Kale Phone

Kale Phone

Friday, 13 May 2016

Performative Crying in Alleys

I ended things with my illicit and elusive texting boyfriend. I am feeling a great loss. Folks, these are our times. Grown-ups mourn deeply for their canned virtual pen pals.

30 is the new seventeen and a half.

L-O-Fucking-L. Except I cry the massive tears.

“Everything alright?” my roommate asked.

Everything was not alright. Now there was nowhere to send my ecstatic sentences about emollient and foaming skin creams, bald baristas, melatonin hangovers, performative grilled cheese sandwiches and the saggy jeggings I wore to Butt Club. Who else would make out with me on the monkey bars every three to seven weeks?

Last September, when I began to grace the Mental Health Spectrum with my presence, I took up crying in Montreal alleyways.

But now I live in Mile End. The neighbourhood is way to cool for crying in alleys. Everyone is so busy and cool with their Mercedes and Espressos, their Wedgie Jeans and their Kale Salads.

“I’m good, but I’ve just been so busy.” That’s all anyone ever says. They’re so fucking busy. And tired. Nobody cries in the Mile End.

“That’s not true,” said my roommate. “Mile End is the perfect place for crying. Go ahead. Give Mile End a good cry.”

“I think you could make crying in alleys cool,” the Boatman told me after learning of my devastating break-up. I gave it a go.

Performative Crying in Alleys, by Erica J. Schmidt
In the garbage on St. Dominique street, I found a roll of sparkly wrapping paper. Now there will be glitter everywhere forever. Some of the paper had gross brown stains on it, so I ripped that part off. The way the paper fell, it kind of looked like a flag. My illicit and elusive texting boyfriend used to always wave virtual Erica flags for me. You’d think that a glittery flag would be better than a virtual flag, but within minutes, my face and hands were covered with glitter. Assaulted by sparkles and streaky streamy tears. I went to Clark Park to see if I could dump the glittery flag onto some of my friends’ children.
 
 

“No way is that thing going anywhere near my house,” said my friend. Nobody else wanted it.

I put the glittery flag in the Clark Park garbage can. That was the end of my performance.
The End.

Finally I finished the 5-Day Creative Recovery Challenge.
The Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go by Erica J. Schmidt

Five Days of Creative Recovery

Day One: Kleenex
Day Two: Performative Grilled Cheese
Day Three: Deep Unyielding Depression, Part Two
Day Four: The O's in the Toto have Hats
 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Still Me

October 30, 2012
Dear Simon,
 
Yesterday was the Full Moon and the Hurricane and My Birthday.  Also, the Boatman’s father had heart palpitations.  He got dizzy and sweaty and he almost fainted.  His heart isn’t beating at the right rhythm.  It beats too slow, or else too fast.  My father had the same thing.  Neither of them will die.
 
The last time I saw the Boatman’s father was at a party at their big beautiful house.  The Boatman was late and his mother complained.  The Boatman’s father snapped, “Kathy, he’ll enjoy himself here more if he finishes what he’s doing.”  By the time Robbie arrived, the Boatman’s father felt better but he was drunk.  Robbie brought the Big Black Dog and the Boatman’s father was happy to see them both.  The Big Black Dog took a shit on the deck where Robbie was drinking beer and his father was drinking red wine.  They took him to the front lawn where the Big Black Dog crouched over the grass and tried to shit but mostly it was only gas. The Boatman calls this a foop.
 

 The Big Black Dog, our love and fooping champion.
“Erica,” the Boatman’s father told me when he came inside.  “Isn’t it nice that Eliot can pass gas outside on our lawn?”  It was so nice.
 
At dinner the Boatman’s father hardly ate anything.  Afterwards we were standing around the kitchen counter.
 
“Erica,” he slurred.  “You’re so...  Great.  You’re just great.”  I smiled and said thank you.  “And you know Erica,” he continued.  “The great thing is, when Robbie’s at work, you’re still… You’re still you.”  What a wonderful thought.  Five minutes later the Boatman’s father was in bed snoring. 
 
I’m still me.
 
Me.  I am twenty seven now, I like the number. I got a job at the Elections Call Centre. The call centre changed my life. Now I feel like a real person.  The Boatman feels like I am a real person too.  Every day we are all over each other, snuggling and fucking and kissing. 
 
