“what day she was born,” by Julia on her bed

Saturday September 29, 2018
11:18pm
5 minutes
The World’s Oldest Person
Elizabeth Onusko

i’m doing that thing where I’m waiting for the first of the month to come again. permission to be bad until then. permission to be born anew and with readiness.
goodbye bad choices and to a cruel time user.goodbye to avoidance and laziness. goodbye to an empty fridge and full days of not leaving the fridge. and full days of
not leaving the house. and full.

“and a quiet evening sipping whiskey” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday September 12, 2018
7:02am
5 minutes
Mr. Bright Eyes
John Barton

He calls and tells me that he misses me. I want to hear it from the one who hasn’t been drinking whiskey, the one who wakes up and washes the dishes, the one who plays basketball with the lanky teenagers in the courts by the community centre. I always said that I’d wait for you. I always said that I’d be able to. Now, though, it feels as though time moves faster and people are dying, and being born, and how are we wasting time on things that aren’t true? He calls and tells me that he misses me and I pull the phone away from my ear so that he can’t hear the catch in my throat, the tiny “me too,” the deep breath, the tear rolling down towards my upper lip.

“Where every member is a minister” by Julia on her couch

Monday July 9, 2018
9:50pm
5 minutes
from a business card

I got this card from someone who I don’t know but might be reading this.

Free Press, he said, I said, yeah, good, why not?

I thought he was selling something,trying to get me to come over to the side of all the glowing. I might have gone with him if I didn’t have a bus to catch.

Where you headin’, Chicago?

Maybe he lived there. At the bus station, in Chicago. When I asked him he said he was exactly where he needed to be.

I could live with that, I thought.

I could learn from this and all the other apparition-wise sentiments.

He gave me cereal. In a ziplock bag, for later.

“I have two more weeks to pack” by Julia on her patio

Saturday June 23, 2018
11:36pm
5 minutes
from a text

Get here sooner bring your guitar and your good ideas
We’re going to jam on the patio and light some candles and eat a charcuterie board like last time
Like last time
I like last time and this time will be so different
No more blonde on the top
No more orange hue better in person
You, I think will find a sundress in my closet to love best and please wear it
Great don’t pack anything let me give you everything you need
And feed you I will feed you
Like a humming bird buzzing up
Borrow the tiger balm you gave me for my trip
I use it on the back of my neck when I can’t sleep
You can sleep in or out or on my side of the bed
It caves in sometimes
It caved in today
But we can touch the floor and isn’t that always fun
I can’t hold the clock because it teases
Tick tick and still weeks and weeks
Week week
Week week
Counting down the days until the walks catch our feet and the night worships the salt back into our hair
Don’t bring a blowdryer
Mine is fine and works the way a $3 blowdryer should
Don’t bring anything but you

“Someone has opened a giant map” by Sasha at her desk

Monday April 30, 2018
11:16am
The Wall
Bruce Guernsey

Tap tap tap tap. Leg goes up and down
bobbing for apples. Good grief it shakes
the whole bench. Good God it drive me crazy
when people have no sense of how much space
they take up, how loud their breath is, how
much they are shaking everyone around them.
What kind of person is so unaware? Who was his
mother? Who taught him manners? I bet he’s a real
piece of work, probably drives a Benz.

Side-eye. He doesn’t notice. I bet he thinks
he’s a very big deal. What is that he’s holding?
Is it a map? Is he reading a map in the waiting
room? Who does that?! Where could he possibly
be going that he has to do this here?
Why is he anxious, is it because of the dentist
or the trip he’s about to take?

“Excuse me,” I close my eyes because if I open
them I’ll most certainly lose my courage.
“Could you please stop shaking your leg?” Benny
looks up at me, up from his book, he’s never
heard his mother speak to a stranger like this.
“Mama?” He says. I don’t look at him. I don’t
look at anyone. My eyes are closed.

The man folds his map.

“Do everything as slowly as possible” by Julia at her desk

Friday, April 20, 2018
11:00pm
5 minutes
The Art of Aging
Sparrow

Get here later, take your time
ask the elderly man if he needs
to borrow your elbow while getting
off the plane
bring him to the luggage carousel
and wait for his bags to pop through
the shute so you can help him pull
them off
Be the kindness that I know
Be the patient peace
Let the family of five go ahead
of you in line for the taxi
do not ask your driver to put a
rush on the ride home
Lover, I will be waiting for
your arrival with all the
bounty and welcoming of a midday
reunion
I will kiss you like time is
not the enemy
I will be close to sleep but
being closer to you will keep
me rested until we are in each
other’s arms
Stop for french fries if you’re
hungry and bring your bags up
one by one
Do not worry about the clock now
I will be here when you get here

“if she was obligated to say” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday January 9, 2018
10:03pm
5 minutes
Pamplemousse
Dominique Bernier-Cormier

When I asked her if I could pitch her an idea
her eyes rolled back in her skull like a whip and I waited there
patiently for her to nod her head or give some sign that
I wasn’t just wasting all the god given air in her lungs
Finally she motioned for me to keep speaking and I did speak
but she did not laugh and I waited again for it to click
and for her to realize suddenly how funny it really was
She didn’t do anything or she clucked her tongue
and let me know she had heard but
she didn’t say anything or offer up even a small smile
Of course she was not obligated to tell me how smart my
idea was but it would have been nice
It would have been nice if she didn’t need so many proofs
before suspending her disbelief
Of course if I were to tell her that she’d get angry at me
for suggesting that she didn’t have an imagination
but my real question would be regarding her funny bone

“Can we burn something, babe?” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday November 23, 2017
11:29pm
5 minutes
Love On The Brain
Rihanna

Larry drinks a macchiato sitting at the bar drawing hangmen on a napkin waiting for Liz to arrive. She’s notoriously late. He’s spoken to her about it twice and each time she says that she’s sorry and that she’s trying to change. Maybe it’s because his father was in the army and if he was ever late for anything he’d get a slap on the side of the head maybe it’s because his father loathed him most of all more than his three brothers and one sister. He fumes. He checks his phone again and nothing from Liz nothing from Liz only the same old time and date and three unread emails he’s avoiding from work fucking Cathy and her meeting notes fuck fuck fuck.

“It was a wild weekend” by Julia on her couch

Friday October 13, 2017

5:33pm

5 minutes

cnn.com

Holy balls I can’t hear out of my left ear and I am not even mad. I thought I would be devastated if I lost my hearing but I’m fine. I think that’s what happens when you get older. When the real things matter. Anyway I’m not even bragging just trying to make peace with the things that are out of my control. Been cleaning more these days. Been organizing everything I can. They say it’s best to organize things that don’t have a heart beat. Cause you can’t control anything with one but sometimes you still need to put things in their perfect order. I’m upset that Lara is sick. She won’t tell me how bad it is but I know she’s been going to the doctor’s office more and more. At first I thought she was just pregnant. That would have been a whole different jar of worms and I think it’s safe to say now that a baby would not be the solution.

“finally coming home” by Julia on Bec’s couch

Thursday September 21, 2017
1:45am
5 minutes
from a text

you keep telling me you’re on your way but you’re not. that’s cool. i’ll wait. just sit here by the beer stuffed chicken i made for you. cause you told me you liked it. cause you said you’d be home for dinner.
i get a text every 25 minutes or when you remember that someone is expecting you. things get carried away. timing is all wrong. you’re just caught up in the excitement. the roads are bad now, better wait. i thought about throwing out the chicken so you could see how you messed up, but i was raised way better than that. maybe i’ll put it on your pillow instead. tuck it way in there so you keep finding the juices dripping all the way down. my mother never said anything about bed chicken. you send a message saying you’re finally coming home and then an hour later i get the same message. i don’t respond. i don’t know how. if i write anything it’s going to be a lightening rod. if i write anything it’s going to be the end of me.

