waffle iron. We could get rid of the waffle iron, and maybe the second set of measuring cups.”

“Thousands of things” by Julia on her bed

Saturday, April 11, 2015
5 minutes
The Bargain Club sign

Got a thousand things to do today meliss! I set my alarm for exactly 7:41am, snoozed it for exactly 9 minutes, laid in bed for exactly ten more minutes thinking about the thousand things I have to do, and then I finally got out of bed by 8:00 am. I was prepared to get started, I had made a list, and then on my way to the bathroom, I tripped on the steamer that I left in the middle of the floor (cause I thought I’d just be able to SEE it and something like this would never even happen), I fell to the ground, and I fractured my wrist, meliss! How was I supposed to get things done like that!

“breaking laws and regulations” by Julia on her couch

Sunday February 22, 2015
5 minutes
Nothing But Money
Greg B. Smith

She never had a record until she did and couldn’t say that anymore. She didn’t say it enough, in fact, when she could freely and honestly do it. Now she has to announce that it’s no longer clean, pristine, untouched. She has to tell potential employers that she isn’t legally allowed to drive until 2017 because of a current DUI charge. She’d like to tell them that it wasn’t really her fault in the first place, but people don’t hear excuses when all they can see is “criminal record”. Criminal. That’s what she had become. And again, she wished she would have started more conversations with “I’m not a criminal” because now she isn’t able to identify with anything else. She hugged the woman she got to chatting with in the line at the post office who said to “try to stop identifying yourself with things in this world. Things are not you. And you are not things. Your failures do not define you. Your successes, though we’d like them to, don’t either.”

“I don’t buy Made In China,” by Julia on Jessica’s couch

Sunday, July 6, 2014
5 minutes

I buy nice things and only nice things
I buy something new every day
every day
I buy nice trinkets
I buy nice glass
I buy something new every week
every week
My toenails are always done up with style
I paint them a new colour every time I yawn
I buy nail polish every day, every day
I buy something new every week
I won’t buy something that was owned from somebody else first
I won’t accept hand-me-downs
I don’t even mind if things aren’t on sale
I don’t even mind
My house is decorated with beige and gold
I don’t hang things on the walls that look cheap
The light fixtures are ornate
The bathroom sink is a pearl
I don’t even live there
I live at the shops
I buy something new every day
I buy nice things and only nice things
I buy something new so I can feel good
I buy something new so I never feel old
I buy something new so I can boast
I buy something new because it’s the only thing I’m good at

“It’s time” by Julia at her kitchen table

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
5 minutes
The membership renewal card from National Geographic

Walruses know best. I grew up thinking that. Because of Alice in Wonderland, obviously, and that poem. What a soothing thing. “To talk of many things…” And now is the time for that. What things? Any things? Good things? Bad things? Of your wildest dreams, your biggest fears, your sorriest regrets, your untold secrets. Whatever things you wanted or needed or felt pulled to talk about, now was that time. It made it seem like the walrus just knew that. That now is now and now is the time. That there is no need to wait. That there needn’t be a special occasion the way we save outfits and bottles of particular wine. Now. The time. To talk. Of many of things! Whichever are floating in your head, whichever make a good story, whichever bring three strangers from opposite sectors of the universe together…the things that help you realize you’re not a thing but a person who talks about–well–things…