Kale Phone

Kale Phone

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Selfie with Brownies

This morning I whined to the Boatman on the couch. I wished that there was an option on Facebook to eliminate all the weddings and engagements from my newsfeed. All the wedding and engagement people get all the likes and delight. It makes me obscenely jealous to be excluded from the fame. If you want to be liked on Facebook, you need months of wedding prep and thousands of ensuing wedding pictures. And/or you can have a cute baby who poops. I have none of these things. My only other chance is selfies with food. And the Boatman and I are domestically useless. Our one shot was to take a picture of ourselves consuming the delicious brownies we bought at the market from the gluten-free lady. We're not gluten-free people and we didn't even make the brownies. To increase the level of scandal and excitement, we ate the brownies at 11:11 a.m. on Sunday morning. And that's all the unengaged, unmarried, childless people could come up with.

Do you like us, or not?


Selfie with Brownies
Check out the Boatman on TUMBLR at verysatisfied.tumblr.com
Me on Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
Likes on Ecstatic Facebook Adventures

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Lizzie

One night while my friend Lizzie was sleeping, a bookshelf fell on top of her, and she died. The bookshelf hung on top of her bed. When it fell down, Lizzie couldn’t breathe and she couldn’t escape. 

A few months after Lizzie died, her sister came over to my last shitty apartment in Montreal.  She brought a book and a lamp and a photo.  The lamp was blue and was given to Lizzie by the people with intellectual disabilities that Lizzie once worked with in France.  Lizzie used to work for people with disabilities until arthritis attacked the joints in her spine and she got a disability too.  Sometimes I worry about this happening to me. Like the lamp, the book Lizzie’s sister brought is also blue.  I’d lent it to Lizzie for some English course she had to take. Volume I of the Norton Anthology of English Literature.  From Beowulf to King Lear to Gulliver’s Travels. It stopped before “A Vindication of Rights for Women.”  They started vindicating women’s rights in the next volume.  The book was pretty heavy.  I hope it wasn’t one of the books that fell on her.  I wouldn’t be able to bear it.

In the photo, you can see that Lizzie is wearing a light turquoise button-up shirt with a collar.  She has pink cheeks and brown eyes.  Her eyes are just a little bit bigger than eyes you might call bird-like.  Lizzie used to complain about her nose being too big.  I guess it is a little big in proportion to the rest of her face.  You can’t see it in the picture, but at the back of her head, I know that her hair is scuffed and falling out from the friction between her head and her wheelchair.  You can’t see her wheelchair either. Sometimes Lizzie could stand up by holding onto her wheelchair or her walker.  Or a table, or a bookshelf. 

Maybe Lizzie is happy in the picture – I think they took it on her fiftieth birthday party. But to me, she looks worried and kind of uncomfortable.  Sometimes that happens when people smile with their teeth and the photographer takes too long to take the picture.

The professor that Lizzie and I had during our second year at Concordia was adamant that we shouldn’t write about what we knew or else we’d be in trouble.  He made Lizzie cry once.  She’d written a story about a little girl who’d found her grandmother’s vibrator and her mother, the grandma’s daughter-in-law, felt awkward.  The story wasn’t terrible, but it read as though it had been written by someone who didn’t own a vibrator.  A little inhibited.  But Professor Fraser Richman attacked Lizzie who sat in her wheelchair at the back of the class full of twenty year olds, and Lizzie cried.

“Where do you want to go with your writing?  Is it just an outlet to express your feelings?”  asked Professor Fraser Richman. Lizzie’s eyes fluttered and she didn’t know what to say.  She was a pretty inhibited person.  In class, Professor Fraser Richman used to make us play games to help us to know our characters.  One of them was called “If you were a fruit, what would be?”  We’d go around the table and make up questions like “if you were a drink,” “if you were a car,” “if you were a kitchen appliance... what wouldya be?”  And everyone would have to answer for their character.  A martini, A coke, Earl Grey Tea.  A Volvo, a taxi, a Mercedes.  A toaster, a microwave oven, a hand blender.  The Magic Bullet.  Lizzie could never come up with anything.

