Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Performative Text Messages

When I was seventeen years old, I watched my grandmother pull apart two-ply Kleenex on her death bed. She would rip each half into four tiny squares, using each section to blow her nose. Though she was dying of pneumonia, not a fiber of tissue was to be wasted. As I watched her, I had the clear thought that somebody had to tell the story of these tiny pieces of Kleenex. Otherwise what was the point?

I feel the same way about pouring my heart into a riveting and inspired correspondence with the Married Man, a.k.a. the Elusive and Illicit Texting boyfriend. Without publishing my efforts on the Internet, what was the point?

Don’t worry, Married Man. I won’t give you away. Your side of the correspondence stays safe with me. I am the Queen of Confidentiality.

And anyways, I’m saving my Memoirs of a Brief Affair for a different day in June. Today I am way too busy.

One of the most important things about having a boyfriend is he is there to reassure you that the welt and/or welts on your groin are not herpes or cancer. Just like the doctor said all seventeen times you waited and paced around the ER or walk-in clinic waiting room.  Someday I plan to conquer and master Friction, Exfoliation and Pubic Hair Removal. That day was not last Friday.

Poor The Boatman. He had to stand in for the Married Man as the recipient of my Performative Text Messages. Just like the Married Man and just about everyone in the world, he is not as good a correspondent as me.

Performative Text Messages

Erica, Friday, 12:56 PM:
I am going to quit masturbating for one week to see if the problem with my sex drive is the Prozac or overthinking linked to typical erectile dysfunction.

No one writes back. I have a hard time focusing. It seems I need three coffees and one nap every day.

I bought several moisturizing and exfoliating products for the bumps on my crotch. I thought that was a nice sentence.

Erica, Saturday 8:39 AM
Two groin bump photos. (Should I post these photos on the Internet? Such choices are always a toss-up.)

I am concerned about my groin welt. It hurts. It is hard underneath. No pus. (Pus is a surprisingly difficult word to spell.)

No tingles.

Yesterday I googled sarcoma.

Erica, Saturday 9:01 AM
I am feeling ignored. And I’m worried I have cancer.

Erica, Saturday 9:39 AM

My phD friend does not think it is cancer or herpes. I showed him the photos this morning at Olimpico.

Erica, Saturday 11:29 AM
What are you doing? The thing about iPhones is that you can tell when people read your texts. If you are too busy, you can copy and paste the following. “There, there. Head pat. I’m sorry you’re having a hard day. It doesn’t look like herpes to me and I don’t think you have cancer. I’m busy doing blank but I hope we can talk soon. Maybe you can have a nice performative cry in a bus shelter.”
Erica has a nice performative cry in the bus shelter on the corner of Bernard and Clark.
The Boatman, Saturday 2:55 PM

Hi Erica. Yes sorry, I was a bit occupied. (Dot, dot, dot: Erica omits something personal.) I’m not always up for immediate text reply. I find my phone takes a lot of energy out of me these days. Sometimes I’ll read a text but get sidetracked and then respond later. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about you. I do, very much! Good luck on your break from masturbation. It’s good to take breaks from things I think. I’m sure your welt is just fine. Did you get it from humping the bed too much? I’m off to trim the hedge and mow the lawn. I’m not happy about it.

Erica, Saturday, 2:59 PM
Okay thanks. I’m sorry about (dot dot dot) and that you have to do yard work. I am quite good at yard work and would have been happy to help you with it. I already failed at the masturbation break. I might go to a clinic tomorrow just in case but I am probably fine.

The Boatman, 3:07 PM
Sounds like a good plan. Thanks for the spiritual help with the yard work. I’ll send your crotch spiritual health through the ether.

End of Performative Text Messages.
My gift for yard worked emerged in the Performative Self-Love Letters. Once the Boatman took a photo of me holding the hedge clippers close to my crotch. The hedge is tall, the hedge clippers are orange, and I look so happy.

Yard work is one of my greatest gifts.
The End.
Post-Script: Performative Exfoliation with the Magic Eraser.

I do not recommend this, though recently one of my coolest friends gave it a go. She reported excellent and effective exfoliating properties.
“But it’s carcinogenic,” I said.
“How do you know?”
“It has to be. It’s Mr. Clean. And a graphic designer from Halifax who isn’t the Boatman told me.”

One of my coolest friends wondered if maybe the generic Magic Eraser brand was un-carcinogenic. I doubted it, and still do.

Mr. Clean Magic. Discover all the Cleaning Possibilities!
Post-Script Two
Groin Welt Update: Omitted until further notice.
Welcome to June’s exfoliating and explosive transformative creativity.
Transformative and Performative.
If you don’t know what performative is, ask.

Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, by Erica J. Schmidt ($2.99)

Performative Crying in Alleys
Why I am Like Jane Fonda
Dear Internet, Please be my boyfriend for five minutes.

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