I wrote this letter by hand in an enormous sketchbook. It is covered with old photos and cut up birthday cards that the people with disabilities made for me.  There are also pictures from the Paper Bag Princess that I ripped right out of the book.  Our book if it ever gets published our book may just get cut up and glued onto some shitty writer’s shitty scrapbook.  Inside my scrapbook, I glued pictures of myself and my friends from when I am less that twenty. Mostly I look exactly the same.  There is a picture of me pushing a little boy in a wheelchair.  His name is Glendon and my family and I have been taking care of him for years.  He doesn’t speak or walk or see or feed himself.  When you push him in the wheelchair sometimes he can raise his arm up above his head and wrap it around his ear.  Or if you lean over his head and say “Hi Glendon,” he will tilt his face up towards yours. 
 

Further on in the scrapbook there is a thank you card from my cousin who got married when he was twenty-three.  For his present, I bought him a garlic press.  The thank you card has a black and white picture from their wedding on the front.  They look like teenagers.  They got married very young so that they could have sex without Jesus getting mad. 
 
The next page of the scrapbook is a letter I wrote to my pothead boyfriend from a few years ago.  His phone was always dying and that was a metaphor for the whole relationship.  I wrote the letter on white paper and glued it onto colourful construction paper.  Beside the words, I’d glued blurry pictures of myself, dressed up as a hot seventies housewife. In one of the photos I am holding a banana as a gun. Luckily I never sent that letter.

Me in Moomoo, with Banana
Last Saturday night, Robbie and I sat on the couch drunk, and I read him the pages in my scrapbook.  There’s a picture of me in front of the big grey van I used to drive when I lived at the house for people with disabilities.  All the people who I lived with there are surrounding me.  Isabelle is sitting in her wheelchair in front of me.  Beside me Madeleine, one of the older ladies is holding up a fushia sign that says, “Merci Erica On t’aime beaucoup.”  I had just started practicing yoga with Darby and fucking my 11th boyfriend, the vegan life coach.  I hadn’t puked in my mouth for three weeks.  I wouldn’t puke in my mouth for another 7 months.  I am twenty-one years old and I am glowing
 
“You look adorable,” said the Boatman.  “You look exactly the same.”
 
The next pages I wrote over a year and a half ago.  Back when you and I were trying not to fuck. I had all these dreams about writing with joy and ease and living somewhere warm and not being poor and fucking someone who loved me and made me rejoice. 
 
Robbie said that this was all very sweet.  And that maybe one day we will move to a warm place and I’ll write wonderful things and we’ll have enough money to do what we want and see each other all the time.  We’ll go to the zoo, and our children won’t get lost. 
 
At the elections call center, there was a pregnant employee named Raven.
 
“Raven like the Big Black Bird,” she said when she introduced herself. Every once in a while, Raven would screech and squawk, usually between phone calls. Raven was being a surrogate mother for her brother’s baby. So she carried her brother’s baby, formed in a test tube and then sheltered from the world inside her uterus. Now Raven has to take time off from the call center.  A fake maternity leave.  She is feeling terrible.  It is a terrible idea to have someone else’s baby.  Especially your brother’s.  I do not recommend it.  Last night, Robbie and I talked about this. About poor Raven and her sad empty uterus. “It’s too hard,” I said.  “It is way too hard.”
 
“Life is hard, babe,” Robbie said, putting his arm around me.  “But it’s easier for us because we have each other.  And I know I’m not perfect, and you’re not perfect, but I really feel like you’re the most perfect person I’ve found so far.  Before you came, I was so miserable.  You make me so happy.  And I feel so lucky to have you.  I do.”

Life on the Happy Stairs.
Life is hard, but it’s not that hard for me. For us.  I feel like everything is falling into place.  The Big Black Dog can pass gas on the lawn, and it’s so nice.  Robbie is at work and no matter when he comes home, I’m still me.  I’m still me, but I cannot wait until I see him again.  The book might be more interesting with some crazy cunt wrecking cardboard box twist.  But I’m not planning one.  I’m happy and I’m finished. 