“Gee,” she’d say, her eyes blinking rapidly, her cheeks and forehead blotching red. She’d push her glasses up her nose.  “A car?  Gee, I don’t know.  You’ll have to come back to me. Sorry.”  My knees hurt whenever I watched her.  Just say something, I thought, it doesn’t matter. I always sat in class with my legs coerced around the arms of my chair, frozen into an excruciating lotus position.  If you were a tree, a country, a dessert…  What would you be?   Lizzie never knew.

“Think too much and you’ll be in trouble,” Professor Fraser Richman warned us.  We were doomed before we even started.  When Professor Fraser Richman stacks up all his published novels, they stand taller than he does.  The summer after our class ended, I set out to read the complete works of Fraser Richman.  I got bored after the first chapter of – I don’t remember what the book was called.  The trouble with stacks of books is that they can topple over and kill you.  3-2-1, and you’re dead.  The suckers and the fuckers.  Professor Fraser Richman used to warn us about swearing in our stories.  We risked drawing too much attention to ourselves.  The writer is supposed to be silent, yet brilliant.  Like God.  He also said that writing about dreams (you know, the kind you have when you’re sleeping), though they may strike the right chord, was somewhat of a copout since real writers succeeded at weaving the subconscious into the narrative inexplicitly.  Well, shit fuck Jesus Christ, I think I’m in trouble.

 

I Cop Out

by E. J. Bodhisattva

A few nights ago, I had a dream that I was in a movie about Lizzie.  The woman cast as Lizzie was tall and thin with dark red nail polish and shiny, perfectly smooth straightened black hair that went down to the middle of her back.  Together we rode up the elevator to where the filming would take place.  When the doors opened on the sixth floor, Lizzie walked in.

“Lizzie,” I said.  “You’re here.”

“I think I fit the part better.”  She wasn’t wearing her glasses.  I told the shiny black haired actress that we wouldn’t be needing her anymore.  She got off the elevator on the ninth floor.  Lizzie and I rode to the top.  Lizzie wore a pink blazer.  Her face was less blotchy than usual and her small brown eyes which normally darted back and forth, remained still.

“You’re here,” I said again.

“Yes,” she replied, her voice unwavering and wise.  On the top floor, there was a beach of red sand like in Prince Edward Island.  A little girl was playing in the sand with a bright red vibrator.  I knew that it belonged to her grandmother.

 
“My grandma’s dead,” the little girl said, pointing to the ocean.  Upon the waves, an old sinewy silver-haired woman lay on a lime green surf board paddling with her arms.  “That’s her.  She’s dead.”

“Me too, I am dead,” Lizzie replied.  Further up the sand dunes, a man in a navy blue Speedo sold blueberries under a yellow tent.  In each corner of the tent there was a video camera.  Beside the tent stood an empty motorized wheelchair.

“I’m hungry,” said the little girl.

“I’m dead,” said Lizzie.

I took the vibrator from the little girl and led her by the hand to the blueberry stand. Lizzie followed us.  As the little girl and I examined the cartons of fruit, Lizzie sat down in the wheelchair.

“It will be sandy,” the little girl exclaimed.  I tasted a blueberry.  It tasted blue and juicy, but it was neither sweet nor sour.

“I hate water,” the little girl declared.  I bought a pint of blueberries and turned around to walk back to the ocean.  Lizzie was already ten metres ahead of us.  She drove the wheelchair over the sand and all the way into the water, until she disappeared underneath the surfing dead grandmother. 

“I hate the water,” the little girl repeated.  “I’m not going swimming.”  I slid through the sand without lifting my feet.  “I wanna go home,” the little girl whined.  She grabbed the vibrator from my hand, ran to the edge of the water and threw it out to sea.  It landed just beyond her surfing dead grandmother.  By the time the little girl came back, an elevator had risen from the sand.

