Unang Pasko Sa Montreal
Written by Marie Barlizo, told by Kenny Wong
We take the elevator up to the presidential suite; it's the only room on the floor. When I open the door my jaw drops. The walls look like solid gold in this place. There are topless HOT blonde women in G-strings and high heels surrounding my friend Justin, who's seated at the head of the dining room table. All eyes are on the Sushi Chef who's preparing sushi on a naked, big breasted young woman. “Ay Dieus mio!” I pray for strength to fight temptation. A boy screams, "Ay-yia –yia. Did I just die and go to heaven?" Justin gets up from the table. The DJ cuts the music as Justin says, "Maligayang Pasko, Joseph! Tatay … merry Christmas! Join us!"
Written by Yvan Bienvenue, translated by Harry Standjofski, told by France Rolland
I should tell you right off that I come from a really poor family and growing up poor you don’t get a childhood. I mean “no childhood”. There’s a sort of one but it’s a second-hand childhood; a rag & bone childhood that someone lends you so you have something to grow up on. The frame of a childhood … borrowed. And the day you become “of age”, the day you become a woman, a man, they take it back. It’s probably why a lot of poor people take a bad turn ‘cause when they realize that they’re gonna have to reimburse their childhood, they decide to just not become adults.
Written and told by Michaela Di Cesare
Pina looks out from her beautiful newly-built bay window with double-paned thermal glass and custom pine accents at the rotting corpses. It’s an unseasonably warm December day, which makes the stench that much worse. It thickens the air, penetrates her newly-erected, insulated walls. She’s trapped in a fortress, like Rapunzel, but instead of being named after a lovely purple flower, she’d be named after Rapini. Pina of the Rapini. The windows of her fortress are filled with argon gas, meant to keep the heat in. Today she wishes it was less warm. She suppresses a gag. She’s getting good at that.
Written by Dany Laferrière, translated by Harry Standjofski, told by Patrick Abellard
Two things that count for me
Refrigerators and women
Sometimes I am looking for the refrigerator
I find the woman
Or vice versa
I am hungry
I meet Julie
We go up to her apartment
We make love
After, in bed
During the moment of tenderness
Instead of looking at her
I look at the refrigerator
That’s me in a nutshell
By Pascale Rafie, translated by Harry Standjofski, told by Deena Aziz
My son was born with a great dream that gnawed at him. Where it came from I don’t know. And he would fulfill that dream; yes! “Come what may” he would say. “Whatever the obstacles”, he would conquer them. “Am I your roaring lion or not, ya oummi?” he would say. Mischievous seducer. Manipulator.
Written and told by Harry Standjofski
Chez Solange there is a decorated tree like I’ve seen in American movies. In Canadian movies too probably, but I’ve never seen one. No trees like that in Istanbul, maybe in some hotel lobby. Look: we are seven billion on the planet; 70% are not Christian. No tree, no presents, no angels, no baby born in a barn, no subsequent “sacrifice, death and resurrection”, no horrible music: it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Five billion don’t celebrate that: get over yourselves!