The End.
Love, Erica.
Small details have been changed for confidentiality purposes.
This is the last letter in the last book I wrote with my ex-ex boyfriend Simon the Hermit. We called the book series, The Little Savage and the Hermit. It never got published, and everyone knows Simon jumped off a building last January.
The Big Black Dog used to be a big star on this blog. He also died.
And well, while we're at it, the Boatman and I broke up and I don't live in Halifax anymore. But I'm still me!

Now it is May 11, 2016. Today I have a meeting with my banker. I kind of wish he was my therapist. I look forward to making fiscally sound choices. And maybe I will visit the Bald Baristas for some performative grilled cheese on the way.

Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, by Erica J. Schmidt


Why I am like Jane Fonda

Stuff From the Little Savage and the Hermit:
Soul Fucking
Lizzie
Cardboard Box
Rumplestiltskin
 

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The O's in the Toto have Hats

This is Day Four of the Five Days of Creative Recovery Challenge. As it happens, the Challenge is taking longer than five days, which compares to when people do a 30-day ab challenge in four years. I have never done this sort of ab challenge in my whole life. That said, if you are interested in a Butt Challenge, GLUTE CAMP MONTREAL will have its very first rendition this Tuesday, May 10. Join us at 6 PM at the south-west corner of Parc Laurier. Look forward to seeing you there! Your Free Will Offering goes towards the Booty Fund.

The O's in the Toto have Hats by Erica J. Schmidt

I have a saying that goes, Everyone Loves a Good Patrick.
Most people’s Tupperware drawers are a total disaster.

Now I want to talk about containers.
Bassin equals a shallow receptacle. A receptacle of little depth. A basin or a bowl.
When I look out the window of my new room, I see at least six pastries. What I meant to say was, I see at least six clotheslines.
View from my new room. I moved all my stuff via Uber. It cost $8.84.
My name is Erica, and I’m a cosmic orgasm. I am one and I want one.

Quand tu liras ce mot, nous serons rendu en l’an 2016. Je te souhaite une excellent année remplie de joie, de santé, et de sport. Les 3 S!
By the time you read this, we will already be in 2016. We’ll have already started it.
I wish you an excellent year, filled with the 3 S’s. Smiles, health, exercise and/or sports. Perhaps Glute Camp Montreal.

Bassin equals a shallow body of water. A body of water of little depth. A pond or else an ornamental lake. The Cosmic Pond. Algae and ecosystem and lily pads. Someone walked into Patrick’s building carrying a vacuum cleaner over his shoulder. The modifier dangles. Who is carrying the vacuum cleaner?

I also want to thank you for all of your support. I am gradually beginning to become what I wish to become. An accomplished person. Thank you for being there for me and for making my deepest desires come true.
Happy New Year, Love Tôtô.
Her name is Toto and the o’s have hats on them. The O’s in the Toto have Hats.

Toto’s grocery list: Bread, Asparagus, pizza ristorante, collation minicus, apples, grapes, mange 499, tomatoes, whippets.
Tôtô's Grocery List
Two empty avocado halves.
Filled with Rain.
I never remember to take off the sticker.

Lonely, bony, boring and dry.
Bassin equals bedpan

Your cells are constantly working to make sure that you don’t turn into a carrot.
Born in late fall, October tender baby's should always wear opal for protection against diseases, negative thoughts and energies.
Patrick built his walls out of bookshelves. I asked how he managed to fuck.

California makes me think of spinal cord injuries because a woman from my high school who has a spinal cord injury was supposed to go to California to become a yoga teacher. But then the balcony she was standing on broke. So did her spine so she did not go. California also makes me think of hot springs. And earthquakes.
Bassin equals pool. Your knees are a great big adventure. I smile at the darkness and you wet my face like the morning. I asked him if he could please move to Montreal to live with me. He said no.

The End.
Happy Mother's Day.
See you at Glute Camp Montreal!

Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, by Erica J. Schmidt


All About GLUTE CAMP MONTREAL:

Glute Camp Montreal combines beloved hits from yoga, Jane Fonda workouts, restorative exercise, contact improv, animal flow and childhood playtime. Participants will have a marvellous time while toning their cells, connecting to their centres and reinforcing movement patterns that promote healthy, good-looking butts.

Tuesday, May 10 at 6 PM, South-west corner of Laurier Park, near the playground.