“You waited for me to let you learn” by Julia at her desk


Wednsday September 6, 2017
9:21pm
5 minutes
Yours Is This
Julia Pileggi


It feels like I have been here before
in this moment between Mars and Monday
you are here too like a cup of water
or a good pencil
We chose this space and this timeline to wander together
I know your hands less than I should
You will likely forget mine when I die
Of course I can’t pretend that I won’t
All true things have death attached
And still I hope you don’t go first
Unless your body could use the rest
in which case I will keep my arms strong
so I may hold your last breath
the last time your body builds a memory
I will be the softest bed you ever had to leave

“meeting your heart’s longing.” by Julia on the 99


Tuesday September 5, 2017
8:12pm
5 minutes
The Invitation
Oriah


Hello, I say to her
tender teeth and Milky Way.
Hello, hello you humming bird wing
you olive oil drenched skin
you whistling Lilly
I have waited for you.
I have been here being here
and I have been waiting for you.
Hello.
You found me.
Would you like to stay the night?
I have some things I’d like us to do together if you have some time to rest.
I know how far you’ve travelled,
let me rub your sandy feet.
Hello.
She is unlike midnight and yet she sits perfect in the sky.
She glows like she’s been drinking from a river cried by the Moon.

“I waited twenty minutes, then thirty.” By Sasha at JJ Bean


Monday May 15, 2017
3:25pm at JJ Bean on Cambie
5 minutes
Ghostly Woman on The Rumpus
Zoe Bossiere


I do three shots of tequila before I walk the
seven blocks to the bar where I order a glass of
white wine and wait

and wait


and wait.

Eventually he arrives smelling of rum and sex
and man and rain and sweat

and man.

You’re late
I say
I got caught up
He says
I was about to leave
I say
He looks at me like no woman has ever
called his bluff no woman has ever met
him with a scowl
I’m here now
He says
You’re late
I say.

“not just the punch line.” by Julia at Bec’s table


Friday December 30, 2016
10:40pm
5 minutes
Humans of New York

Lots of lessons lately
Lots of waiting for space to crack a joke that wouldn’t get any laughs
Lots of holding back opinions that wouldn’t be popular
Especially if spoken
There has been fresh snow
And melted streets
Icy walks
And freezing fingers
Lots of lessons lately
Lots of lessons
Instincts are starting to get creative
Because nobody is paying them any attention
They’re starting to hum or buzz
Starting to soften grip
On everyday existing
Lots of lessons
Lots of lessons lately
And reading about hearts
And educating each other’s
Because we cannot do that on our own
That’s the joy of solitude
After days of being tirelessly ready for it

“I can’t really imagine” by Sasha in bed at Bowmore


Tuesday December 27, 2016
11:11pm
5 minutes
From an old journal

I can’t really imagine what he might possibly look like. I’m waiting on the third bench at the station he wrote about at the exact time, in fact, I’m early. He was the one who taught me that hunger is often thirst. He was the one who told me to never eat a peach or asparagus out of season. He was the one who told me that it can’t be a bad day if you’ve made your bed and flossed your teeth. I’m waiting. Train after train goes by and it’s getting cold in the station. I see many men that look like him. We all look more and more alike, wouldn’t you say? I stand up, when I see him, and I smile in the way that I know he thinks I look like my mother. It isn’t him. It’s a man with a beard that looks like his beard, but he’s taller, with broader shoulders.

“Could have walked by now” by Julia on the 2 bus


Sunday December 4, 2016
7:58pm
5 minutes
overheard on Burrard street

I’ve been waiting for a bus for a whole year. No that is not hyperbole. I would never exaggerate. I have been standing in this spot for 365 days waiting. My life has passed me by. My heart has pumped as many times as it should in a year. 50 million times. That is accurate. I felt each one. I remember each one. No that is not hyperbole. I’ve waited and I’ve stood. I didn’t want to miss it if it came. The bus that would take me from Here to There and finally give me the peace I’ve been after. Every time I checked the schedule it said the bus was coming in one minute. One minute is not long. I waited for one minute 500 000 times. Of course that is not hyperbole. Every moment I stood there I considered myself a little better. A little more. I know myself in this context of waiting better than I know myself in other contexts, such as running, or laughing. People passed me by and no one spoke to me. Not one person. They either assumed that I had already gotten my bus and travelled to a place and back by now all in time to do it all over again. No one thought to say, oh you, you’re here today as well? How are you? Do you have to go far?

“if something opens up” by Sasha on the couch


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

Secretary’s pencil is scratching
all over the damn place
Construction worker boot
tap tap tap tap tap
tap tap
Jiggling the whole row
of chairs
The baby
The nun
Me
“Dead man walking” I expect
to hear pencil poised apologetically
“Dead man walking”

Name call roll call
I’m up with the lipstick on her teeth
“Mr. Anderson?” Nod
“Dr. Henry has had an emergency that
needs to be attended to and she must
reschedule my apologies that you came
all the way in I hope you don’t live
too far away I can call you if
something open’s up”

“Spiritual teachers” by Julia on her bed


Sunday, July 17, 2016
11:06am
5 minutes
Women Food And God
Geneen Roth


I called my spiritual teacher, Helia, because I was in a state of emergency. I couldn’t find anything to wear and I couldn’t tell if it was my inner child reacting to my adult life, or if it was sign from the universe telling me I had to listen inward, or take a risk, or write down my dreams in the journal marked “For Dreams”. Helia was on vacation in the Okanagan. She had posted a photo from Peachland so I knew she was alive, but why wasn’t she responding to my very desperate attempts at contacting her? It’s not like this was a run of the mill anxiety attack or some realization that I cannot do this alone. I already know that I can’t, and that’s what I pay a spiritual healer for. Healia said to never hesitate to reach out. She failed to mention that I should just never be in crisis during the last weeks of July and first weeks of August. So I called my sister instead and she invited me over for homemade brownies and lemonade. She said she would try to massage my left shoulder knot out and maybe I just needed some TLC from someone who used to share a room with me.

“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

“The circle, not the line.” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday June 30, 2016 at Starbucks
7:15am
5 minutes
The Axeman
Shaun Cunningham


Kit eats her broccoli, raw, cold, all the tiny floret bits getting stuck in her teeth. It looks like she has braces: one green bit in every single one. She waits for Adam to get off the bus at a bus stop that has frequent buses. Each bus thinks she is waiting to go on and so they wait for her, but Kit just keeps eating her raw broccoli even when it starts to rain and even when she gets yelled at by a driver for wasting his time. Kit is waiting for Adam so she can show him around the city. She sent him a map and a circle around this particular bus stop to ensure that he would find it with utmost ease. Kit pulls out her identical copy of the map and draws in a line (right beside the meet up spot) and jots a note: rude, to avoid in future.

“I balance unlaced shoes” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday June 23, 2016 at Starbucks
6:53am
5 minutes
Circling Before Landing
Mariene Crookshaw

Man puts on the radio, turns the dial so slowly
slowly
we hear bits and pieces of moments
and conversations
and music
and static
and we wait until he finds the station
he likes
he can put up with
that won’t make him crazy
He is responsible for us now
he keeps our spirits
in the switch of the dial
in the palm of his hand
In the corner
by the only
window
there is a bony girl in green and black
striped pants
who holds a paper
airplane up to the light
that was here yesterday
she is holding on
for
her turn
to dance
but the music doesn’t stay
the crackling continues
Her mother is lying two feet
away from her
her belly robbed in the
middle
of
the
night
the blood is slowing now
her eyes remain open
pointed at the ceiling
longing for
escape

“who’d surprise his roommates” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 22, 2016 at Starbucks
7:07am
5 minutes
Anthony’s Glass Eye
Billeh Nickerson


Callahan is coming home tonight. He’s been in Europe mastering the art of Instagram and showing off his cool life that his parents are paying for. He started his trip in Spain and then decided he wanted to live in Italy, then changed his mind to Berlin, then eventually just went back to Spain. The only person he told he was coming back was me and he made me promise I wouldn’t tell anyone else. “Gonna surprise everybody: The Prodigal Roommate returns! But, I tell him, I can’t pick you up, it’s not enough notice. And he tells me, don’t worry; one of the guys will be there. Except you didn’t tell any of the guys, remember? Oh yeah, he said, no, I know, all good. Bueno! Muy bueno! I casually mention the bus and Callahan “gets another call”.