“I like elevators,” she said. We entered and descended.

 

The end.


This is the lamp.
The other day when the sun came up, I yanked it out of the wall and sparks flew.
The Boatman said that we can probably repair it.

Follow the Boatman on TUMBLR: verysatisfied.tumblr.com


The Boatman came back from art camp where he helped the worms draw deeper lines into the clay sand.
Actually, they are miniature shrimp.
I like to say that at art camp, the Boatman got an infection from the worms.
But the infection didn't come from the worms. It didn't come from the miniature shrimp either.
The infection is going away. The Boatman will be fine. 
Feel free to share his drawings.



Somewhere in the world, I am on Twitter.
@mypelvicfloor

E. J. Bodhisattva Facebook Adventures
 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Birth Control

Crocs

My first week back in Montessori school in September, Friday night. Robbie and I started to make out. I put his thigh between my leg and started to hump it.
I closed my eyes and visions of pink and red crocs floated in front of me. I’d spent the week pulling urine- saturated pants off the children who wore those crocs and spraying the crocs with Lysol. Rubbing my crotch harder against the Boatman’s thigh did not make the crocs in my head go away.
“I can’t,” I said to the Boatman.

Crocs
(Image from the Sunday Blog)


Pills

Lots of women I know went on birth control pills because their periods were odd and irregular. Some of them bled for three weeks straight, twice a year, or twelve times a year which sounds horrible. Others bled waterfalls, rushing back and forth to the bathroom managing their diva cups or their blood catching methods of choice.
I’ve heard of girls who have never menstruated at all and go on birth control to try and remedy their lacking or imbalanced hormones. Does this work? It seems sketchy to me.
Other reasons for going on birth control include bad zits and mood swings.
And of course lots of women go on birth control so that they won’t have babies. They take a different amount of hormones every day out of a little dispenser.  My old roommate had an alarm that went off every time she was supposed to take her “baby pills.” I have other friends who may or may not have taken their baby pills at the right time. Now they have real live babies.
Birth control isn’t very good for fish. We pee it out and then the fish drink our pee. The fish might grow a second head, or a very large scrotum. Something like that.
Birth control doesn’t work when you are on the antibiotic rifampin, the antifungal griseofulvin, various HIV medications, various anti-seizure medications, and St. John’s Wort. I learned this from Planned Parenthood.
When you go on birth control, you don’t get to have the exciting and spiritual experience of synchronizing your menstrual cycle with the moon. You’ll have to get your kicks elsewhere.

Baby Pills


Pullout Method

I told a friend of mine that the Boatman and I used the withdrawal method.

He said, “You know what they call men who pull out?  Fathers.”

I told him that the Boatman has been pulling for over ten years, and never once got anyone pregnant. 

“Well, maybe he’s a dud,” said my friend.  I’d never thought of that, and when I did, I thought it wasn’t very nice. And I think my friend is wrong. We are part of the Pullout Generation and not everyone in it is a mother or a father

No public health nurse is going to recommend pulling out to teenage boys. Mostly, that would be a disaster. But after a certain number of orgasms, I don’t think it’s unrealistic for men to figure out the timing.

Of course we all have friends who have made babies while employing the withdrawal method. In approximately 100% of these cases, this happened because the penis remained in the vagina during ejaculation. That won’t work.

The withdrawal method might also not work if you have sex back to back without showering and peeing extensively. The sperm from the first time stays in the urethra which can make its way into where babies are made. If you are still horny after the first time around, I recommend humping things and/or putting different body parts in your mouth to get the edge off.

And/or shower thoroughly; however, this could still be a bit risky

People who give Pre-cum Lectures say that there is sperm in the pre-ejaculatory fluid even if you haven’t had any sex that day. There are not thousands of studies on the topic. The most cited study I have come across says that about 40 percent of 27 men had sperm in their pre-ejaculatory fluid, even though they peed between masturbation sessions. Regardless, the scientist inside of me would say that more studies are needed.  Also, if you’re the type of person who signs up for a masturbation study, perhaps you’re the type of person who arrives at the study having recently masturbated.