About the Instructor: 
Erica J. Schmidt has maintained a daily movement practice for centuries. After all these years, movement remains one of the deepest joys of her life. It is with great exuberance that Erica inaugurates and leads the very first rendition of Glute Camp Montreal.

I kind of feel like more than anything, Glute Camp Montreal manifests my Higher Creative Self. Like the insides match the outside. Can't wait.

Glute Camp Montreal on Facebook

Five Days of Creative Recovery
Day One
Day Two: Performative Grilled Cheese
Day Three: Deep Unyielding Depression, Part Two
 

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Deep Unyielding Depression, Part Two

The Five Days of Creativity Series is taking longer than five days. To critics and complainers, I say, “Time is silly. Why does everything have to be so fucking linear?”

Now it is May 1st. I am switching apartments today. Again. My ever expanding stock of possessions has grown to include three and a half suitcases. And yet somehow I only own one and a half t. shirts.

It’s a toss-up over whether to move on foot or via Uber. Both smugness-inducing options, though my rectangular friend the i-Phone is predicting rain, which might dampen the smugness and the suitcases, should I decide upon walking.  
These days as I meditate, I balance a hardcover book called “A Thousand Splendid Suns” upon my head. I gave the inside of the covers a go as well. Seems like a decent story. What a relief to read something that’s not the internet. Oh, Internet.

Oh, Joni Mitchell.
This morning as I balanced A Thousand Splendid Suns upon my head, a song of Joni’s entered my brain:

“I am on a lonely road and I am travelling, travelling, travelling.
Looking for something, what can it be?”

Joni, All I Want

What can it be? No fucking idea. But just in case, better not stay anywhere too long. Poor Joni. I hear she’s not feeling so good. A couple Mondays ago, I wasn’t feeling so good either, though my condition was far less extreme than Joni’s. I had meant to blog about Dan Savage’s hump porn fest, but instead I hit up some tedious public health care. Here’s part of the story, which I shared on the One Year of Metta Community Facebook page. The page was organized by one of my first yoga teachers ever. For one year, a bunch of metta practitioners takes turns sharing how they are experiencing lovingkindness and meditation in their daily lives. It is quite lovely.
Here’s what I shared on my turn:

Deep Unyielding Depression, Part Two  
Monday Morning. 35 minutes of meditation, 75 minutes of yoga, one unsuccessful computer task and the whole world seems like it’s already crumbled. Yet again the day seems doomed to the familiar fog of unyielding sadness, paralyzing futility and self-sabotaging thoughts.

Everything is awful and I’m not OK.

The day before, a friend had told me about her boyfriend’s high-fat low carbohydrate diet, and something called the bullet-proof coffee. Perhaps the new ticket was in the 10 000th eating regime. I whipped up the coffee with the coconut oil and raw egg. It tasted alright, but a little cold. When I reheated it, the egg cooked at the bottom of the pan. I kind of hate eggs. So much for that.

I am feeling a mess. Yoga, flaxseed, fresh air, and it’s still me and my head, banging against the wall.
I call my friend Franck, who took me up the mountains on a motorcycle in India. Franck is really into God. God and Franck talk all the time. Franck’s surrendered his whole life to him, or her. I hope that he will not tell me that God is the answer. God can’t be the answer today.

“What is it my darling?”
“I can’t do this anymore. Please don’t tell me to talk to God.”

“No, no God today.” It sounds like he’s been waiting for this call. “You go to doctor, you tell them you’ve been depressed a long time, you cry every day.”
Five years ago, I decided psychiatry and psychiatrists were mostly dumb. I canned the Prozac and quit the vomit elements of my eating disorder, fueled almost entirely by willpower, self-discipline and maybe backbends. I thought that was that. A trophy recovery success. No vomit, no Prozac.

And well. Here we are again. No vomit this time, but a low-grade level of the “Divorce” Diet, and a high-grade level of despair.
“It’s okay. You’re just depressed. You’ve been depressed a long time. You go to doctor.” God bless Franck. No more Shiny Happy Lululemon Formulas. No more trying to think yourself out of it. You feel unwell. You are worthy of help.

