“It must be nice to hold” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday June 27, 2019
12:00pm
5 minutes
Calypso
David Sedaris

It must be nice to hold
a drink
in the “C”
of your hand
a beer
unassuming
assured

and flirt
like the person
you are

Pin the tail on
the wife
holding you back
from the truth
while God laughs
while the wife laughs

You
are the only
one who can
hold yourself
back from the truth
my love
my hate
my heart
my fate

My fear
is not as big
as the mouth
of a whale

“I met Luke after my marriage ended.” By Julia on M’s couch

Thursday January 17, 2019
1:33pm
5 minutes
The Ghost of a Boy
Piper Vignette

You could say I manifested it; the end of my first marriage the way it is written. By that I mean death, and not
some fault of our own. We might have stopped trying. Stopped listening. Stopped seeing Love in the reflection of each other. I think we were lucky enough to preserve our relationship before it got so sad we committed any of those aforementioned acts of betrayal. I think those are worse than cheating anyway. Sex is something I can justify as “not personal”. But I suppose you’re right, if I claim to have manifested my late husband’s death. I guess that is a fault of my own I should be less light-hearted about. My intentions were that he would die and leave me while we were still in love. I didn’t know it would happen so soon or that it would work so well. If I believed in manifesting at all (before this) I would have made sure I had pots of money and enough hair product to last my entire lifetime. I would have manifested some inner peace.

“Flying Housewife” by Julia on the 4

Saturday April 28, 2018
10:58pm
5 minutes
www.independent.co.uk

She has wings

Her hands know how to flutter at the end of her arms
Watch how she keeps herself up
Watch how she treads the deepest air

She is getting things done

Busy busy flying throughout the house before her wife comes home because her wife is the only one who leave the house little bird stays inside floats in the living room
Above the coffee table hovering along the shelves lined with baby photographs she is cleaning up the disagreements the mirrors collecting dust in all the ghosts of her lipstick affirmations she is keeping things tidy for when her wife comes home because she doesn’t leave so what excuse does she have not to have the house clean for when she arrives

She moves quickly to avoid getting stuck

She keeps her wings flapping
So she will be ready to use them

“change the towels in the bathroom” by Julia at the studio


Monday July 31, 2017
4:54pm
5 minutes
Amelia Bedelia
Peggy Parish


Mona in the bath tub on her knees, scrubbing.
Finds a collection of black mildew. Furrows
her already furrowed brow. She curses his
name under her breath, Fucking Dennis and your fucking
lack of purpose in this life except to make me
fucking miserable. She hasn’t washed herself in
a week. She’s protesting. Maybe one of these
nights Dennis won’t try to stick his dick in
when she’s asleep on the couch. He tells her his
mother is going to inspect the bathroom and Mona
laughs as if she cares. But here she is, in the tub,
on her knees, bleeding for a man who does not bleed
for anyone but himself. And his mother.

Later, the kitchen tile is spotless and the food
is on the table. Dennis lies and says he’s
been working hard all day.
At what?
Drinking. Complaining. Leaves out the only
parts that are true.
His mother pulls a sprig of rosemary out of her mouth
and spits into the tomatoes. Mona’s lips turn upward.
Dennis throws a chicken leg at Mona’s face.
I told you my mother hates rosemary.

“I still want to think about safety” By Julia on the Greyhound to Kitchener


Sunday, August 9, 2015
9:44am
5 minutes
Said by Julia’s Uber driver

Colleen you can’t be lifting that shit anymore, you’re gonna hurt the baby for Christ’s sakes.

Forget it, Richie, it’s not even heavy. I don’t like you watching over me and micromanaging my pregnancy every single minute. Give it a rest, she’s gonna hear you and decide she doesn’t want to come out!

Colleen I told you, I want to be here for this baby, I want to help you name this baby, I want to help you love this baby. You can’t be stubborn now! You’re making choices that affect all three of us! How many times do I have to hear myself tell you this?

Richie didn’t you listen to one word I said? I said she, didn’t I? You only hear what you want to hear or what?

Colleen. You said she!! She said she!!

“nasal congestion” by Julia at Grange Park


Friday, June 26, 2015
5:45pm
5 minutes
NETI: Healing Secrets of Yoga and Ayurveda

I can hear her blow her nose through the wall. Thin ass walls, the realtor conveniently forgot to mention. My husband’s obsessed with her. Whenever he hears her go out onto her patio he somehow gets struck with an urgent need for”fresh air”. He goes out there so he can ogle her and imagine what colour her underwear is. He thinks he’s being so slick but I know what he’s doing. He just assumes I’m none the wiser because I don’t say anything. I guess I don’t quite know how I feel about it. Do I care? Do I even mind? When he goes outside for his fantasy time, I have the house to myself and I forget about him completely. It doesn’t even bother me when he goes out because that alone time feels so good. It’s when he comes back in I can’t stand: adjusting himself and quickly thinking of something to say that will convince him, and he thinks me, that he wasn’t just outside wishing he could stay there.

“Awesome job!” by Julia on her bed


Sunday August 10, 2014
8:28pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

According to Raymond everyone could hear us in the bathroom, but I’ve learned not to trust Raymond because he gets off on lying and making people believe every thing he says. I always told him he should be an actor because he was so good at messing with people; people he loves, mostly. Part of me wanted to believe that he was just doing that to me this time and that he didn’t even know what Carter and I were doing in the bathroom. Hell, we didn’t even know what was going on. It was just nice to see him; to feel him again. I wanted to be reserved and respectful of his wife. I wanted that and then suddenly there he was, and there I was tangled up in him on the bathroom sink. I wanted so badly for Raymond to be testing me. I employed my best actor smile and told him “we have nothing to hide.” I learned that you don’t ever admit something without having a direct question asked about it first. I learned that hard and fast one night in August-like a baseball coming straight for my face without the reflexes to catch it before destroying my nose, or knocking out a tooth. As I walked back into the crowded room I took a deep breath and looked around.

