On Masculinity and Relationships: “When I’m Alone”


I’m pretty sure she fucked her ex at a wedding once. I mean I can’t be sure but I think that’s probably what happened.

When she’s away I wear the same pair of underwear at least two days in a row. I throw a little party for myself in the kitchen with a bottle of wine and I cook food that I know I won’t have to share. I always thought, Why does dad make spicy food when mom’s gone? Why does he cook steak?

            When we first got together (yes it was summer, and yes it was humid, and yes the light on her face through the lace curtains in her room was dappled and soft) we would talk about how we’d never cause each other any pain. We would talk about how we should never leave the bed and we would wish we never got hungry or thirsty. We would scrunch up our eyes and wish we never had to get up to go to the bathroom.

            She goes away on business sometimes or to visit her mother in Vancouver. I don’t know what she does while she’s there. I send her text messages and ask her what she’s doing. But I don’t tell her I’m sitting by the kitchen window eating a whole pizza, getting drunk and chain-smoking to reruns of Seinfeld with my laptop on the table.

            The two of them went to this wedding together and it was no big deal because we’d just spent a whole week in bed wishing we didn’t have to go out to buy milk. Now that we live together, I think about it. Some time I’m going to ask her, Did you sleep with Bryan at the wedding? (I won’t say fuck him, I’ll ask if she slept with him.) Or I’ll say, I know you slept with Bryan at that wedding. 

            I always clean the apartment before she comes home. She brings it up when we fight, that I don’t ever finish cleaning the place. I’ve always got laundry to do and it takes a long time to vacuum the carpet. I’m usually hungover so it takes more time than I thought it would.  

            Once she’s back, I apologize. I ask her how her trip was and I make a salad or pasta for dinner, then we eat in front of the TV.

              When she’s home I go out for walks by myself.

these words by Sandy Martin were inspired by the colour of Alex Andreev

This home will be home again

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word by Boris But 

colour by Alex Andreev

The obsidian titan looms from

Below, a weary vision bestowed

On the fallow dreamer dreary-

Minded by the sea.

st-petersburg montreal

Your quiet eyes pace through

My possessions: strangling rope,

Brine-soaked pages, symbols of the

Lost hope of an exiled meanderer.

st-petersburg montreal

Dear stranger, learn of home

And sing of it. When us strangers

Gather on stranger seas, we

Recall a home we never see.

st-petersburg montreal

Tale by tale you regale of the forgotten,

The sea-tossed bottle lost in tribal

Misunderstanding, a tongue

Lashing at hollow space,

st-petersburg montreal

Our anguish laid bare in mutual

Vulnerability, pyrobabble in place

Of a strange silence. Your eyes

Glimmer beneath a buried quaver,

st-petersburg montreal

A ripple pulsing from an unknown

Provenance ripping apart

In a fear or pain

Lost to a generation unto me.

st-petersburg montreal

My adrifted mind scrambles for some

Consolation of storied survivors or

A measure of a distinguished nature, blessed

By the godliness of constellations above,

st-petersburg montreal

The mortal shipwrecked sands below.

But let me rot here with you

Borne in eternal entropy,

Born to be forever forgotten.

st-petersburg montreal

Do dead men cry? Do words die?

Who swims and who sinks in your currents?

This home will be home again. Welcome,

Old friend, and dare not stay silent.

st-petersburg montreal

word by Boris But 

“What stranger does not first appear to be alien? Inspired by Alex Andreev’s masterful piece and anguished by the refugee crises and the oft-overlooked diaspora of vagrants everywhere, I crafted a poem about two strangers, perhaps parallel images, making a common home. What estranges people is the failure to recognize humanity in what we find unfamiliar. Stories imbue us with a transcendental magic, building homes where nothing should be.”

colour by Alex Andreev

“Alex Andreev lives in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
He’s been drawing, painting and doing graphic design over last 20 years.
He works as art-director in advertising agency and as senior concept artist for movie and game production. Born in 1972, Russia”

sitting on Marty’s lap

I used to care what people thought of me. Like, I’d wonder what the guy at the coffee shop thought about my hair. All through high school I worried about whether or not I was popular. Then I met Marty and he told me nobody gives a shit about anyone else. Seriously, he said, nobody gives a shit. I know that’s the kind of thing people say, but Marty actually meant it. He even put his hands on my face when he said it, not letting me look away, like he really needed me to listen.

Every morning we sit outside on his porch and share one coffee and one cigarette. The first time I went over to his place I brought him his own coffee, but he told me he’d rather just share mine. He only smokes because of the coffee. Those things would piss me off if he were anybody else. I used to hate girls who would sit on people’s laps. I once went on a rant for about an hour because this girl was sitting on her boyfriend’s lap even though there were about five empty chairs right there. But now I get it. I think I’d sit on Marty’s lap if he asked me to. Yes, I would definitely sit on Marty’s lap.



It was the kind of day where everyone’s happy but nobody’s totally sure why. I think it has something to do with the weather, or maybe it’s just everyone being happy that makes everyone happy, like some kind of psychological butterfly effect.

We were sitting on Marty’s porch, but he had to go inside to get something he forgot. He was about to leave for work. Marty’s a lawyer. He says he got through law school by not caring about anybody or anything. He came back outside and just stood there. He checked his phone like he was in a hurry or something.

What if we got married? I asked.

We wouldn’t, he said.

Why not?

It’s not something we would do.

Sometimes I look at him out of the corner of my eye and I swear he’s different, like he’s only human when I’m looking him square in the face. I have dreams about him turning into an animal, becoming some terrific creature, but it always happens just out of view. The only reason I know for sure he’s changing is because it’s a dream, and you always know better in dreams.


I go into the coffee shop and I order one Americano. I sit outside the shop in one of those metal chairs that it’s impossible to get comfortable in. These kinds of places, the kind where they write your name on the coffee cup for you, never want you to stick around for long. It’s all a bunch of false comfort. I drink my coffee while I smoke my cigarette and I try to think about all the things I’m not going to miss.


words by Leah Mol

colour by EVLUK