In any case, whatever sperm that makes it into pre-cum must not be that plentiful or potent because Planned Parenthood says that if used perfectly (and I’m quite sure that the Boatman is a withdrawing hero), only 4 couples out of 100 will get pregnant. For condoms, the stats are 2 out of 100. Oral contraception and the IUD are closer to perfect, but also a great deal more invasive. Knowing the Boatman’s odds before me, I am happy to give up less than a handful of chances of getting pregnant and join the simplicity of Generation Pullout. Wiser couples track their fertility at the same time, and use condoms during their more fertile times. Despite the crocs, we don’t even do that. I look forward to menopause when I can smugly or un-smugly letting you know how this went.

Speaking of smug, I love the song, “Pregnant Women are Smug,” and it enters my head approximately four times a week, and/or every time I see a pregnant woman, whichever is more.


Garfunkel and Oates Singing "Pregnant Women are Smug"

It is my dream to witness a birth, but so far no one has invited me. I promise I won’t say anything about it on the blog.

The End.

If you'd like to invite me to your birth, let me know 
On my Facebook Fan Page
On Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
Or in the comments below

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Life and Death are of Supreme Importance

Here are a couple of my thoughts about Life and Death.

I should send out invitations to my funeral. Get people to RSVP just so I can get a feel for the friendship level. And for how many party sandwiches I should bill to Metro Transit and the other people in the world who have stolen my time.

People should send out birth announcements with boxes for friends to check off whether or not they approve of the passing on of genetic material.
I do approve.
I don’t approve.

When I die, I want a specific cause of death stated in my obituary with elaborate details regarding how this cause came upon me, and for how long. No ambiguities.

One of the most annoying things to me is obituaries that are vague about the cause of death. So all obituaries annoy me.
Died peacefully,
Died suddenly,
Died accidentally.
What does that mean? Everyone is dying to know how they died.

When I die, I want my cause of death to be elaborately and specifically described in my obituary. No holding back. If it was a long illness, say what the illness was. If it was an accident, say what kind of accident. 

And if I am hospitalized for some mysterious cause, please include regular updates of my condition on my Facebook feed.
I wouldn’t want to leave my friends hanging.
Also, in case of an accident, I want them to know the details so they can avoid the hardship for themselves.
And if it is an illness, I want to give them all the warning signs. That way they can ponder and obsess over their own symptoms.
I’m a really good friend. I hope you come to my funeral. In your RSVP, please indicate whether or not you have food restrictions. I will accommodate you as long as I feel that your digestion problems are legitimate, and not just some neurotic ploy to cut out carbs and other caloric indulgences. A funeral is no time to hold back.
Metro Transit no longer owes me funeral party sandwiches because they replaced the April bus pass that I lost on April 1st, despite the fact that I never put my name on it. That was nice of them. I even gave them a homemade chakra card. Probably this is the first chakra card they ever received.

That’s the end of my current thoughts on Life and Death. 
This is the chakra card for Metro Transit. It is not likely I'll be remembered for my photography skills
Or for my dorky photo shoot with kale.

Follow me on Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
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Follow the Boatman on Tumblr: verysatisfied

Friday, 4 April 2014

Soul Fucking

So I went to Halifax to meet the Boatman for the second time, and have sex with him for the first time.  My timing was impeccable and my vagina started to bleed the second day I arrived.  We still had a lovely time and gave in to fucking on soft white towels.  I got his penis and the towels all bloody.  Even so, the day before I left, as we lay post-coital on the bloody towels, the Boatman kissed me and invited me to stay with him in Halifax for as long as I wanted.

The day I left Halifax was rainy and sad and I was still bleeding.  I knew that I had to go back.  In Montreal, there was only lifeguarding and yoga and a few friends.  Not as good as the Boatman.  The timing was right.  I was leaving.