“What’s wrong with my body?” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday June 21, 2016 at Starbucks
7:06am
5 minutes
Lesbian at a Bachelor Party
Amber Dawn


When I think about it
it doesn’t look good for me
old woman’s body trapped in a young woman’s skin
There’s the part where my neck pops for no reason
the part where my fingers go numb during hot yoga
the part where I bruise easy
the part where my thigh muscle…detaches?
the part where my side stitches when I run
the part where my uterus goes into contractions if I don’t drink enough water
the part where it hurts to take a deep breath for sometimes minutes
(yeah, plural, whoops)
the part where my feet get charlie horses
(is that even a thing? I don’t know anymore)
the part where my back spasms or pulls or gets thrown out
WEEKLY
I would throw it out for good if I could
and get a new and young one, Christ.
(you know what they say: back pain is just an old soul trying to escape…)
throw in some casual IBS?
Why the fuck not

“We have a Christmas cake box?!” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday June 20, 2016 at Starbucks
7:30am
5 minutes
overheard at Starbucks

Isabel calls me from the front lawn. I can see her pacing back in forth in front of my house from the kitchen window. I watch her kick a chestnut around, her feet shuffling on what appears to be a tightrope made of dandelions. I’m not coming anymore, she says, okay? I really can’t do it this time. She doesn’t know I am watching her. My curtains are drawn just enough. Is everything okay, Iz? What’s going on? I watch my sister kick the chestnut out of reach. She would have to leave her sacred shuffling space to go get it. She stands there frozen, staring at it. Oh, yeah, I’m good! I’m great! I think my stomach is acting up. Had chocolate again last night. I couldn’t find the right wrapping paper so maybe it’s all for the best anyway.
Isabel, I tell her, I have Christmas boxes here. Do you want to use one of mine?

“the games you don’t play” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 17, 2016 at Starbucks
7:51am
5 minutes
What You Don’t Do
Lianne La Havas


Millie’s coming! Millie’s coming! That’s me yelling from the centre of my happiness–shouting out that my HEART is visiting me in this god forsaken shit-hole of a town! MILLIE IS COMING EVERYBODY SHE IS GOING TO BE HERE IN T-MINUS 1 HOUR CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE BUY THE CAKE AND THE SPARKLERS CAUSE I WILL BE TOO BUSY SCREAMING MY HEAD OFF AND MAKING A KILLER GUACAMOLE THANK YOU. When I told her I didn’t want her to come, that no she shouldn’t take off work, that please don’t worry about me, I’m very much fine just going INSANE, she refused to take no for an answer. Lydia, she’d say, Lydia, Lydia, why wouldn’t I want to come see my favourite sister in her most loathed living location to date? And I’d say, A) I’m your only sister and B) I chose this place, it’s not like they’re forcing me to stay. Millie always says something subtly sisterly like I’ve always wanted to visit Saskatoon! Or just put the two of us in a room and we will seriously run that town!

“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.

“a dozen individuals aged” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday May 24, 2016
9:51pm
5 minutes
Harbor
John Ajvide Lindqvist


Across the street I spied a man who had been resting on a bench. He was sweating from his brow and was hunched over, defeated. He didn’t have a cane, or a walker, but looked like he could have used one. He was convincing himself he didn’t, surely. I quietly watched him from my bus stop. He didn’t know anyone was paying any attention to him. He tried to get up a few times without the help of the bench. He couldn’t seem to do it. The struggle in his face was clear even all the way over to where I sat pretending to read my novel. It looked like his body had been slowly betraying him for a while but that he had only just now started to deny it. I remember working with a man who told me once that when you get old, your body stops matching up with your mind and you can’t control yourself the way you used to. He told me that it may be frustrating for those of us who can still easily get to our destinations to have to always wait behind the ones who aren’t as mobile, but it wasn’t to be disregarded that it was far more frustrating for them.

“you smiled at me” by Julia at her dining table


Monday May 23, 2016
4:22pm
5 minutes
Sunny
Bobby Hebb


There were so many people lined up to get your autograph outside the cinema. It was cloudy but hot. I wasn’t planning on waiting for you but I was wearing my nice yellow sundress with a matching yellow head-scarf and I remember thinking it was too good to be wasted on just meeting Debbie and her boyfriend, Charles at the diner. Suddenly I was hit with the convincing thought that I could have you. I think I was moving as little as possible to avoid sweating through my sleeves. I didn’t want your autograph. I wanted to smell your skin. I wanted to get so close that you would have no choice but to touch me. I had dreamed of that moment and was replaying it over and over again in my head as we waited for you to emerge. Some women were already crying. You were making us wait for no reason in particular. I think you were preparing for the mob. I was preparing to envelop you.

“Don’t turn off your computer” by Julia at Platform 7


Wednesday April 13, 2016 at Platform 7
4:47pm
5 minutes
from the update installation screen

For the first time in a month of coming here, the man with obnoxious voice and even more obnoxious ponytail is not working in the cafe that I am borrowing as my office. I don’t mean to say I miss him-I don’t- but I’ve come to expect him and now things feel a bit off.
I spilled coffee into my laptop bag, and into my laptop keyboard, and onto my table, and into the self-deprecating narrative that I’m the kind of person who spills liquids on all the things that should never get wet.
I waited in line for the single-stall bathroom for the duration of “Another Day” from the Rent soundtrack because I could hear someone doing a million weird things inside and I didn’t know how long was reasonable to wait before I decided to stop waiting.
Nothing else bad has happened. I don’t think it’s obnoxious ponytail accent’s fault for not being here- I was just trying to connect some dots that don’t need connecting while my computer updates itself and tells me not to shut off until it’s done. It’s done now. It doesn’t take long to restart or update but I always think it will. Maybe that’s a reminder for me when I make excuses for staying married to bad habits…

“I worry for a moment that he’s coming back” by Julia on the 4


Saturday February 13, 2016
6:10pm
5 minutes
The Valley
Joan Macleod


I have this spine tingling hair whispering feeling that I won’t be alone here for long. The way I know when my body needs to throw up: the cues, the signals, the deep understanding of when things are in order and when they are even slightly off. I read the room, literally, spiritually and I know that if I want it I have to move fast. I can do it safely if I do it now. I can avoid being caught in the act, avoid improvising a reason, response, defense, if I just focus and mind over matter everything. I scan my surroundings, two doors, one camera, three potential stations for pick up, four paths to and from said locations to confuse and distract. I choose route two and I walk with a clip to station one. I pick up necessary tools in completing future steps with most ease and comfort. I scoop my hands into the deep bag, careful to only pull out enough to fit in both of my hands when cupped.

“Are you expecting us?” by Julia at DH Lodge in St. Jacobs


Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at DH Lodge
2:35am
5 minutes
from a Kitchener Utilities Pamphlet

Elliot sat on the couch digging into her scalp, searching for the patch of raised skull flesh she liked to play with when she was nervous. It was a quarter past four and her eyelids sometimes closed for longer than a blink while she waited up for Marco to get back. He was late. He told her he’d be back at midnight at the very latest. She had called him a total of seventeen times so far and counting. Elliot fingered the bump on her head and started to yank tufts of hair out with her finger nails, pulling slowly and firmly on a few strands from the root to the ends. Elliot thought about calling the police. The pendulum of the old cuckoo clock on the wall swung out of tune.