“No phone or internet” by Sasha on the Queen car going West


Thursday May 22, 2014
5:21pm
5 minutes
a woodgreen.org streetcar stop ad

When Velma called she sounded out of breath.
“What is it?” I said.
“It’s Art…” Velma sobbed.
“Where is he?”
“At the hospital – ”
“Shit!”
“Watch your mouth, Rosie! Don’t you swear at me – ”
“Damn it!”
“He’s…”
I hung up the phone and drove down there as fast as I could. The roads were slick from the rain. I called out to God, “Kill me! Just kill me! Let me die in an accident! I can’t bear this!”
Maybe you’re wondering why Velma called me?
Maybe you’re wondering why she…?
Velma and Art have a… how should I say it… Open Relationship? He’s loved me longer than he’s loved her for Christ Sake! But his uptight parents didn’t think that I, Rosie Ruiz, was good enough for their golden boy. My nose was too big and my hips were too wide and my mouth was too dirty and…

“you crave” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday February 12, 2014
11:10pm
5 minutes
the bag of ketchup chips

When you get here, you’re trying to stay positive. You think that maybe you’re going to find yourself, or God, or at least a love for push-ups. You don’t think about the cravings – for your mother’s Jerk Chicken, for your wife’s blow jobs, for a ride on an empty subway. My first night in, Mickey tried to take me under his wing, tried to show my the ropes… or whatever. I told him to “back off” and he did. Must have been the tone of voice I used because I don’t swear or anything. Second night in, Joaquin watched me for awhile and then said, “I heard you’re a teacher. You wanna teach my somethin’ nice?” I told him if he wanted to brush up on fractions, sure. Everything else was off of the table. First visiting day, my wife brought me a note from one of my students. It said, “I hope you’re having a nice sabbatical in The Dominican. We really miss you.”

“dropped the iron” by Julia at her desk


Sunday December 1, 2013
7:17pm
5 minutes
Justine’s Birthday
Jean Sheppard


Oh sweet Lila, he mumbled in his sleep, the house plants are looking grim. Lila had been dead for years. Hardy hadn’t had plants for just as long. He was making little progress in getting past his wife’s death. His doctor friend, Kai, had mentioned once half heartedly that he was disappointed by the developments, and Hardy made sure to ignore him after that. He didn’t see the point in paying a friend for his opinion when he could just ask him for it. Hardy was a bit confused and began to believe that doctor Kai was his friend all along, and maybe even in the first place. Kai didn’t want Hardy to feel alone so he took special precautions during their sessions. He’d pay him closer attention and try to laugh a little more when he attempted to make a joke.

“You can grow” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday, September 19, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
5:09pm
5 minutes
Mindbodygreen.com

Herbs, he was thinking. Big basil in the back yard, big love in the kitchen. He watched his father build a beautiful garden filled with every kind of tomato and green leaf and rhubarb. He didn’t know his wife hated rhubarb when they first met, but when he realized he was hopeful that he would change her mind. His mother, on the other hand, loved the stuff so much they were eating a rhubarb pie every 4th day. And nobody complained. Big love in the kitchen. He sometimes questioned his ability to read people. He was on occasion disappointed with his wife’s narrow minded pallet, her stubbornness when it came to trying new things. How was she raised? He’d sometimes wonder out lout and let his brain move back to the days where his parents didn’t even give him the option. Eat what’s on your plate, they’d say.

“He leaned forward” By Julia at Belly Acres


Sunday July 28, 2013 at Belly Acres
9:32am
5 minutes
The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway


He had been rocking in his chair for over an hour, flipping through the same Living Home magazine from cover to cover. Stopping to point out his favourite pictures each time as if he had never noticed them before. He was getting old. And tired. And a bit more cranky than he used to be. Sort of lost his tolerance for the usual daily delights. He’d rather sit there silently, not looking at anything in particular and thinking about Sandy his Border Collie who was his biggest joy. Sandy hadn’t been around for years but he still missed her. He didn’t miss anyone else. Not even his late wife Margaret who never completed a day of her life without complaining about the weather even on the most beautiful days. He was convinced it was about time for lunch, but had given up with clocks too. They only reminded him that he was spending another hour by himself. The rocking chair felt like a good place to hide out. At least until his chicken noddle soup was ready.

“To learn more” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, December 22, 2012
5:30pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s November Enbridge bill

Typical Sandy. She was bending down to tie her shoe laces and when she burped she threw up all over the new tiles in the hallway. I said to her, Sandy, are you okay? And before that I also said, Goddammit Sandy. She was upset by it but she wasn’t really sorry. I guess for her throwing up all over someone’s brand new entrance way is a regular occurrence. I was mad at myself because I thought I had poisoned her or something with bad shrimp cocktail, or a rotten cashew. I was blaming myself the whole time because I didn’t want to blame her. Cleaning out the grooves and the grout had me cursing her name more than once. I spoke to her husband, Lee, afterwards, and he said she just has a very weak stomach. Also that she was sorry. I suppose it’s better late than never. I was expecting to never hear those words from her. Turns out she was pregnant and Lee just didn’t want to say anything in case it was too soon to announce something like that. I almost called him a moron. I was biting my tongue, trying not to say, WHY DID YOU LET YOUR PREGNANT WIFE EAT STEAK TARTARE? But I didn’t. I suppose he was just as sorry as she was.
Well, my tiles are fine now, if you were wondering.