Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Monday, 18 September 2017

Dear Vincent, Can you hold me?

Dear Vincent,

Can you hold me? Last Monday, my Magical Hoarding Client wanted me to hold her. She’d had a long and tiring day. So many of my Magical Hoarding Client’s days are long and tiring. When she arrived, it was 4 PM, and I was washing the window of the door to her front balcony. I’m really into washing windows these days. With vinegar and lavender essential oils, and a magical turquoise microfiber cloth called A Glass Act. I greeted my Magical Hoarding Client with a hug. I have never been skilled at providing majestic-everything-will-be-profoundly-okay-and-the-world-is-just-about-perfect kind of hugs. As I went to let go, my Magical Hoarding Client exhaled deeply and asked, “Um, can you hold me.” I placed my hand behind her head and pulled her in a little more strongly and thought, if only one day, Vincent could hold me too.

Impossible love, so often, this has been one of my favourite distractions. Yesterday, in the hopes of displacing my main reserves of lust and daddy issues onto someone other than my therapist, I joined Tinder. I matched with some tall blonde lawyer named Alex, and I told him this.

“I joined Tinder because I’m pretty sure I’m too attached to my therapist, whose name is Vincent.” Pretty sure Alex unmatched me though I keep swiping every which way and messing everything up.

Now I’m walking to see my social worker with whom I will discuss Tinder, and the fact that I  feel like I love you.

Someone is sleeping on slabs of cardboard next to a parking lot on a street I’ve never heard of called Sewell Street, just a little north of Des Pins. I haven’t hit myself since the morning of our last session. What helps is sleeping on the couch, where the street lights can’t keep me awake, overexercise, pumpkin seeds, and refraining from agonizing over my failure to meet September’s financial goals.

I’ve made it to Saint Laurent below Sherbrooke, right around the corner from where my ex-ex boyfriend Simon jumped off his building and died. Three homeless people, two men and a woman are standing across the street from Just for Laughs. The man whose blonde dread locks make him look like he was on the swim team for fourteen years is yelling at the tiny woman who appears tired and rather distraught.

“There’s something wrong with you,” he’s shrieking. “Eat a vitamin or something. You look like you’re gonna fucking die.” Tiny, tired and distraught, she walked away. I walk past Metro Saint Laurent, Ontario Street and turn onto de Maisonneuve.

My vagina started to bleed last Thursday. I feel okay, kind of twitchy, and my brain and heart and likely, also my vagina, are not without loneliness, and, not without grief.

After our last session, I wept almost delicately because I wouldn’t see you for two weeks, and due to the assumption that if I get into this program for people with personality disorders, they will surely have me switch to another therapist. To console myself, I went to Plaza Saint Hubert and bought pink and purple throw rugs for my entrance and my kitchen, and an ugly awkward mug to replace the other one that pictured Princess Diana and Prince Charles when they sailed across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia on the Royal Yacht, before their marriage fell apart and before Princess Diana died in a car crash. My new mug is handpainted from Jamaica, featuring two ugly goldfish and beige coral that extends up the handle. The top of the handle is a yellow starfish. The goldfish mug cost 75 cents and it is wonderfully awkward and ugly, and, like all the mugs, it is already broken.

Gallery of Awkard Ugly Mugs from Past and Present:

The social worker called me in as soon as I arrived. There was no time to fuck around on Tinder, or watch the video about Erik who contracted HIV, or read the pamphlet about how to prevent a Meth overdose.

With the social worker, I cried more than the last time, and made fewer winning jokes. He recommended that the next time I see you, I should broach the inevitability of no longer being your patient, and how I can prepare for the grief and loss this might entail. It feels like so much of life is preparing for grief and loss, and living inside it.

These days, the city is full of monarch butterflies. I just saw one flapping its wings on the sidewalk. I am walking up Saint Timothée and a middle aged man with an underworked beard exclaimed that with the light and my hair and whatever I happen to be wearing, it would make a belle photo. A young mother is soothing her large-headed baby who is crying in his stroller. Soon she will secure him into the back seat of her car, and drive away. It has been about seven minutes since I last cried. It feels like so much of life is preparing for grief and loss, and living inside whatever you prepared, or didn’t.

I miss you.

Love, Erica.  

You too can write imaginary emails to Vincent. The project is called "Mondays without Vincent" and the secret email address is: ericaschmidt85(at)gmail(dot)com.

Vincent will be delighted to hear from you. He will write back as soon as he can.
Much love, Erica.

Winning Photo for my Tinder Friends

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

Chuckie the Horse and the Day Jack Layton Died
Dear Vincent, Are you lonely? Do you have a pain body?
Already Broken

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