“The randomness comes from atmospheric noise” by Sasha at Matchstick Riley Park

Sunday December 10, 2017
6:07pm at Matchstick Coffee Roasters
5 minutes
From random.org

Big wide open sky is what she needs
Bird song and gopher’s popping up like an inside joke
She contemplates running away
Going to Alberta
Big wide open sky is in her blood

She used to joke about things that aren’t funny

She’ll pack only one sweater
One pair of wool socks
Brown boots
A pair of jeans
A black tank top
She’s never travelled so light

If it wasn’t 2017
If it wasn’t winter
If she wasn’t a woman
She’d hitchhike

She’ll take the train
Counting cornfields
Counting blessings
Counting failures
Which one will come out on top?

She’ll make a friend in a seatmate
An old woman going to meet her grandchild
For the first time
The old woman will have beautiful wrinkles
And will say all the right things
Which means something wrong occasionally slips out
She likes that

“Packing planner checklist” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 15, 2016 at Starbucks
7:35am
5 minutes
from the Uhaul website

I think T-Lite said she’d meet us at the train station but she didn’t say what time. If she doesn’t show up, we’re screwed, but I don’t want to tell that to Roy yet. He still thinks we’re escaping this place on some magic carpet, flying far far away. I look up at the departure board and Santa Monica has one coming up, the next one not for a few hours. If we’re late, I don’t know what happens to the ones we’re expected to pick up at the station. Roy yawns and takes his heart shaped sunglasses off to rub his eyes. We goin’ or what? He says. Let’s make moves! Yeah, I say, we are, hold tight. Maybe, he tells me, I’ll catch a few z’s before T-Lite gets here, ah? Yeah, find a little spot on the ground, I say. Check for wet. He brings his hands to prayer and bows his head in my direction. I look at my watch again. I sink a little: we are definitely not making this next train.

“Watch your belongings” by Julia on the 505 going west


Tuesday, April 28, 2015
11:54pm
5 minutes
A sign in the Kitsilano Public Library

Tuck had been running back and forth to the toilet all morning. He felt like a train was plowing through his stomach since last night’s sushi. He knew he shouldn’t have finished it all after the first bite of tuna that smelled very close to the stuff he’d sometimes find underneath his toes. Tuck always smelled his toe jam. He couldn’t help it. He kind of liked it. But Tuck wasn’t big on waste, or health, or being an adult and ordering new food because that would take time and he was hungry as all hell. Every bite he ate he had to plug his nose so he wouldn’t taste the…funk of it. He ate every last morsel and it only took him 25 minutes for him to regret it. He could hear his mother’s shrill voice in his ear as he hunched over the can, preparing his guts for another roller coaster ride. “Don’t you want to enjoy your food, Tucker? What’s the point in eating if you refuse to even taste it!” He didn’t want to be thinking of her right now. It was hard enough having to ask a customer to watch the diner every 5 minutes so he could run to the bathroom and purge.

“What a liberty!” by Julia on the train to London


Saturday December 27, 2014
12:22pm
5 minutes
from Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren
edited by Giles and Victoria Coren


I’m stuck on a train with a surprise murderer from Vancouver island. He’s reading right now, don’t worry. But he just spent the last half hour explaining the plot of his book that he’s trying to get published. He doesn’t have an agent. His protagonist just so happens to be a surprise murderer from Vancouver island. He lives alone. So does his protagonist. He’s a lumberjack. Has access to an axe. Knows how to wield one. So does his protagonist. Captures a traveling circus that’s moving through town. Don’t know how to prove that both of them do it. But his protagonist does. Told me he’d watch my bag while I went to the bathroom. Didn’t trust him. Didn’t go. He doesn’t know yet that I don’t trust him. Too big of a smile trying to reassure me he absolutely will never kill me. I think surprise murderers have to practice that smile. Over and over and over again.

“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.

“Negotiate with agents” by Sasha at CSI Coffee Pub


Friday, October 4, 2013 at CSI Coffee Pub
1:02pm
5 minutes
What Is Dramaturgy
Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas


A: You’ve got a wish on your cheek…
B: Pardon?
A: (clears throat) You’ve got a wish on your cheek.
B: Excuse me?
A licks a pointer finger and presses it to B’s cheek. He shows her the eyelash.
B: Oh! Ha ha ha –
A: Should you use this on or should I?
B: Knock yourself out.
A closes his eyes and wishes hard. He opens his eyes and blows on his finger. The eyelash remains.
A: (under his breath) Shoot.
B: Are you finished with that newspaper?
A: Yeah, I guess so…
B: I just want to read my horoscope, you can have it back when I’m done.
A hands B the newspaper. B flips to the page with Astrology and reads.
A: I’m Capricorn…
B looks up.
A: … if you’d like to read mine. After yours of course.
B: “You will meet a beautiful stranger. Your life will never be the same.”
A: (laughs) Seriously?
B: (standing up as the subway door chimes) Oh yeah.
A: Well, you can’t just –
The subway door chimes again. B exits.

“Never seen by waking eyes.” by Sasha on her living room floor


Tuesday, April 16, 2013
12:23am
5 minutes
A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky
Lewis Carroll


The sky was grey, heavy, carrying the weight of Spring, of all that’s coming. The ground was soft, moist, just under the surface all the seeds whispering their “good mornings”. The trees were budding, but you had to really look, tiny pokes of green smiling “almost”. The train lurched, stopped and starting as they do, the people swaying, holding onto the poles, stealing glances at strangers they think they know. The bananas in the bowl were more spotted then the day before, perhaps desiring to be turned into bread, or a smoothie, over the point of being peeled and eaten. The mug teetered near the edge of the table, green paisley, given as a gift, found at a garage sale, separated from it’s twins, it’s sisters, many years ago.