On my last day as a lifeguard, my last Saturday in Montreal, I gave my celebrity friend Ronald a yoga class in his hotel room.  Ronald was playing one of the dwarves in a remake of Snow White. He happens to be of a small stature, a little person they call it, and he's extremely athletic. In his room, he had wooden benches to climb onto his queen-sized bed and into the shower.  We did yoga on the carpet.  His arms were just long enough to get his hands over his head.  It was hard for him to bend forward because his torso was so much longer than his legs.  Everywhere, his muscles bulged. The class lasted 20 minutes.  Ronald said that it was fun and he gave me forty dollars.

That night, I invited Ronald to Parc Lafontaine, where I was meeting two friends to drink. With Ronald’s forty dollars, I bought Raspberry vodka and perrier, pita carrots and hummus.  I got drunk with the only guy I ever kept in touch with from my online dating career.  I call him my Magic Mushrooms Friend.  He does psychedelic drugs and is obsessed with female orgasms.  He thinks that both of these things are the cure for neuroses.  Someday I’ll try psychedelic drugs and the world will become one with all of my organs. So far my orgasms are not that powerful.

When the world becomes one with my orgasms, I will see things as they really are.  The Buddhists are always talking about this.  Seeing things as they really are.  This frustrates me.  How are things really?  Whatever I see, it isn't how things really are.  I fuck and I see this.  I get drunk and I see that.  I never get the right answer. I need more orgasms.  I need more drugs.

My Magic Mushrooms Friend says that orgasms are the beginning and end of the world and that the secret to orgasm is knowing you can shit in your partner’s face while they’re licking your snatch.  You can shit and know that everything will be okay.  In the park, I drank 5 or 6 or 7 shots of vodka.

“I think I’m drinking too much,” I said.

“It’s okay,” said my Magic Mushrooms Friend.  “You can push a little tonight.”

What did we talk about?  Probably only about magic mushrooms and orgasms.  And about how I wanted to fuck the Boatman’s soul.  My friend Emily joined us and we ate more hummus and pita bread and carrots.  We waited for Ronald but it was too far for him to come so we offered to meet him at a bar that was closer. Benelux.  There was not much to drink there except for beer.  I was too drunk to care.  The strap of my sundress broke so I put on my bathing suit with my lifeguarding t. shirt and short shorts over top.

“Would you like to see my boob?” I asked my Magic Mushrooms Friend. My Magic Mushrooms Friend said yes and I showed it to him.  The left boob or the right boob, or both. Months later, on Facebook, he told me how much he appreciated this gesture.  I told him that he was welcome.

Ronald arrived and bought us all beer.  Now my boob was hidden and we got to talking about something that I wasn’t paying attention to.  I decided to put both of my legs behind my head.  Ronald took a picture.  Now I was wearing a black and white bathing suit with no lifeguarding clothes over top.  In the bathing suit, I wondered if I was still capable of standing up from a backbend.  I was concerned so I lay down on the bar’s dirty floor and made my body into a semi-circle.  Half a wheel or half a bridge or whatever the yogis call it.  My arms and legs were almost straight.

A yoga teacher I know says that doing yoga when you’re drunk is dirty. Why is it dirty?  You look almost exactly the same as when you’re sober.  After twenty-five tries of bending my arms and straightening them again I transferred all of my weight only my legs and stood up.  

I didn’t want to forget how to do this ever again so I dropped back into a backbend and stood up a bunch more times.  Ronald came behind me and said, “You could do handstand drop overs.”   Ronald used to be a personal trainer.   He pushed my legs backwards over my arms and crashed my legs down.  We repeated this movement a couple of times.  To this day, I can barely pull this off by myself.

At the very same moment in Halifax, the Boatman was having drinks with his friends.  They were toasting my arrival.  They were toasting my existence.  The Boatman texted me to tell me, and I texted him back, “I WANT TO FUCK YOUR SOUL.”