“Bye” by Julia on the 99


Monday, December 21, 2015
11:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

I think I have waited for this moment for my whole life
I was testing myself
I wanted to see if I could wait
Reward myself with the news of my body no longer needing you
The way I had counted off the days, like I was reminding myself of how many days I was sober
Oh it’s been 17 days since we’ve spoken
Oh it’s been 2 months since we’ve seen each other
It’s been 2 years since we’ve kissed
It’s been 15 years since I first saw you
I have been waiting for independence
Waiting to see if I could do this thing on my own
This living thing
Sober and Solitary
The title for my autobiography
But I had to quit you more than I had to quit anything else
Ever
You were that good
There has been a lot of recycled peanut butter jars since
But it’s finally here
The moment of magic peace that feels like truly living
I don’t think about you anymore without warning
I wish you all the happiness
I wish myself all the happiness I’ve refused to let in since you left

“but also for the people in the neighbourhood” by Julia on her couch


Sunday November 15, 2015
10:12pm
5 minutes
from the Union Gospel Mission calendar

Karen sat patiently by the phone willing it to ring and wishing that it had already. She had, earlier that week, applied to be a member of Neighbourhood Watch and was told that all successful applicants would be contacted by Friday at the very latest. Karen didn’t have anything else particularly pressing to do since she fell ill two months back. She wanted to fill her time with meaningful activities since she wasn’t fit enough to return to the grocery store. Emirel said she might have overextended herself there anyway, coming into help stack and pack when she wasn’t even scheduled to work. Karen wanted to do something other than tend to the plants she had been growing in her laundry room. She didn’t think she’d have a very strong harvest the first time around, especially because she had been relying on various youtube videos to teach her how to grow a crop of marijuana properly. Karen got bored easily. She wanted to have at least two things to watch, if she could help it.

“Violence faces” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday October 4, 2015
11:23pm
5 minutes
from a tweet from the Green Party of Canada

Why did I sit in the window of this place? I’m not sure why you’re running. You aren’t wearing appropriate footwear. I watch you, hair flying, on the verge or tripping, drooling, crying? You’re coming towards me. You’re coming in. You open the door.

I’ve only had violent impulses twice in my life, not counting right now. Your desperation is thick like cream cheese icing. Don’t dip your finger in.

I pretend I don’t see you. You spot me and squint. I have exceptional peripheral vision. You pretend you don’t see me, too. I hadn’t seen Jake sitting in the back of the bar.

“Me time” By Julia in Brooklyn


Sunday, August 2, 2015
2:30am
5 minutes
Facebook

Jonette had her long chestnut waves draping down her body so only her breasts were perfectly covered. She looked like a pre raphaelite painting. She looked like she had just stolen the ease of the sun. She was laying across the couch as if she just always did this. She could have had a book, or a magazine. She could have had a bowl of angel hair pasta dripping in olive oil and parmigiana.

“Eye Candy” By Julia in Brooklyn


Thursday, July 30, 2015
12:33am
5 minutes
From a shop in NYC

I waited at the bus stop for you. I looked up a couple new words on my dictionary app: Ubiquitous, Saurian, Apothegm. You were running late, which was usual, and I was early, which was not. I thought of ways to use my new words on you. I thought maybe you’d think I was smart. But then I realized I didn’t just want you to think I was, but know I was. I wanted you to know that I have two degrees and a killer vocabulary. I work at stuff. I didn’t want there to be any doubt about it. Some guy walked close to me and whistled right in my ear. I pointed up at the “No cat calling” sign right above us and then I formed a gun with my fingers and shot him.

“Northern Adventures” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday, June 10, 2015
11:03am
5 minutes
from a pamphlet

Taking a road trip in September to a new place a new hideaway a new home and you’re gonna drive and I’m gonna pick the mixed CD and you’re gonna say “look at that view” and I’m gonna take a photo of it in September when the air is still warm and the trees still green that’s when you promised me first and that’s when I said yes I’ll do it I’ll follow you if you lead me to the best parts of me if you show me I won’t be missing anything here or if you just keep loving me the way you do I’ll go with you anywhere and then one day when we’ve seen the world we will curl up in front of the slideshow of our lives and be perfectly content we only have to wait until September that’s when everything good can begin to be born and develop and flourish and nourish and save us

“work its magic” by Julia at her desk


Saturday May 2, 2015
10:58pm
5 minutes
from seriouseats.com

Sometimes you just gotta wait and see, feel the earth steady under your feet, breathe in the moon, and wait. Last night I had an exchange with her. The moon. It was a silent, telepathic one. I went outside, I brought my favourite lighter, and I sparked up a conversation…among other things. I exhaled, dedicating the smoke right at her. She was cloaked in clouds and didn’t respond right away. I asked her, with my intentions only, if she wanted to join me. Couldn’t hurt to ask, even if the answer was no, it couldn’t possibly hurt me at all. She didn’t answer then and there. So I waited. I waited, I smoked, I sent my signals to her trying to tug her in my direction. Come get high with me, I willed. Take a load off. We don’t need the brightness of you every single second. Then suddenly, after all that patience I was practicing, she came out. She tossed aside her persistent body guards and she winked at me. I guess the waiting paid off.

“I think his wife is pregnant. Or, she’s really heavy…” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday April 29, 2015
7:13pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Higher Grounds Coffee House

We had been waiting impatiently at Connie and D’s place, running out of things to keep us busy while they proceeded at the hospital. Aunt Laura told us that Connie appreciated our concern and was touched by us all wanting to be there for her. She said as soon as there was news we would hear from her. It had been 5 hours already. We had cleaned the house by that point, watered all the tomato plants, played two whole rounds of Monopoly, and still we hadn’t heard from Aunt Laura. When Michael called me in a panic about his sister, I was out on a run. I was training for the marathon coming up in May. So instead of running home, I ran to Connie and D’s so I could sit with her brother and try to keep him from freaking out.

“I wish he would ask me out. But he won’t.” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday March 10, 2015
4:33pm
5 minutes
Julia’s Diary
September 1997


how have i spent so much time inventing scenarios about this?
i’m sitting by the tree, knees up, cause that’s the cool pose, wearing the plaid vest with the hood and the white t-shirt, hair in a ponytail. what am i missing? lunch recess or afternoon? god, i’m so stupid. it’s not up to me. it’s all his decision. he can decide the time and the moment and the location. i’ll be by the tree because that’s like staying behind in class when everyone else leaves. he’ll know being alone will give him the opportunity. he’ll feel confident. nobody wants to be heard getting rejected. but i would never reject him since i’ve loved him for two years! i’ve been waiting all this time and on the last day of school last year i wrote him a note asking if he like-liked me, yes, no, or maybe.? he said “yes. a bit.” so i know he wants to ask. he likes me a bit! that’s way more than not at all! and so that’s why i want it to be perfect.

“Pain has been described as a gift” by Julia at her desk


Monday February 23, 2015
3:06pm
5 minutes
alive magazine
February 2015


I’ll be there when you need somebody
Hold you close when your heart’s been hiding
I will tell you what is inside my bones
Until you feel safe again again
I’ll be near when your strength is over
Pick up the pieces of your broken soul
I will sing to you until you sleep easy
But what do I do when you don’t come to me
Can I sit alone and wait for peace to be
You don’t always want something that you can see
You think you’ve got it covered
But that’s when I believe
You need me
I’ll reach out even when it’s lonely
On the edge of me waiting hoping
I will stay here all night if I have to
Do it again the next until you feel moved to
let it go and build a home again again
Don’t worry I won’t give up
Don’t worry I won’t let it hurt you anymore

“breaking laws and regulations” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 22, 2015
5:50pm
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.”