There is no Shiny Happy Conclusion.
I love myself enough to try the Bullet-Proof Coffee. To wander all over the city seeking help in the rain. To spend four hours in emergency, only to learn the psychiatrist has gone home. And to go back the next day, waiting amongst the people with injured feet and the need to vomit into boxes that look like they were meant for French Fries.

When it’s all over, there is brief elation, though no Happy Recovery Trophy. Multi-vitamins. The possibility of Prozac. Lentils, bedtime, tomorrow.

The End.
Update: Just about two weeks later, and I’m feeling pretty good. Prozac is a fabulous drug, though I’m having a hell of a time sleeping.


Oh, and I gave the Bullet-Proof Coffee some more chances. We are having an okay go at it.
See you in the Mile End!
 I was thinking of starting up a Mile End Butt Club. Guaranteed Happy Butts. Let me know if you’re up for this.

Butt Club, Anyone?!?
Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, By Erica J. Schmidt

Deep Unyielding Depression, Part One

Five Days of Creativity (Intro)
Day One: Kleenex (Working Title)
Day Two: Performative Grilled Cheese (Recommended)
 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Performative Grilled Cheese, by Erica J. Schmidt

Last week I got to translate several dramatic and prestigious sentences about a Burlesque show. It was all very sophisticated, and full of performative issues.

For example: Is art able to erase the performative nude body?

When and how does art render the body performative?

A collective conversation on a stage laid bare will allow artist and spectator to explore these performative issues.

Oh, Burlesque. All this made me long to do something performative. Perhaps not nude, but definitely performative.
I've decided the phrase "Performative Grilled Cheese" has quite an excellent ring to it. So does its acronym PGC. At Café L'Étincelle, the Bald Baristas make a thoroughly delightful and satisfying grilled cheese. Crinkled, cheesy, and lovingly assembled on substantial pieces of sourdough, it is every best thing a grilled cheese sandwich can be. And all for just $4.25.
Grilled cheese is an outing sort of event for me, for the reason that buying blocks of cheese is way too much of a commitment. Blocks of cheese, loaves of bread, forget it. Grocery shopping has been a disaster ever since the Boatman and I broke up and I moved to Montreal. There are way too many choices and I switch from store to store, wandering down the aisles in paralyzing vacillation. It can get a bit embarrassing. Hence the Bald Baristas.

(I hope they don’t mind that they have suddenly become the Bald Baristas on this highly famous and prestigious blog. My dear B.B.’s, you must know that I give nicknames to all of my favourites!)

I adore the Bald Baristas. If ever you come to Café L'Étincelle, you will see. They are totally adorable. What's more, their grilled cheese renders the body performative.

Before we get to the performance, I want to mention that I developed an extra special love for grilled cheese in India, when the thought of any sort of curry item caused and/or reminded me of liquid shits and/or the nauseous conviction that I should probably get a pregnancy test.

The triple decker grilled cheese, fresh from the streets of Bangalore.
60 rupees. (1.2 dollars)
All the vegetables come from a can.
For 10 extra rupees, you can request brown bread, but I do not recommend this.
One day I will consume turmeric again. Absolutely not now.

Now it is time for the performance. I wore a weird and confusing frilly corset-possessing shirt that my mother gave me. It is an incomprehensible shirt; however, I have a theory that I come across as the sort of person who does not understand shirts, and that this is part of my charm. Underneath the shirt, I was naked. Being naked underneath clothes is one of life’s most fascinating details. It can sometimes be difficult to think about anything else.
confusing frilly corset-possessing shirt from mom.
Can art provide a solution?
When? How?
Is art able to erase the performative nude body?

Very hard to say.

Performative Grilled Cheese, by Erica J. Schmidt:
 
This morning there was also a performative seaweed opportunity, but my I-phone ran out of storage.

The End.
Be sure to visit the Bald Baristas at Café L'Étincelle, 1991 rue Beaubien.
I can't wait for my next Grilled Cheese! Their coffee is also exceptional!
Bonus Performative Broccoli. Why hold back now?
Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
2-3 dollar self-help book, I Let Go

This post was part of a five-day series called, "Five Days of Creative Recovery" during which I will try to post something creative every day, even though my priorities should almost certainly be looking for a new place to live on May 2.

Feel free to join in with your own creative pursuits!