Soon it was four in the morning and time to go home.  I hugged everyone, bending myself in half to hug Ronald.  My Magic Mushrooms Friend held me in his arms mumbling and murmuring and whimpering for what seemed like hours.  I have no idea what he said.  Afterwards, he texted me and thanked me for my majesticness. “We could have worked, you know,” he’d written.

I drove Ronald home on the back of my bike.  He sat on the rack, held onto my waist and rode me all the way to his hotel.  Maybe I could have gone upstairs to his hotel room where I’d given him a yoga class.  I might have discovered the answers to all the different questions of the universe.  I could have seen things as they really are.  At the very least, I would have seen his penis.  But I’d promised the Boatman that I wanted to fuck his soul.  The Boatman’s soul and not Ronald's.  Everyone I tell this story to thinks I missed an opportunity.  Even the Boatman. The Boatman and I have lived together for two years and seven months. We are in the habit of fucking each other’s souls on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  The Boatman says that the next time Ronald or another cute celebrity who happens to be a little person comes along, I’m allowed to fuck him. He has permitted it, but I know it’s too late. 

The End.

The Soul-Fucking Honkies

Me wearing a watermelon shirt
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
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My book is still for sale

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Fan Mail

Several weeks ago, I was all set to write a post about my fool-proof plan to sync my menstrual cycle with the new moon. Then I got an email asking me to please moderate some comments on mobtreal.com, a comedy site that I used to occasionally write for. Logging in, I came across a comment from last March that I'd never noticed.

It was from Danny Woodburn, an actor I'd met while I was working as a lifeguard during my last days in Montreal. Danny played Kramer in Seinfeld, and was playing a dwarf in Mirror, Mirror, an adaptation of Snow White. Danny wasn't very happy about my writing. Here's what Danny wrote.
BODHISATTVA:(in Mahayana Buddhism) a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion in order to save suffering beings.
And yet your accounting is rife with objectification, mockery and catty derogations, to say nothing of its falseness. You know the word is objectionable yet you still say it–for effect? I remember you saying how you worked with the disabled. This thought has now me horrified, seeing who you are in this story. 
Gross.  I forced myself to click on the post he was referring to. There was an image of the seven dwarves surrounding Snow White in Mirror Mirror, and a picture of Kino Macgregor balanced on her hands in a backbends, with her feet hovering over her head. there's a quote from my piece, "soul fucking," which describes me doing a drunken version of the pose at a bar, with the assistance of Ronald Clark, one of the other actors who also played a dwarf in Mirror, Mirror. The post linked to my three-part series called, "Small Regrets." I'd titled the post "The Objectionable-word-beginning-with-M Phase." 

I called the Boatman in tears and read him the comment.

"I'm a horrible person, and shitty writer. I should just delete everything. I'm not even famous. This is not worth it. I suck."

The Boatman told me to calm down and read over the posts before rashly deleting my entire online identity. He read them over too.

Snow White and the other stars in "Mirror, Mirror"
In Part One, "Snow White," I describe meeting Danny Woodburn at the tiny hotel swimming pool I worked at the Westin in Old Montreal. We make small talk and I'm highly excited that a celebrity who also happens to be part of a rare population. When the next customer comes into the pool, I can't wait to announce that the little guy from Seinfeld was just here. I untactfully use the m-word. This next customer turns out to be Danny Woodburn's wife.

Part Two is called "other dwarves." In it, I ramble away about the other actors playing the dwarves in Snow White. Somehow I can't stop myself from wondering about what a little person's penis looks like and comparing myself to the famous Erica Schmidt who is married to Peter Dinklage. I consider all the penises I have seen in my life and flesh out a very unnecessary scene from elementary school, which I am ashamed to have included.  In scenes from the swimming pool, I sit on the deck, my legs contorted in bizarre positions beneath very short shorts. I chat incessantly with Ronald, another actor from Snow White. He used to be a personal trainer. Now he rescues pitbulls on TV. He asks me for a private yoga class. 