A photo of Jack and Daisy by Julia on Katie’s couch


Sunday January 11, 2015
12:17am
5 minutes

Jack and Daisy

Held my hand out for you and I waited
Hours went by and I waited
Days turned into butterflies and I waited
Still
Like the night
Like the only moment between us that you wanted to paint
I stood there, facing the light
Hours went by and I tortured myself with thoughts of you
Of your smile
Of your depth
Of your tiny birthmark hidden in the crack of your upper lip
Hours
Days
Lifetimes went by and I waited
My arm got tired from holding onto an escaped hope
It had flown away into the wind long ago
My heart got tired from beating for both of us
My head got tired from trying to convince my body to have patience
To wait there for you until you were ready
And finally
I left
I left you there with the rain cascading down
All the veins of every heavy hearted tree

“you either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.” by Julia at Camera a Sud in Bologna


Monday November 24, 2014 at Camera a Sud
1:10pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Charles Bukowski

Ahh I’m falling. I’m falling. It’s a good feeling. You replace the A, the L, with two Es. You want to know where I’m going? To the place were my brow furrows…concentration and magic and old habits. You want to touch that spot on my face. Remind me not to clench my jaw, hold tension in my forehead. “Don’t get old before you have to.” And I have that falling feeling. It’s a good one. It’s when the inspiration breathes and lives and stays awake next to a roaring fire.
You steal the wood off the side of the road for me.
Stoking my pilot light with a little consideration, saying, “yeah, you need five minutes to get that beauty down on paper, I give you ten. Take a hundred of them if you want. A million minutes, even, and I’ll be here watching you and making sure you don’t loose that spark. And that you don’t get wrinkly from the thinking and the trying hard to focus right.”
I remember you like that, rocking in your reading chair and sitting content in the million moments reserved for being apart but together in the same room.
I tell you after this “I want to drink a bubbly white wine and I want to eat an oven-baked fish with the head and tail still attached.”
You say you have the perfect one and it’s in the fridge when we’re ready.
“How do you already have what I want?” And you smile into your book and say, “Cause we’ve been here before. We’ve done Sunday like this a thousand times already.”
“Ahh,” I say, “You’re right. I guess it’s good this spot, this falling feeling place.”
You chuckle quietly, reminding me, “You’ve said that before too…”

“oyster” by Julia at Katerina and Ben’s


Saturday November 15, 2014
2:49am
5 minutes
from a London Transport card

I hate that I care about it. What he’s doing. Wearing. Thinking. Wanting. That if it changed from one to another that I would be deeply interested in hearing what that was. What that would be. Should be. Must be. It sort of just exists in a way that tugs on my mind and keeps me actively asking questions and actively forgetting to think of something else to think of. I hate that I care more about this. About him. About the way his dark eyes make me feel. The way nothing about it is safe.

“in the passenger seat” by Julia at her desk


Sunday October 26, 2014
12:33am
5 minutes
from the early draft of a screenplay

Anja sat quietly in the front seat, not wanting to disturb her father while he was lost. She knew she’d only have a few more calm minutes with him before he lost his temper, and she didn’t want to reduce them by saying the wrong thing, or breathing too loudly. Anja had wanted to go up to the cabin with her father ever since she was a kid, but for some reason they never did things just the two of them. Of course Pat got to do everything with their father, and he’d come home shining like the sun after a weekend alone with him. Anja knew she didn’t have much to say to her father, but always assumed that was because she never got to go on these trips like her brother did. If she had had the opportunity, she would have made herself known. She would have told a few jokes and proven how strong she was, and fearless. It felt like the two of them, finally spending some quality time together, had been driving in circles for at least an hour. Anja wondered briefly if this moment would be enough to bring them closer together.

“I don’t have any change,” by Julia at Colazione da Bianca


Friday October 24, 2014 at Colazione da Bianca
3:39pm
5 minutes
Overheard at 49th Parallel

It’s the second time someone has come up to me trying to sell me lazer beam lights as if I could really use a green lazer beam light for my every day activities. Yeah, I almost told the second guy, how much do I have to pay you to get my very own travelling discoteque? You know, in case I’d like to bust it out at my next lecture, or, hey, even while ordering an empty brioche at 8am on a Tuesday? But I get it, it’s a job. Gotta make money somehow in this town. But those guys you can say no to easier because, really buddy, lazers? I roll my eyes and they know they’re trying to sell the impossible if their audience is anyone over the age of 4. The harder ones to shake your head at are the ones who just need 50 cents to help buy a coffee or a pack of cigarettes. Those are the ones who hang around for 6 minutes after you’ve said no, hoping that you’ll change your mind.

“Courier Mail and Daily Telegraph” by Julia in her bed


Friday Aug 8, 2014
2:05am
5 minutes
http://www.taste.com

I had been waiting for Gina’s response for over three weeks. It was her idea to keep sending lovely hand-written letters to each other once a week but she was getting really bad at it. Her first letters were so open and raw and I could see her mouthing the words as I read them because they just felt so honest. Then they started getting shorter, she’d stop responding to my questions in a way that reminded me of unrequited love by means of questionless text messages. She started signing all her letters with a lipstick kiss, something I always hated having to return due to the inadequate, small, pursed shape my kiss marks made (not the luscious kind you think is the only kind that creates a desirable or kissable mouth when you’re young). By this point Gina was signing her letters with a modest “G” and that was it. Surely she was busy or distracted, or had found a new friend to spend all her time writing quirky opinions to. But what bothered me most was the waiting for her response. I was busy too, or so I liked to believe, and I was always able to write to her.

“mostly tiny sungrazing comets” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, July 16, 2014
11:46pm
5 minutes
from the Sun Wikipedia page


And we lay there in the grass, picking bushels of it out of the earth to sniff them, or to play them like flutes in the middle of the night. We waited for the sun to pop up again. We were waiting on its predictable rotation. The way we wait for a mother’s call, a friend’s best wishes when we’re near the death of someone close. We wait in the stillness gazing up at the sky, wishing for the night to retire gracefully to its bed so we could watch the warming of the sky take over. And we lay there in the grass, picking moments to kiss each others’ hands and necks and lips. We played those moments over and over again in our heads, recognizing the opportune times to touch one another not out of obligation but out of necessity. The orange was peeking up from beneath a distant hill as we wished.

“Homicidal computer” by Julia on her couch


Thursday June 19, 2014
10:20pm
5 minutes
CBC News

killing me waiting on me to fold to fold over to bend to bend over and go and go somewhere so i can’t tell the time the time to wait to be killed or the time to wait to be kept alive
alive
yeah she said that it was fast
on the phone
in an e-mail
i deleted it
deleted it all and all of it was killed
killed slowly
there was someone there giving directions to the parking lot
the parking lot of empty promises
drive away drive away away
and then i said i love you to no on in particular in particular
winding down and out and in and over and the time is out it’s running running
got on its kicks, its nike new balance its do it now it’s doing it something like that or something or other
and it’s still running because time runs it doesn’t crawl it doesn’t beg it doesn’t plead it doesn’t wait
it kills and kills and kills
i’m here on the mend on the mend and up and out bigger better things and bigger better moments
yeah he said that it was quick
on the phone
in an e-mail
i deleted it
deleted it all and all of it came right back
can’t escape the motions the slogans the misused lotions the potions the daily quotients

“Defeating death, embracing love” by Julia on the Greyhound heading to Toronto


Sunday May 11, 2014
3:10pm
5 minutes
Reader’s Digest
March 2014


What am I going to have to do to get you to come out of there?
He knocked gently on the bathroom door and waited there with his head attached to the wall.
She stared daggers silently through him, through the wall.
I’m not coming out. You can stay there all day if you’d like.
He swivelled in his spot, turning so the back of his head was leaning on the door.
She cocked her fingers like a gun and fired.
Can you turn down the fucking Feist, please?
He peeled himself off the door and went to his laptop sitting on the coffee table. He waited.
She waited.
He closed the lid and the music stopped.
K, thanks.
Yup.
It’s not about me, right?
Yup.
Yup it is, or yup it isn’t?
I need you to go away now.
She walked backward feeling the cabinets on her way to the window. When she reached the tub, she climbed in one foot at a time, then drew the shower curtain.
Please talk to me.
No thank you.

