Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Dear Vincent, Looks like you got some sun.

Dear Vincent,

Nice to see you on Wednesday. Looks like you got some sun and maybe also a new shirt. I’d forgotten about the headless wooden lady statue on the table between your chair and mine, sharing the space with the apple-shaped stress ball whose stem hovers in a stress-induced moat-like crevice. I had remembered that just like the headless woman, your filing cabinet was quite dusty. Some people don’t give a shit about dust and that’s so interesting. My meditation partner, who I no longer meditate with nor give blow jobs to, also has a wooden lady statue, and she is missing her left arm, from the mid-bicep, and down. What's happening to all these lady statues and their body parts, and why are the human men bothering to keep them?

As I sat down, I told you that my Magical Hoarding Client says that crossing your legs cuts you off from the energy of the universe, but that in my case, it might be an okay choice, since my boundaries tend to be horrendous. My Magical Hoarding Client says the best way to connect with the energy of the universe is to put your feet on the floor and open your knees so your crotch is wide open. In your office, I tried to keep my feet on the floor, my crotch closed. I lasted about three minutes before folding up my legs on the chair.

I told you about last Saturday, one of those days that I call, A Deep Dark Day of Death. Seeping anguished rage onto the Insomnia bed, I called my friend, the Dead Inside Man. D-I-M equals DIM. Dim lives in Toronto, and he was a solid fuck.

“You sound terrible,” he said. “You don’t deserve to feel this terrible.”

Dim is incrementally less dead inside than I am. He told me to haul my ass to the pharmacy and get the Abilify.

On the way to the pharmacy, I passed an old balding lady in the alley, earnestly playing catch with a grumpy seven or eight-year old. Catching and throwing, over and over again, amidst the eight-year old’s frown, and the neighbour’s garbage. I occurred to me that this banal act was heroic, and yet I still felt like dying.

As I waited for the Abilify, I took my blood pressure. It was in the optimal range. Then I started writing a note on my phone, containing my wishes in case of my death. For example, I don’t want to have a go fund me campaign. Another example is, at my memorial service, you can read my poem, We have no idea if the squirrels are happy/ Or/if anyone is.

Back in June, one evening while I was still giving my meditation partner blow jobs, I tucked him in and read him the squirrel poem.

The last lines are, “We have no idea if the squirrels are happy. Or. If anyone is.”

“That’s well done,” murmured my meditation partner in his post-ejaculation semi-coma.

I kissed his cheek, said good night, and then walked home alone.


The Abilify was quite expensive, and the pharmacist said it would not likely work unless I committed to the accompanying Celexa, which I wasn’t willing to do. I cried and then left without buying it.

On the front steps of my best friend’s house, I continued with my “Last Will and Testament.” Funeral songs equalled “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” by Neutral Milk Hotel, a bach cello suite, I think the first one, Space Oddity, and Two Headed Boy, Part Two, also by Neutral Milk Hotel. I like that song because it mentions spines. My friend’s partner and two year old appeared in front of the steps, having just returned from ice cream. I helped them park the stroller and we climbed up the stairs. Up in the apartment, my friend’s two-year-old picked up his Cabbage Patch Doll. He let me hold it and the plushy body brought some comfort. Then the two-year-old wanted to carry the Cabbage Patch Doll in his mini baby carrier. As I helped him navigate the confusing straps, I imagined the world existing without me. Like the Cabbage Patch Doll on my chest, this too felt like such a relief. This mind, it has always travelled to great extremes, just to take the pressure off.
Aaron Paul, soothed by Cabbage Patch Kids. Source equals
My friend came home and prepared smoothies with frozen bananas and blueberry yogurt, and likely some other redeeming ingredient. She poured some into a mason jar for me. I said thank you.

They left for a toddler dinner party, and I wandered around Mile End, sipping the smoothie. When I was done, I was somewhere on Esplanade close to my Magical Hoarding Client’s house. I can’t remember the exact thought that compelled me to smash the jar upon the sidewalk. Something about all the ends being dead, Abilify, roommates, being the family fuck-up, and how I will never get over my ex from more than two years ago. I borrowed someone’s broom off their front porch, swept up the purply yogurt covered glass, and threw it in someone else’s garbage.

I walked up Esplanade to Bernard, and then turned onto Parc, back toward the pharmacy. Halfway down Parc, though the sun stayed somewhere in the sky, hard, vigorous rain began to pour down, with thunder and lightning in the background. I hid under a store front and texted my friend from BC, about rages and moving and being the family fuck-up, and the self-destruct button, and how everything felt like a hopeless crapshoot. My Birkenstocks filled up with water and my skirt blew straight up in the wind, revealing my saggy underwear to everyone on Parc Avenue. Once the storm passed, I returned to the pharmacy in my squishy Birkenstocks. More wailing and then, I shelled out fifty bucks for the Abilify, which I now carry around like an imaginary parachute that likely will not open right away.
My mind has always gone to great extremes
simply to take the pressure off.

I get to see you again in two Tuesdays. The government will pay. Given my unstable situation, you don’t feel it is ethical to have me to pay for therapy. Plus you believe that therapy has its limits when one’s life – my life – is so consumed with putting out fires. You suggested that I might be better off with a social worker, who could better help me meet Maslow’s first rung of human needs. And well, thanks anyways. For now at least I won’t miss you so much. And I guess I can use my envelope of therapy cash to buy couches, and/or a washing machine.

As you were checking your agenda, I asked you if the headless wooden lady statue sparked joy.

“Spark joy?” you replied, puzzled. “I guess we’ll have to dust it first, and see.”

These days I keep asking myself a version of the question, is peace in every step, or in daily handfuls of expensive fish oil capsules, or in a fancy used sectional couch in excellent condition, or in Cabbage Patch dolls, or by finally giving in to Abilify? Or is peace just around the corner, or in some brief flash that will reveal itself for 37 seconds some time in the next 12 years? For now, I’ll just try to wait another day, and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna buy the couch.

Love, Erica.

The End.

Don't forget that you too can write a letter to Vincent.
The secret email address is ericaschmidt85 (at)
Tell Vincent if you'd like a response, and if you'd like to keep the correspondence between the two of you, or else we could post it here and share it with others, and maybe it could be healing for everyone.

Speaking of headless statues. Here she is again.
Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go

Bodhisattva Business Ventures:
Deep Cleans by Erica J. Schmidt (@deepcleanswitherica)
Montreal Hippie Threads (@mtlhippiethreads)
Instagram: montrealhippiethreads

Deep Unyielding Depression, Part Two

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