Part Three: Soul Fucking. It was about my last crazy night in montreal and it turned out to be the only decent writing out of the whole thing. The minister who baptized me read the story and gave me a thumbs up on Facebook. He said it kept his attention the whole time.  Maybe I did made too big a deal out of the vague possibility of sleeping with Ronald and the fact that he was a little person.  At the time, it felt like an unusual and intriguing opportunity. But I went a bit overboard and shouldn't have used the m-word.  

I decided to delete Snow White and other dwarves, and the summarizing post the m-phase. As for Soul Fucking, I took out the m-word and tried to change the story so that it became more about the last night I maybe could have fucked someone other than the Boatman but missed out. Also, I tried to take out anything that would objectify Ronald more than I would objectify any other potential source of sexual gratification. Note that the first paragraph of “Soul Fucking” describes the Boatman’s bloody penis, from the first time we ever had sex. Maybe I’m unoriginal and immature, but I love writing about all kinds of sex and all kinds of body parts.

The private yoga class I gave Ronald before going to the bar probably objectified his body, however, I feel like I would have described anybody else's body in this way.  It's not often you get to be in a celebrity's hotel room and watch the celebrity do yoga.  Even so, I've deleted all of my posts on mobtreal.com in a fit of self-consciousness.

I sent a thorough apology to Danny Woodburn which I can understand if he didn't read or open.  For once, I felt relieved that I never became very famous, for the Small Regrets posts or any others.

The whole ordeal left me traumatized. Although it has never been my main objective to be tactful, I hate to be written off like that, especially after years of sincere and dedicated work with people with disabilities.  I'd like to think that if I'd taken a bit more time to consider my material, I would have made better choices. That said, it's interesting that nobody else besides Danny called me on these posts.

A couple of months ago, I wrote a review of Dan Savage's show at the Spatz theatre. To try and make things interesting, I included a couple of anecdotes about a blind woman who attended the show with her German shepherd. We had just lost the big black dog and so I made the awkward comment that I wish I could have my dog with me all the time...  It was sort of like the time I first met Danny Woodburn. Me saying something awkward. I meant to make fun of myself. The woman and her dog sat in the balcony and the woman yelled a bunch of things at Dan Savage which was mildly entertaining. I guess this is making fun of her. The moderator of montreal.com took out everything about the blind lady, but called my m-phase series amazing.

So why are little people okay and blind people aren't?  Is it because if you are already a regular size you'll never be a little person, but any one of us could become blind over the course of our lifetimes?

I recently saw someone post on Facebook that the circus in town was hiring. They were looking for -insert word I will never again type for the rest of my life. 

People don't encounter adults of shorter stature and I don't think that we are all familiar with the politically correct terms 

I read somewhere that the m-word is akin to calling black people the n-word. Wish I'd read that earlier. When I first heard the term, "little person," I thought it was a bit a bit vague and made me think of a child. But children are called children. Perhaps my excuse was lazy. Some of the other actors who I met at the swimming pool said they were comfortable with the word, "dwarf," a medical term referring to atypical shortness with a degree of disproportion. This, however, has perjorative connations for some people and is phasing out of the medical field.  Recently, I discovered that some people use the term "short statured" which to me sounds less ambiguous and more neutral. 

Regardless, being politically correct often remains vague and sometimes even inaccurate, as in the case of Canadian African Americans. I once worked in a group home where you couldn't write in the reports that someone peed on the floor. Instead you had to say they had a void accident. If they were yelling and screaming at night, you had to write they "used loud vocals." If people used too many loud vocals, they got medicated. I found this to be both bizarre and disturbing.

During my years L’Arche, a community for adults with intellectual disabilities, there was not an enormous emphasis on appropriate language choices. It was in Quebec, and many of the highly devoted caregivers I met there used the term, “personnes handicapp├ęs” regularly. The people with disabilities themselves said it. And yet, it was a much more respectful and empowering environment than the group home where I wasn’t allowed to say someone was screaming in the night.