“Absolutely everybody gets a little something” by Julia at Bull Street Gourmet and Market in Charleston


Monday April 28, 2014 at Bull Street Gourmet and Market
1:23pm
5 minutes
Slaughterhouse Five
Kurt Vonnegut


Toni-Marie-Belle, she said with a crispness in her voice. She should be expecting me in five minutes from now. She sat down and pretended to care about the Garden and Gun magazine that was staring up at her from the coffee table. Ooh, she said out loud, in case someone was overhearing her moments of mostly silence in this waiting room. Love this one. She leaned back breathing out heavily, trying to suspend the air and she exhaled slower than she had planned. Toni-Marie-Belle, she said again under her breath as if she were trying to convince herself that that was in fact her real name. Someone approached her and asked if she wanted water or anything while she waited. She shook her head and at the same time asked, Sweet tea but mostly unsweetened? The small garden gnome lady cocked her head to the side and examined her for a brief moment in time. It means half and half, she told the confused lady. Right, the lady said. Right, yeah, okay.
The garden gnome lady walked away muttering something to herself in a way that was incomprehensible and yet totally audible.

“Don’t make the same mistake twice” by Julia at the Sheraton in Philadelphia


Friday April 18, 2014
7:03pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Queen St.

Last time I sat there for you like an idiot with a death wish. It was that bad, and don’t try to tell me that it wasn’t. I mean, I waited and waited for you, or for a sign, and you just kept making me into a bigger and bigger fool. Or I made myself into a fool. I guess that’s how it happened. You didn’t quite ask me to do it, did you? I mean, you didn’t not ask me. And you certainly gave off the impression that it would be “worth my while” even though you didn’t say that outright. You didn’t have to: I inferred. And I wish I could take it back, but instead I just hope I don’t fall into that same trap again. You know, like tomorrow when you make me want you all over again just by wearing that oversized wind breaker that you look so darn good in. But then you have your ways with me, the way you do with most women. Everyone always wants to be around you and you bring them close, but then when one gets too attached, you do some weird gymnastics dismount away from the situation and distance yourself with a kind of cruelty that I do not have the patience for, nor the ability to resist.

“Atlantic Ave.” by Julia on the 594 going east


Wednesday January 15, 2014
6:05pm
5 minutes
the 504 stop announcement

Darling where have you been? I’m sitting here under the weeping willow with a blanket and a bottle of wine concealed in an orange juice jug! I could have made sangria! I should have made sangria! You are very late which is unlike you. Ever since I’ve known you you’ve been almost annoyingly on time. Punctuality is always listed first on your resumes or in job interviews. You arrive early because you do not like to keep people waiting. I arrive late because I don’t like doing the waiting! It’s very selfish. And smart, you can give me that! Today I wonder if you’ve forgotten about me and our date? I wonder if you got held up on the bus. I wonder if you hurt your leg running to meet me. I wonder if you are purposefully late because you have a little shiny surprise in a little red box and you need the reveal to be even more dramatic because I tend to get overly excited about everything. It’s been a long time. I will never leave this spot, so don’t worry. Take your time and when it’s right, you will come to me.

“Real slow. Real good.” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday, December 31, 2013
5:16pm
5 minutes
from Phil’s Original BBQ storefront

I’d been craving baked beans for a whole week. I couldn’t bring myself to buy the crappy, canned kind that we used to take camping and heat up over the fire. “I’m going to make baked beans from scratch!” I proclaimed to no one other than myself. Ben was reading about weather patterns on the sofa, a cup of miso broth steaming on the window ledge behind him. He’d gotten a cold playing ultimate frisbee in the snow. “I’m going to make baked beans from SCRATCH!” I say again, this time for him. “Hm,” he grunts, sipping his broth and turning the page. It’s a long process. First, I soak the pinto beans overnight. Then, I simmer them on the stove for an hour. Then I prepare the mixture of tomato paste, molasses, caramelized onions, maple syrup, vinegar, salt and pepper. Next, I stir the sauce into the beans and pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Finally, I bake it for six hours, stirring it all only once, after hour three. Around seven, Ben emerges from his cumulous clouds and hail storms, and asks what’s for dinner. “Another two hours til the beans are ready, honey,” I say, “have a snack.” “The what?” Says Ben, perturbed that I’m not his mother. “The baked beans! I’m making baked beans from scratch.” “Wow…” he replies. “Why would anybody do that?”

“should be the soundtrack” by Julia on her couch


Sunday December 29, 2013
12:33am
5 minutes
www.songza.com

Audrey had on her black flowy skirt
said she was in the mood for dancing
held a flower up to her face
went well with her complexion
put it in her side bun
made sure to spritz it with hairspray to keep it there
waited for Simon to get off work
had a bottle of sauvignon blanc chilling in the ice bucket
she didn’t know if she’d get to the dancing
she was hopeful he would notice what she was wearing
and then take her somewhere fancy just so it didn’t go to waste
the music was playing
she blasted the songs she wanted to move to
had the dial in her hand just so she’d be ready when it called her
couldn’t do a single other thing but wait
and groove
and slide her head from side to side with a puckered smile
Simon didn’t call
probably wouldn’t call anyway
her flower was the cutest thing she had worn in weeks
wasn’t feeling sexy before
wasn’t feeling like the effort would even matter
tonight she woke from a nap and a dream
it saved her a little bit
it showed her the sweetness that she had forgotten
she was doing this for her
she was doing this for Simon
she was.

“Behind the new shopping centre” by Julia on the 506 going east


Thursday December 19, 2013
10:48am
5 minutes
The Globe and Mail
Thursday December 19, 2013


Hal had me waiting in the car with the damn thing running because he said he’d be “two secs”. I hate when he says stuff like that. “two secs” sounds dirty no matter how innocently you mean it. So I was sitting there flipping through radio stations, seeking through them hoping to find a song I knew. I feel like I always have a hope for a certain song to come on. As if I deserve to hear it just by being in the car. I heard ones I knew but not ones I wanted to sing. I think that’s the difference. No one sits in a car alone and doesn’t sing! What’s the point of that! I like to belt it. Try to harmonize badly with good songs. Anyway Hal told me he’d be quick and to be honest I had lost track of time. I wouldn’t have minded if he stayed away a little while longer so I could find that song and just sing it out. I must have missed him calling my phone. Turned it to silent so I wouldn’t be tempted to check it every few minutes.

“You’ll always be older than me” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Monday December 16, 2013
9:55pm at Sambuca Grill
5 minutes
From a birthday card

Oh darling one, I waited patiently by your bed for you to wake up and take me with you. Wherever you were going would be fine with me. I only wanted to be with you. You pushed me aside and you cast me out when I was too young to protect myself from that. I wanted to be you and you wanted to be anything but. I watched as you made life choices and hurt yourself. I watched as you learned and grew and became a woman of such grace and strength and dignity. I wanted to be like you then too. I never stopped. And I don’t blame you for trying to push me aside. You wanted me to be independent and I grew dependent on you far too early. I knew what opinions I should have but still waited to hear yours first before admitting mine. I asked you for help on the little things, the big things, and the things I didn’t even realize I already knew. You were patient but you weren’t kind. You didn’t see me for my worth until much later on. You didn’t want me to be anything but small and that’s not your fault. I forgive you for the times I felt like I was not enough for you to be happy. I know now that that’s not what you ever wanted me to believe.

