“grateful to be where we are now.” By Sasha at her desk

Friday January 11, 2019
5:03pm
5 minutes
From a Christmas card

You’re grateful I’m here. I can see it in the release of the line on your forehead, an inch above your eyebrows. It’s been disappearing slowly, and now it’s gone. Three days in to my visit. We haven’t even had sex. I have my period. We’ve kissed a lot. Made tuna sandwiches. Watched Seinfeld.

“Why don’t you move here,” you say, casually folding laundry on your bed. I’m knitting a sweater for Cassidy. James Taylor plays on Spotify.

“You know I can’t.” I look up.

You are grateful I’m here. You usually come to me because it’s hard to get away. My kids. The cat. It’s easy for you to travel. You have less baggage.

“if something opens up” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, July 16, 2016
1:14am
5 minutes
from a text

I’m waiting in line at the store
planning to buy this canned tuna
and a clue
because I got hungry
just
waiting and looking at the food
Seron said he was going to meet me here
I don’t think he’s coming
he said he would come to the broccoli aisle
but no one has showed up yet
that looks like it could be Seron
Based on his picture he will have a big black beard
and he said
for fun
he would be carrying
a daisy
in some way
I liked that he was trying to be creative
for me
because I told him before
I like making art and starting conversations
I wonder if we are at the same store
if he meant, maybe, a different one
or if I got the address wrong
I have been waiting for two hours
now
and counting
I wonder how long he has
been waiting
for me

How is one to know—with strangers?” By Sasha at Studio 1398


Saturday March 14, 2015
3:41pm
5 minutes
The Midwich Cuckoos
John Wyndham


Let’s take ourselves back in time to the time before
the time when we knew about consequence
and hemming of jeans and the blueberry kiss of

summer

How is one to know when a stranger is the icy breath on the window
of the car accident?

or

The Mother we’ve been waiting for since the day we arrived her
spewing needs and hunger
calling for

more

at the top of our lungs

I’ve wanted a revolution from day one but I don’t like starting things
preferring the sourdough to rise in the cupboard
unwatched by blue eyes

brown eyes

We wrapped purple and blue and green and grey around strands of hair we weren’t
afraid to lose

a summer of coconut oil and tuna sandwiches

Cherry popsicle lipstick

Total Control by Sasha on the 99 bus


Thursday August 28, 2014
7:32pm
5 minutes
The bottle of curl keeper

I’m not exactly sure how I got here but what I do know is it smells like fish. I woke up next to a little girl, curly hair, sucking her thumb. She kept sleeping. I found the toilet in the corner of the kitchen and peed, trying to keep my legs together. I heard a voice, “You’re home!” I heard a crash. I laughed because I didn’t know what else to do. I felt a tear trickle from one eye, to my upper lip. I licked it. The voice became a person, a woman, and she was wide and moustached. “You’re here! You’re home!” She smiled but it was more like a cat that got the cream. “This… is not my home… I don’t even know where I am…” She took my hand. She was cold. She began opening a can of tuna. She called, “Millicent! Sheldon! Bartholomew!” She tapped a fork against the can. I heard footsteps.

“SO COLD” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Saturday June 21, 2014 at MAKE
1:49pm
5 minutes
a postcard at MAKE coffee+stuff

Hadn’t thought about Missy since last winter when I remembered how much she loved the cold. She somehow disappeared from my life and my mind quicker than she came into it. Them. Both things, in which she was sort of a permanent resident. A fixture. A thing that made me crazy and wild and irrational. She was always going on about getting the right jacket and then just sucking the rest of it up. I told her I had grown up in the cold and ‘sucking it up’ was just not enough. She said if you’re going to complain just move already! And then I understood what everything in the world meant. Something about not wishing for things that are outside of you or wanting things that aren’t in front of you. We choose everything. We choose the temperature we stay in, we choose the people we spend time with, we choose to love or not love someone. We choose to be happy. Missy had that fully realized and she was living it. She chose me one second and the next something else. I’m still alive. I missed her for a while. But I understood that right now is something different from right now every time the second hand on the clock shifts right. Then I thought about getting a really proper jacket and just sliding down some snow hills face first. Cause, you know, choices.

“YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO” by Julia on her mattress


Wednesday June 18, 2014
10:31pm
5 minutes
The Winnipeg Sun

Cal opened up the tuna can in the worst possible way. He stared at it as if had just witnessed a tragedy, a monstrosity, a moment of true and palpable heart break. He shook his head and stared at it some more. I don’t know what he thought he was going to see by looking at a mangled tuna can until he died, but kept doing it. I wanted to tell him that I wasn’t really into tuna sandwiches anyway so not to worry, but it didn’t quite feel like the right time to bring it up. I’ve never seen anyone destroy a can like that before. There was no opening it fully now to retrieve the contents because the lid was so jammed down that the can opener itself was useless. Cal stared some more at the tuna can from hell with his hands on his hips, utter disbelief for his first world problems caused by his first world ineptitude. I wanted to take the tuna can and throw it out the kitchen window. I wanted to tell Cal that these little things are so stupid and they don’t matter and let’s order a freaking pizza instead, come on it would be such a day saver.Instead I counted how many vowels there are in the word ‘psychosomatic’.

“I ordered a half sandwich” by Sasha at The Holy Oak


Saturday February 1, 2014 at The Holy Oak
12:05pm
5 minutes
The True Secret of Writing
Natalie Goldberg


Walked up to the counter and thought, “this is the first day of the rest of my life.” The guy in the orange toque said, “What would you like?” “A reformation?” He didn’t get my joke, or whatever it was. I ordered a half sandwich (tuna), sat down and waited. When the guy came with the sandwich I said, “sorry for being weird. I’m having a rough week…” He smiled. He started to walk away. “I’m just… I got evicted. I’m pretty much homeless as of next month. And my family’s not from here so it’s pretty…” he turned around. “Sorry to hear that,” he said. I felt like an asshole. I felt like a walking “over-share”. I ate my sandwich. A minute later the guy came back. “Here’s the other half,” he smiled. “I think you need it more than I do. Tuna is the best.” I started to cry. “Shitshitshit,” I said, blubbering mayo and bits of fish and celery. “It’s okay…” He gave me some napkins. He looked sorry for me. He looked gentle and sweet and like he probably has really soft flannel sheets. When it was time for me to go, I left a twenty on the table. Even though it wasn’t the kinda place where you tip.

“I ordered a half sandwich” by Julia at The Holy Oak


Saturday February 1, 2014 at The Holy Oak
12:05pm
5 minutes
The True Secret of Writing
Natalie Goldberg


I had just spent the day talking to Olivia about her juice cleanse and how she felt invigorated by life and her own body and the new colour of her urine. I was half listening to her go on about it and half just imagining her peeing every seven minutes as if the juice was speaking to her through her urethra. That’s literally where my mind went, so when she asked me how mine was going I just said, “so great!” She was like, “where is yours?” And she meant my juice. She said it as she was drinking back a goopey red thing that looked more like period blood than anything, and I waited before I answered to see if she’d get those “strawberry wings” on her mouth…
“I drank my morning one at home!” I told her. I lied. I always lied to Olivia. Truth is, I had eaten an egg and mushroom tuna melt on marble rye and I was so damn pleased with myself that I didn’t even feel bad for bailing on our “joint cleanse”. She looked at me from the corner of her eye and paused. A little red period burp escaped her wet lips. “Oops! Excuse me!” I suppose her juice was speaking through her again…

“I shook and then I licked” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 14, 2013
12:32am
5 minutes
Coffee Courage
Mark. R. Slaughter


I waited by the water for your truth to reach me. I told myself I wasn’t leaving until I found you there in some form or another; in the stars if nowhere else.
I wanted you to fight me on it all the last time I saw you. I wanted you to tell me I was wrong and to hurry up already with the tuna melts I was taking my sweet time in bringing to you.
It’s been a long time now. I’m not sure if you want to come back home or if you even notice how blurry the sky looks lately.
I thought if I shook off the night that you left and sort of held my head high, things would be fine.
Reverse psychology really works on me, did you know that? I told myself not to think of you and my brain just laughed at my gull.
Here’s the address of where we first kissed in case you forgot it. Or in case you want to keep it, maybe laminate it, and show it to our grandkids if you ever decide that we’re the thing you want to perfect.
If not, then at least I’ll know I tried everything I could think of to get you to want to be here on your own.
Your answer lingered in the air and hung on a couple clouds or so…taunting me with potential rain, or a big storm.
I closed my eyes so I could hear it better.