Using the appropriate politically correct terms isn’t enough. And writing with the sole intention of not offending anyone is terrible for creativity and honestly pretty boring. A truly “Exuberant Bodhisattva” would be able to write in a way that both entertained and relieved all the suffering of sentient beings. Unfortunately, my online persona, “the Exuberant Bodhisattva” has always been somewhat of an ironic joke.  The title came from this short story I wrote in university. Danny Woodburn is the second person to find it more hypocritical than funny. It may be time for a more fitting screen name.

Please leave your suggestions in the comments below.

The End.

Another thing I learned about the Small Regrets Ordeal is that you should cut down everything you write by at least 66 percent. In this post, I did not apply what I learned. Maybe next time.

Twitter: @mypelvicfloor

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Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Real Me

When children are being obnoxious, adults often say they aren’t being themselves. Jessica must have a fever today. Or an ear infection. This isn’t the Jessica I know. She just isn’t herself.

If the obnoxious child isn’t Jessica, who is she?

Who is throwing a block at her friend who touched her pink tower? Who is kicking and screaming and wailing because she doesn’t want to take a bite of the sandwich?  We wait until the kid calms down and then that’s the real Jessica, the real Amanda, the real Daniel. It’s as though only our pleasant, compliant cheerfulness is really who we are. Whatever other horrific behaviour we come up with doesn’t count.

Often I tell myself that given the ideal circumstances, I would be a much nicer person. With the perfect combination of yoga, caffeine, wholesome food, sleep, meditation and sex, I would become a perpetual delight to be around. That would be the real me.

I just came back from Mexico. For a week, my days filled with generous portions of sun, ocean, sex, yoga, quality time with the Boatman, mountains of unlimited cucumbers and guacamole plus doting ladies in white dresses who brought me as many cappuccinos as I wanted. Even I couldn’t find much to complain about and so for a week, despite some lingering neuroses, I became a barely recognizable person.
The Boatman and I in Mexico. Me, barely recognizable
We flew into Halifax last night in the pouring rain. I tried to savour the fresh Atlantic air. It really is one-of-a-kind. But this morning, Sunday doomsday had arrived. Tomorrow, it’s back to the piles of children who may or may not be feeling like themselves.  The temperatures will dip below zero and I’ll have to stand in the cold waiting for the bus that will come either too early or too late. There won’t be time for daily sex and the piles of guacamole and cucumbers are already a faraway dream.

I am being obnoxious.  I just had a big tantrum about how writing is dead and tomorrow I enter the cage of working and not having any time or creativity. And I haven’t posted anything in ages. I have actually done the opposite of posting because I deleted a bunch of stuff when the little person celebrity I met at the hotel swimming pool in Montreal said that I was derogatory and horrifying and not a bodhisattva. I keep having fits about writing. How it is supposed to be my only escape out of the world of screaming pooping children, but I never make anything. I have been having these fits for over a year. Fits about how I can’t write anything substantial. I will keep having these fits for the rest of my life.  

The Boatman said, well, babe, it’s going to be your Vag Time soon. I could blame this. My vagina is starting to bleed, and I’m not being myself. It doesn’t count. Oh, and also it’s the full moon.

But either the full moon bleeding vagina tantrums count, or none of it counts.

If I were a child, once I became cheerful again, a condescending and/or well-meaning adult might say, “that’s a good girl, that’s the Erica I know.” We’ll stash away the teary ball of misery, the unrecognizable hideousness, into a dark closet of mildewed winter clothes.  

Nobody says that’s a good squirrel or a bad squirrel, it’s just a squirrel. We don’t say, that elephant isn’t acting like himself. Elephants are never not themselves. An elephant is always an elephant. Squirrels are always squirrels.

However delightful or obscene the children act tomorrow, they will always be children. They will always be themselves.

It will be the same when I have my next tantrum. I will be myself the whole time. 

The End.

Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
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