“a broken-down piano” by Sasha on the Bathurst streetcar


Wednesday November 20, 2013
12:32am
5 minutes
from the Jared Leto Wikipedia page

All that was in the room was three nearly-empty bookshelves and a broken-down piano. When I walked in I called for you. You weren’t there yet, you’d gotten caught in a traffic jam up near the park. There was no place to sit so I stood, near one of the huge windows. I looked out. I coughed. It was dusty. I thought I heard a voice, one that sounded like a molasses and brandy. “Hello?!” I called. I went to the piano and played a chord my mother had taught me. “You play?” I don’t know how you’d opened the door without making a sound. “No,” I blushed, “I mean, I try, but I don’t exactly…” You smiled. “You hungry?” I wasn’t. “Are you?” “Always.” We haven’t even hugged yet! I don’t understand how this happens, how two people can see eachother and not… “Let me show you something.” You take my hand and lead me up the winding staircase. On the way you stop and tell me that you have an appointment at eight so we probably won’t have time to get anything fancy for dinner.

“Where are you going?” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday November 12, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
8:44pm
5 minutes
Overheard by Sasha on the Lansdowne bus

He was waiting in his underwear for her on the couch when she got home. She hadn’t given him a key yet, so he had to charm her neighbour into believing she had and he had just misplaced it while helping another old lady cross the street. It seemed like a likely story. When he let himself into her apartment, he washed all her dishes, then washed between his legs, put back on his underwear, a bow tie, and some coconut body lotion, and sat himself on the couch to surprise her. He was planning a big night. One that would start out as a joke and end up as a proposal. He wanted to “open her mouth with laughter and then shove the truth down” as he had heard his acting teacher say in second year. He agreed with that sentiment, and knew she would be disappointed with any other display of something that meaningful. He had heard her say millions of times that if anyone ever proposed to her with her family around, or in a public space, she would have no problem breaking up with him right then and there, on his knee or not. He knew that he would have to stand out and showcase that he had heard her all those times. He also wanted to make sure she wasn’t even slightly suspecting a ring, because that, he was sure, would ruin things. He had been waiting for a long time. She had failed to mention that she was flying to Montreal to visit her grandmother for her birthday that weekend.

“She snapped the shutter” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday October 12, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
6:17pm
5 minutes
from the 2011 Toronto Star article ‘American Girl still walking tall’
Murray White


Cher was waiting at the bus stop dressed like a boy because it was Thursday. She was waiting to see the driver she had grown accustomed to riding with on her usual morning route to school. Maybe she should have brought an umbrella today, she wondered to herself, even though the skies were quite clear and the forecast showed no signs of rain. Cher couldn’t have been bothered to regret things so she put the thought out of her mind and into the big bubble she was making with her gum. Today, she thought, she would ask the driver his name and maybe tell him hers. He was always very nice to her, letting her ride without paying, or just asking her about her day on the days she still dropped in the proper fare. She wondered if his name ended in an O, an R, or an L. She was usually right about things like that. She was usually right about birthdays and weight-guessing as well. Cher stood there waiting and ready when all of a sudden she felt a tiny raindrop bounce off her head.

“Toronto had one film festival.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, October 5, 2013
1:43am
5 minutes
From an article in the VIA Rail Destinations magazine September/October 2013/

People are writing their secrets on the leaves of the big maple behind City Hall. It’s starting to turn, autumn sweeping her mysterious paintbrush across it. There’s a jar at the base of the tree, I put it there, filled with coloured pens. A plaque sits behind the jar, she made it, and reads, “Tell us your secrets.” She has curly, goddess penmanship and makes writing on wood with a Sharpie look like an ancient Japanese art form. We wait, perched in a chamber with an overlooking window. “Let’s stay for three days,” she says, sipping Earl Grey from a travel mug. The first person comes and reads the plaque and walks away. A couple, in somewhat matching plaid jackets, smiles at eachother. The each take a leaf, low down and write and wait, and write and wait. I trust this tree more than any person. He’s been listening to my secrets since before I was born.

“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?

“against the kitchen window” by Julia at the The Box


Saturday August 3, 2013 at The Box
7:55pm
5 minutes
Fall On Your Knees
Anne-Marie MacDonald


He was leaning against the window with his head knocking slightly, and repetitively against the pane. He was thinking about her, and she was nowhere to be found. He wondered if maybe she’d come back home tonight and apologize for her behaviour, for hitting him in the jaw, and for running out on them in the middle of a really important conversation. She probably wouldn’t be doing that, but he waited patiently just in case. He had just started to become really comfortable with her. He thought about telling her about his Mother’s death, and all those documents he had hidden in the attic to protect her from public scrutiny. He was past the point of doing what he’d do in private, like rolling his toe lint between his fingers, or picking his nose and flicking it in various corners of the room he was sitting in. He was ready to begin living honestly and openly and letting her see all his quirks, his flaws…but then she left. He didn’t know what else to do other than lean there, head on the window, and think about that cute smile she had the first day they met. One of her teeth was chipped. She had gotten hit in the mouth with a tennis racket and he had never seen anything more charming.

“one morning in late July” By Julia in her backyard


Thursday August 1,2013
5:23pm
5 minutes
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald


One morning in late July, my friend, my old friend, came home. He was tired from all the lying and all the dodging bullets. He didn’t want to answer questions about his personal life, or his new found freedom, or new found captivity, depending on the day. He didn’t want to go roller blading on the promenade or take pictures of newborn baby birds. He was gone a long while. Some said he spent his time fishing on the Grand or entertaining stories of his sister’s brush with death last December. I believe he was just sitting in his room waiting for the seasons to change. Waiting so he could emerge again with a restored sense of faith and discovery…something to mask his insecurity and guilt with. He was missed, surely, sorely. I was the one who spread rumours of his existence to all our mutual friends. I told them, each and every one of them, and never tired of it, that he would in fact be returning soon enough and that we should call upon our patience so we could be all the more ready to receive him when he arrived. It was one morning, it late July. The tiger lillies were everywhere and the kale grew in abundance in Alan’s backyard.

“What immortal hand” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday, July 4, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
3:20pm
5 minutes
The Tiger
William Blake


She’s sorry, you know. In case you never hear it from her mouth or in case she never lets on that she is. She really is. But she’s scared, so you’ll just have to accept that you might not always get to be right outwardly. She’ll take a couple stabs at you, and then she’ll offer to clean the hate off your favourite shirt..but she’s not saying that she knew she was wrong. She’s not admitting that she’s at fault. That she’s responsible for anything. She knows deep down somewhere, but to say it…to say it means to believe it means to really truly feel it. And she does, you can rest easy knowing that she does. But she won’t let you hear it. She won’t give you that satisfaction that you probably need just as much as she needs to make sure you don’t get it. But she’ll come around. She will. She always does. She’ll learn and she’ll be better for it. The time it took her to get over it all and just…plain…apologize..

“Don’t ignore” by Julia on the subway going north


Sunday June 16, 2013
2:46pm
5 minutes
an ad at Ossington subway station

Pushing his little face away with the palm of her hand, she kept her eyes closed, breathing deeply. Not now, Benny, Mommy can’t right now. Benjamin had been sitting with his mother at the table since breakfast. She wouldn’t speak to him or look at him. She put an empty bowl in front of him with a dirty spoon and told him to eat his breakfast. Benjamin didn’t know where the cereal was. He didn’t want to look for it in front of his mother in case that would make her
more angry. So he sat and watched his Mommy breathe with her eyes closed. After an hour of watching and waiting and being very concerned, he tried to get closer. Tried to get close enough so his mother could hear his tummy growling. That’s when she pushed him away, feeling his big blinky eyes on the inside of her hand, tracing the scar line on his forehead from when he fell into the chalkboard at Auntie Caroline’s two winters ago. He didn’t ask her for a single thing.