Five Days of Creative Recovery (Introduction)
Day One: Kleenex (working Title)

Jujubes
Selfies with Brownies
Rideshare, Sterilization and Doughnuts
My name is Erica. I love coffee.
 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Kleenex

(This is Day One of a Project called "Five Days of Creative Recovery." It is meant as an antidote to Deep Unyielding Depression and various Sources Of Grief. For the next five days, I will do my best to post something creative. Out of words or whatever is possible. Feel free to join me however you'd like!)

Kleenex (working title)

When I was seventeen years old, my father and I flew to Winnipeg, Manitoba to say goodbye to my grandmother before she died. My grandmother was in her late eighties, and I think she had pneumonia.  I know she had nine children, two of them twins, one of them born almost dead. Her husband, Julias had died a good half decade earlier. When he died, I’d sewed Grandma a simple cloth bag out of quilted patchwork. She’d used it to keep her Kleenexes. At one point, my grandmother had insisted on starching my grandfather’s cloth diapers. And then somehow, she’d made the switch from handkerchiefs to Kleenex. Is that what death does to you?

As with most nursing homes, the hallways of Fred Douglas Lodge smelled of urine and antiseptic cleaning supplies. Crowds of half-asleep people in wheelchairs gathered around a large t.v. that played Singing in the Rain. And some poor man in the Lazy Boy cried out for Jesus.

Oh mighty Lord! Help me!

My grandmother spent most of her time in her room. She had a meticulous soap opera schedule to keep up with. When my father and I arrived, the t.v. was on mute. Grandma was lying in bed, a few squares of Kleenex arranged across her chest. We both kissed her and then I helped myself to stale bridge mix. She nodded as I ate. Since we lived so far away, whenever we went to Winnipeg, my father dedicated most of his time to sitting with my grandmother. To make up for all the months he wasn’t there. All his other siblings came at least once a week. If ever anyone missed a visit, Grandma would not be impressed.

Every time I visited Grandma, I felt quite guilty because I had long ago lapsed as her personal correspondent. Between the ages of eight and ten, I’d devoted myself to sending my grandparents letters every single day.

Dear Grandma and Grandpa, How are you? I am fine.

Then I’d go on and on about my violin lessons, swim meets and sleepovers. Back then I was quite a comedian and would often include a few good jokes.
What goes ha ha ha, plop?

Somebody laughing their head off.

Ha. Plop. I feel like I have not said the word “plop” in quite some time.
I used to decorate the envelopes with Mr. Sketch Smelly markers. Then I got busy with my extensive academic, musical and athletic ambitions. The letters simply stopped.
They were the joy of my grandparents’ lives, and then they were over.

“What happened to all the beautiful letters you used to write?” my grandmother sobbed one summer as I kissed her goodbye. Thirteen years old, and now I was a big disappointment. Grandma also complained that my hair wasn’t as lovely and curly as it used to be. So many burdens.
I think I am eleven here. Still sporting the curls, as I try desperately to be photogenic.
But as people are dying, you are supposed to get over such things. On her death bed, every time my grandma had to blow her nose, she ripped off a tiny square of Kleenex. Instead of using the whole thing, she would separate the two-ply pieces in half and then rip them into tiny squares. Four squares for each flimsy half. Days to live and Kleenex still seemed worth saving.
I remember staring at the ripped up Kleenexes. In my seventeen year old head, I thought, “Wow. Life is so tragic. So profound.” I was super deep and wise. Perhaps not, but I was definitely sincere. I felt bewildered that all the people at Fred Douglas Lodge would die, and eventually everyone would forget that they’d bothered to squander Kleenexes all the way to the end. I had this clear thought, that writing was the only real chance for redemption. Otherwise what was the point.

My grandmother died the weekend after we left. It was Easter Sunday. Nobody ever told me whether or not during her final days, she’d branched out and let herself splurge on the whole piece of Kleenex.

The End.
Be Creative.
I love how tidy my bookshelves are. I don't have a bookshelf anymore.
I Let Go, by Erica J. Schmidt (2-3 bucks on Amazon)

 

Monday, 25 April 2016

Five Days of Creative Recovery

The Bald Baristas are closed on Mondays.

