Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Friday, 12 October 2012

Simon Says

One day a year, I leave the house without taking a shit.  It's the worst day of the year.  I hate that day.  This week, I've had that day three days in a row.  I've been working at a call centre for the local elections, and I need to leave the house at 7 AM.  At an obscene hour, I wake up to practice yoga.  Despite caffeination, and my most miraculous manifestations to the universe, evacuation just hasn't been happening.  Not before yoga, and not after.  I remain clogged up most of the day. 

Simon hates to hear about my bowel movements.  He's an anomaly.  Simon says it's the most shitty and uninteresting part of my writing.  And he hates my blogposts.  He refuses to read them.  "Write our book," he says. A couple months ago, we started our third book together.  We finished our first book "The Little Savage and the Hermit" last fall.  One of my lifetime achievements was not throwing a plate at Simon at the liquid lunches we had during the revision process.  We sent the manuscript out to a bunch of small press Canadian publishers.  A publisher from Toronto called us back in January.  He seemed really interested, although it was centuries before we heard from him again. 
In the meantime, Simon said that we should write another book.  Many times I've written about playing Simon says with Simon.

"Suck my dick," he used to say.  So I would.  There is only one man in the world I have ever slept with whose dick stays hard after a Long and Thorough Blow Job.  Simon is that person.  After the Long and Thorough Blow Job, Simon would still feel like having sex.  Usually, I wouldn't. But Simon would say, "Let's have sex," and so we would.

Although Simon and I have not had sex for a long time, sometimes we still play Simon says.  After we finished the first book, I thought that probably it was a terrible idea for us to write another one.  But since we sort of had a publisher for our first one, I thought then the second one would be guaranteed to be published and then my dream of being Rich and Famous like Margaret Atwood would be closer.  Plus for some reason, writing with Simon is some of the easiest writing I do.  Often my writing process is painful, and agonizing and angsty.  With Simon, the struggle is less.  Perhaps it's because I am writing about myself, and my audience is clear.  It is easy to establish my voice.  I can write about whatever I want and I don't have to be deep or literary or groundbreaking like Margaret Atwood.  Angst and all, I can just be myself.

So even though there was a high chance of more liquid lunches and plate-throwing, I decided to go ahead with The Little Savage and the Hermit Part Two, and more recently, Part Three.  Simon writes one chapter, and then I write the next.  These days, it's my turn.  But I'm sitting here constipated at the call centre, and I got nothing but shit-filled blogposts and facebook clicks. 
During my clogged up lunchbreak, I decide to call our publisher, to get some inspiration and motivation.  The publisher is a very small press in Toronto.  They were supposed to confirm publication with us in the summer.  Summer became September and now it is October.

"Oh hi, Erica," the publisher says.  "I was going to email you.  We're not going to go through with it. 
It has been a difficult year." 

I am in too much of a constipated zombie to say anything more than "Okay, thank you."I hang up the phone and call Simon. 

"Oh, we knew it wouldn't work out," he says.  "It was fake good news."

I yawn and feel gassy. 
"Well, we are both dead inside," Simon says.  "It doesn't matter." 

I return to my windowless cubicle beneath fluorescent lights. 

The woman next to me has the same name as a bird. Her name is a secret for you, but once one of her callers asked her to repeat it.  She repeats it and then there was a pause.
"Yes, like the bird," she says.  "The Big Black Bird." 

Every once in awhile the lady named after the Big Black Bird makes a high pitched squeaking squawking noise.  Not like the Big Black Bird. 
Dead inside.  The phone rings.

"Thank you for calling the ### help centre.  I was not named after a Big Black Bird.  But I'd love to help you."

Someone wants to vote online and they do not have the internet.  I'll be helping him for the rest of my life.  My supervisor brings me chocolate desserts.  I eat them and slowly start growing into the shape of my chair.  I will never take a dump again. 
Sometimes I just want to post The Little Savage and the Hermit online and be done with it. Margaret Atwood would probably say that this is dumb.  But we aren't playing "Margaret Atwood Says." 

I am not Margaret Atwood.  We've been over this ten thousand times.  Big Black Bird lady does her squeaking squawking thing.  She's wearing a grey hat.  She's  not Margaret Atwood either. 
The call centre phones aren't ringing anymore.  On Facebook, my friend writes that she's going on the Ellen show.  To talk about her self-published book called "Thank You For HPV."  She will empower Ellen's viewers to heal their HPV without taking a drug or a vaccine or ripping things off of their cervixes.  All this makes me feel unempowered and embarrassingly jealous.  I should have had a sexually transmitted disease in my title. I should have tried to contract a sexually transmitted disease on purpose.

Then I scroll down and see that my friend is not really going on the Ellen Show.  She's just manifesting her success to the universe, and on Facebook.  I feel dumb for being jealous.  When my friend gets on Ellen, I WILL be happy for her.  I will manifest that happiness right now. 

Happiness.  Not dead inside.
There are other things to manifest:  Tomorrow will be a new day at the call centre.  My supervisor will bring other kinds of snacks.  I will shit before 9 A.M.  The people on the phone will know what the internet is.  I will spend all day not writing back to Simon.  The Big Black Bird Lady will be wearing a different hat.  Maybe she will make a different noise.

Simon always said that I'm just like him, except I'm female and he's way better at getting orgasms.
Simon says that there are some vulvas, like mine, that you keep licking and licking until you realize that you're a hundred years old and you're gonna die in a second...

In one hundred years, Simon won't be licking my vulva.  The elections will be over.  I'll have taken ten hundred thousand shits and ten hundred thousand different times.  My cervix will be HPV free. Margaret Atwood will be dead.  And the children won't play Simon Says anymore. 
The End.

Synopsis: The Little Savage and the Hermit  (for those who haven't read it yet)
The Little Savage and the Hermit meet on a disintegrating biodegradable yoga mat.  Erica, an imaginative, eating disordered yogi plays the Little Savage, while Simon a reclusive author, is the Hermit. 

This is a modern love story, wrapped up in a bigger tale of solidarity. One writer can love another writer, and that's pleasant, but the greatest thing a published writer can do for an unpublished one, is to write a book with her. Thus the saga unfolds, punctuated with poetry, drama, dreams, sex, humour, alcohol and other trendy dysfunctions.

The book revitalizes the ancient form of the epistolary novel.  Simon opens by recounting the yoga mat scene with nostalgia and a very bad poem.  Erica's response, “What the Tornado Said,” undermines their intimate encounter, refusing to believe that this hermit could have made her wet like the morning.
Although the book was her idea, Erica quickly becomes resistant to continuing. She fears that the process fuels an impossible relationship and believes that she is too self-indulgent to create anything of value.  Simon, however, sees the clear potential in her writing and is too stubborn to let her give up since that would mean that he would lose his shot at a book he's eager to see come to life.

A third of the way into the novel, a dramatic narrative turn transforms Erica into a cardboard box. From this point on, the completion of their novel becomes inevitable and their love for each other, undeniable.

Countless mornings, magic toe shoes and more bad poems ensue, but unfortunately, Simon retains his hermit limitations. Long ago, he chose books over people. With her savage fires and cardboard box angst, Erica can`t do much to change his mind. Once the book is finished, the Little Savage wishes she could begin again, and longs for their “bright happy faces in the wet happy morning.” Classic shitty relationship, carried out by geniuses. At least now they have something to show for it. The hermit's happy. The book is ready.
The Hermit is actually dead.

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

Simon Girard 1979-2015
What a Beautiful Face
Guillaume, Part Two

1 comment:

  1. not being able to poo sucks.

    on another note- congrats on the job!! however life sucking it may be!