Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Monday, 1 January 2018

Dear Vincent, Some things we might just have to deal with for the rest of our lives.

Dear Vincent,

Some things we just might have to deal with for the rest of our lives.

It’s possible I will always be

A relatively terrible cook

Someone who struggles with lunch choices, livelihood, self-confidence,

And the phrase, “This is supposed to be fun.”

And maybe I will forever long for how safe I felt when I was with my first true love, the Boatman.

When I was four years old, I remember crying so hard that I gave myself a headache. The reason for the meltdown had something to do with tobogganing. Only one of my parents was coming and it wasn’t the one I wanted.

“Why does your head hurt?” my sister had asked that evening.

“I was screaming,” I replied, and in that statement, I had the distinct realization that such displays of emotion were not going to be permitted for my entire life. Crying until your head hurt was moderately acceptable when you were four, but eventually you had to grow out of it. And yet, despite my young wisdom, the big tears followed me to grade one, grade eight, first-year university, the first day of many jobs, walking home from therapy, and remembering the wrong memory some moment between two and four o’clock in the morning.  

Maybe you have chronic pain, maybe you struggle with depression, or disordered eating. Some of these things you may have to deal with for the rest of your life.

When I heard this, I was cleaning my friend’s shower. The speaker was Michael Stone and he is now dead. Last summer, he took fentanyl by accident. Once a week for almost six years, I listened to Michael Stone’s podcast about yoga and meditation and how to wake up to your life. All the questions were so enormous and yet the answers were so simple. Intimacy, relationship, taking care of things. Laundry, your body, the cashier at the grocery store. You could become intimate with anything. Even a terrible mood.
Michael Stone
I was in a terrible mood as I cleaned my friend’s shower and considered all the things I’d need to deal with for the rest of my life. My friend and I had met at my roommate’s party. He’d brought his girlfriend who sat on the couch across from us as I blabbered on and on about transcending the side effects of Prozac, and victoriously humping my pink and purple polka dot duvet two times a day all before 9 a.m. When it got close to my bed time, I invited my friend to join me as I flossed. As fate would have it, his relationship was sexless and open, and because I’d so elaborately described my masturbation practice, my friend thought that flossing meant precursors to humping his thigh and/or other body parts.

Months later, although we’d transcended the flossing misunderstanding, I was pissed off because I’d explicitly told my friend that I no longer cleaned with toxic products that dried out my face and inhaled poison. But instead of buying vinegar, my friend had gone to the Dollar Store and spent fifty dollars on Clorox, Vim, and similar items whose odours evoked hospitals and cancer.

One more time, Mood Sports. Some things in life, we will not and do not transcend.

And yet, knowing this is not necessarily bad news.

In fact, no more fighting could be a fucking relief.

This is just me

And I suck at lunch,

Professional boundaries,

Closing cupboard doors,

Lighting matches,

Staying up past 9:30 P.M.

And punctuating bulleted lists.

But I’m really good at

Morning Routines,

Folding laundry,

Walking obscenely long distances,

Mopping, and cleaning up other people’s messes

Taking out the recycling,

Buying toilet paper before it runs out


I’m the best pen pal you’ve ever had.
January 1, 2018
(written on the wall in smelly markers)
My goals in life are Creativity
deep love for all of my cells
Buy a new roll of masking tape
A cleared and clear and generous heart
What is a cervical orgasm
Using Clorox only once will not give you cancer.

Some things, we might just have to deal with for the rest of our lives. On Wednesday, the temperature goes up to minus 9, and I get to see you and I can’t wait. Happy New Year, Vincent.

Love, Erica.
Send your letters to me and/or Vincent to ericaschmidt85(at)gmail(dot)com.
Happy New Year
Love, Erica

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

Dear Vincent, This letter is about saving a begonia. Love, Erica.
What does it mean to be home.
Mourning, Wailing, Yearning, Wake up

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