Soon I will need to dis-assemble The Erica Museum. I am quite sad about this. These days, I’ve been rather sad about a number of things. The sources of grief, they are easy to find. An obvious slogan on my Brain’s Brochure: “Her thoughts provide an excellent Source of Grief.”

Besides Sources of Grief, my brain also likes to concoct catchy acronyms. As you might already know, Deep Unyielding Depression equals DUD. Sources Of Grief equals SOG. What’s your brain’s favourite SOG?

SOGs often lead to self-deprecating tornados. Tornados and/or hurricanes. Once you get stuck in a tornado or hurricane, it can be hard to escape. SOG-inflicted natural disasters are powerful, fascinating and convincing. In my brain there is no shortage of such natural disasters. Although I have a talent for beating myself up about all sorts of failures, not writing well and/or enough seems to be one of my psyche’s favourite forms of self-torture. Unfortunately, the relentless and self-inflicted pressure is not original. Nor does it really help my cause.

Writer’s block is hard to kick. What a drama. And the thing is, I don’t really even have writer’s block. I write all the time. Constantly. For my translation gigs, in my journals, for my pen pals, for my lucky texting friends. But the SOG story says, “You are not making anything official.  You are not Margaret Atwood. You suck.”
And well, as we’ve already established, I am not like Margaret Atwood. Everyone knows why.
There’s a quote about Margaret Atwood in my self-help book, I Let Go. Once again, I will say, it is rather hilarious that I wrote a book called “I Let Go” since I find it excruciating to let go of anything. I am thinking about writing a sequel, “I Don’t Let Go.” In any case, here’s the I Let Go quote:

“So you didn’t get to be Margaret Atwood this time around.  Neither did anybody else.  Margaret Atwood is Margaret Atwood.  Perhaps she saved time by not humping her duvet, but she still had to experience strenuous shits and sinus colds and mediocre sex.  Plus she’ll probably die before you will.  If not then you get to beat her at turning to worm shit.”
Me and the Hedgeclipper in I Let Go. Excellent Drawing by Sara E. Enquist
As an additional point, one might pity Margaret for having to be so coherent. Poor Marg.
Once my Magic Mushrooms Friend told me I was as smart as Margaret Atwood.
Oh, Marg
As smart as Marg. I find it extremely rewarding to write sentences and phrases that only use one vowel.

Bob throws socks on John’s hot dog.
Su’s ducks fuck up.
She sends tense sentences.

I miss his dick.
Is Dick sick?

The i sentences are the funnest. Is funnest a word? Apparently not.
“We’re not writing a book. We’re writing our lives.” This is one of my favourite quotes from Simon, my ex-ex boyfriend who jumped off a building last January 4th. The good news is, you’re allowed to write your life however you want. In text messages, postcards, or in exquisite copy for soothing skin creams.

Yesterday, I wrote an optimistic poem on Facebook. It came to me as I walked down an alley in my neighbourhood. I was on my way home after hours of fruitless and discouraging apartment hunting.

“Repress your hopeless thought.
Behold the optimistic clothesline.”

the optimistic clothesline
Clotheslines are super optimistic. So are white t.shirts.
behold the white t. shirts.
With great optimism, my friend Naomi once gave me a whitish jacket. On the weekend, during a visit to the Bald Baristas, I somehow managed to get a bunch of black ink all over it. I’m surprised this hadn’t happen much earlier. The incident provoked zero hopeless thoughts. In fact, I felt excitement as I imagined borrowing art supplies and transforming the jacket into something wild and exuberant. Something to wear or to put in my next museum. 
the optimistic jacket
By the way, a total of two people came to visit the Erica Museum. Admission fees were paid in chocolate chips, seaweed, tempeh and hazelnut pudding. Also, I am giving away the Threesome Tights. I do not think I will wear them again. If you think the tights might work for you, please be in touch.
Threesome Tights. Available for a Limited Time Only.
Anyways, all this is meant to introduce my project for this week: Five Days of Creative Recovery. It is meant as an antidote to the SOGs and the DUDs. For the next five days, I will do my best to post something creative. Out of words or whatever I can manage. This blog is often very silly, and I do not have a million readers. Even so, over the years, the process of sharing has brought me immense relief and sometimes joy.  

Thanks for being there.
Love, Erica.

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