Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Performative Love Letters


Dear Erica,
Yard work is among your many gifts.
Love, Erica.

Someone even gave me a t. shirt for my efforts. It is so me.

Me and the Hedgeclippers in I Let Go

Dear Erica,
Your walking pursuits are legendary. Way to draw those femur bones back. Walking all over the place is excellent for your pelvis, your relationship to the earth, and your connection to the people around you. Congratulations on your astounding commitment to walking. Well done. You could totally make it as a people walker, or a dog walker. Or a ferret walker, if you didn’t hate ferrets. Also, your fashion sense is impeccable.

Have a wonderful day,
Love, Erica.
Fabulous Fashion sense, Erica. You could totally make it as a People Walker.
Dear Erica,

You are truly a delight to hang out with at airports. The posture you maintain while carrying your light and meticulously packed luggage is spectacular. With great generosity, you offer love and compassion to those who may not be as unfrazzled and smug as you are. You make a wonderful travel buddy and airports are lucky to have you.
Love, Erica.
Unfrazzled and Smug at the Goa Airport


Dear Erica,
Perhaps your powerful emotions have given you a hard time, but you are learning to make space for them in the most healing and genuine way you know how. It was generous, creative and brace of you to invent Performative Crying in Alleys. It is beautiful to see you try to seek truth and wisdom from how you feel. This process will help wake you up, and it will hopefully inspire the rest of the world to be more honest.

Love, Erica.
Performative Crying in Alleys
Dear Erica,

People always say, "I have never met anyone like you," and they are right. You are precious and interesting and irreplaceable. This doesn't mean that you need to be full of yourself, but try to have a fun time with the unique person you've become. No one else has the exact same passion for Butt Club, Ocean Invertebrate Personalities or Performative Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. The phrases and ideas that enter and exit your brain are original, creative and often rather amusing. Perhaps you don’t always say exactly the right thing, but you win points for honesty. Being so open is liberating for the people around you. You do not need to apologize for who you are. Be unapologetic. You are not a broken disaster and your life is not a series of mistakes. Although just being you is enough of a purpose, one day you will figure out the purpose you seek. Don’t give up.

Love, Erica.

What Ocean Invertebrate Personality Are You?

There is no one else like you.
The End.

Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twiiter: @mypelvicfloor

Performative Grilled Cheese
The O's in the Tôtô have Hats
Five Days of Creative Recovery

I Let Go, by Erica J. Schmidt

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 too 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 Tôtô 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
Cardboard Box

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The O's in the Tôtô 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 Tôtô 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 Tôtô and the o’s have hats on them. The O’s in the Tôtô have Hats.
Tôtô’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!

Twitter: @mypelvicfloor


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.
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)