“Hearing John Malkovitch” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, June 1, 2013
4:39pm
5 minutes
From the ARTS Section of the Globe and Mail
Saturday May 25th edition


I waited for him
On the edge of my bed
It used to be ours
Before that it used to be his
He said he was coming right back
Never did
So I waited there like a sack of potatoes
Growing mould from
not being let out of the drawer
He never called
Or if he did I missed it
He never cried out
This will be the end of me too
He didn’t tell me he forgave me
And if he did I was dreaming
He didn’t give me his key
But I left the back window open anyway
I sat there all night
It used to be day
Before that it used to be ours
My back began to fade into the strain
My eyes began to close from the waterfalls at 3am trying to
man handle my face
My hope began to deflate
Like a balloon left
too long on the wall
after a birthday party
for someone who hates surprises

“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.

“only the sound of the wind” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Friday, April 5, 2013
11:20a at Saving Gigi
5 minutes
Misery
Stephen King


Caught in a dizzy haze, I was waiting for you to come home all day. Kept running to the front window every time I heard footsteps-I thought it was you, you know. Thought you’d be back and we could make lunch together-or watch a show. But then my mind started spinning and I was caught in a dizzy haze. It made me feel almost sick but not enough to lay down. Maybe it was the missing of you–the absence of you that made me feel turned upside down. That or that I forgot to eat because I kept waiting to cook the cauliflower with you. I would have started without you, I suppose. It wouldn’t be too bad if I had tried to prepare some key ingredients. But I didn’t know if you wanted soup or if you wanted to roast it. I didn’t want to call just in case you were busy. So I was quiet for a long time – left alone in this rickety house with only the sound of wind to keep me company. You didn’t tell me where you were. Or when you’d be back. I panicked for a minute thinking you’d never return because you liked wherever you ended up better than being with me. I know, I know, that’s crazy. But I told you. I was caught there. In a dizzy haze.

“the finest Led Zeppelin songs.” by Julia at her desk


Friday, March 29, 2013
9:47pm
5 minutes
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs
Chuck Klosterman


She does, she likes you. She holds your photo up to the light streaming in through her bedroom window and she makes you a promise: to always be yours. She kisses the frame and spins around with it. She’s 11, you’re 14. You don’t notice her yet this way..she has two mosquito bites for breasts, two bruised knees, and her lips are always chapped. She’s just a kid, you’re not yet interested. You know you will be later, when she matures a bit, when the age gap doesn’t feel so big. She loves you. She thinks she does. She doesn’t think the age difference is a ‘thing’. She thinks about giving you the bracelet she’s making out of embroidery floss. It might have a fish tail on it. It might have a heart. It doesn’t matter, you’re the inspiration behind the whole thing anyway. She’s told her mother about you. Didn’t say your name but she described your sandy blonde hair, your big green eyes, your perfect nose. Smaller than hers so she thinks you have it all. When you’re ready for her love, you should play her all the finest Led Zeppelin songs…

“St. George” by Sasha on the subway going West


Sunday, March 24, 2013
5:20pm
5 minutes

St. George Subway

It’s a morning routine. Like orange juice. Like washing your face. We make eye contact. You – standing on the platform at St. George station. Why don’t you ever get on? Me – sitting near the window, facing forward, trying, for the millionth time, to complete a Sudoku in the free newspaper. Why don’t I learn? Today you’re carrying a little girl. She’s got pigtails. And a pink snowsuit. Is she yours? Is she borrowed? You must catch my brow (furrowed), because you smile (large) and turn the girl. You whisper something in her ear (“wave!”) and she does, like the Queen might. She’s got freckles. I smile, because really, who can resist a child with freckles? We pull out of the startion with a screech and I turn today, which I’ve never done before, watching you both wave. I think your name is probably Julian. A name I used to think I might one day name a son, but now that the great clock in the sky has decided for me that I won’t be having one of those, I’ll give you that name. It’s yours. And her name? Bridget. Yes. Absolutely.

“boyfriend’s oversized sportscoat” by Julia on the 506 going East


Thursday February 7, 2013
3:15pm
5 minutes
http://www.thesartorialist.com

He stepped into the rain with his umbrella half closed, thinking to himself, things could be worse. He waited for Dana to come out of the house. Waiting was something he did well because being late was something Dana did professionally. She couldn’t be the first to arrive at a party and be seen waiting at a table, or at the bar. She liked to make an entrance, but mostly because she didn’t like to be kept waiting. She wasn’t insanely late, just never on time. Tonight, he knew early on, Dana would surely want to arrive only five minutes after the scheduled time because it was important. The rain began to come down a little harder, Dana still inside the house. He opened his umbrella all the way and stood at the end of the driveway, humming to himself. She did this so regularly that he knew if he stayed inside with her, he would get stuck answering questions about which shoes went better, the nude or the black, which earrings, the dangling ones or the hoops, which purse, etc. He eventually began to lie to her, saying yes to whatever thing she was wearing at the time to reduce the time it would take for him to be honest and for her to change yet again. He’d rather wait outside, light a little fire under her ass, and then be surprised by how beautiful she managed to look anyway, even after so much time deliberating.

“Nothing to do” by Julia at her desk


Monday January 28, 2013
12:12am
5 minutes
Free and Easy
Lama Gendun Rinpoche


Got rocks in my shoes, got nothing to do, just gonna sit here and think of you.
sounds like a good plan, you sound like a good man, your reality is better than my dreams and…
I don’t have the day by the tail like I thought I would. I play a melody of desire on the keyboard, typing Bs where the Fs should go. Can’t see the difference anyway. Typing not writing. There’s a difference there. Can’t see it. Can’t taste it. Not hungry. Just got pockets with holes in them, love notes falling out onto the floor. Finders Keepers. Keepers Keepers.
Got rocks in my shoes, got nothing good to do, just gonna sit here and wait for you.
Sounds like a good choice, yours sounds like a good voice, your heartbeat is better when it’s making more noise…
I don’t have the night by the waist like I thought I should. I play a catch phrase on the Hotel Bible and hope you catch where I’ve thrown all the answers. Can’t see the difference anyway. Loving not living. There’s a difference there.
Can’t hear it. Can’t touch it. Not sensitive. Just got pockets with broken zippers, change falling out onto the floor.
Finders Keepers. Keepers Keepers.

“I wonder if she’d mind if I’d” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday January 23, 2013
10:42pm
5 minutes
Her…
Jordan Moore


I sit down and hear the waiter walking towards me. He’s a man in his thirties. He has a goatee, green eyes and is taller than I’d have imagined, from the sound of his steps. “Would you like something to drink while you’re waiting?” He asks. I shake my head and murmur a “Thank you.” I don’t think he hears because he looks perturbed when he returns with a glass of water. “I’m, uh, waiting for my son…” I say, in case he was wondering. “That’s nice,” Goatee says, looking over me, towards the door. Christopher had chosen this place. He’d said that they had “the best ever French Onion Soup.” I cannot stand the stuff but how was he to know. I look at my watch. Three minutes past seven. He was late. Maybe he wasn’t coming. Maybe I’d been stood up by a twenty-two year old kid. “Walter?” I feel a hand on my shoulder. I stand and turn, at about the same time, and feel like I’m looking into my own eyes. “Christopher.” His mother had chosen his name. I’d thought it sounded a bit pretentious. “Then we’ll call him Chris for short,” she’d said. No one ever had.