Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Dear Vincent, I went on my adventure. Everything is green. I love you.

Dear Vincent,

I went on my adventure.
Everything is green.
I love you.

I found this perfect poem on somebody’s fridge. The poet was eight years old, or maybe less.

It’s very boring, but many people don’t have anything on their fridges. I recommend animal postcards, ironic magnets, artwork from children whose insides match their outsides and fortune cookie fortunes. Everything is green. You are broad minded and socially active. Land is always in the minds of flying birds. I do not recommend Happy Couple wedding invitations, or Happy Family Christmas newsletters.

Recently I discovered that the best thing to clean the front of your fridge with is dish soap. No need for bottles of poison labelled with skulls and cross bones and the words, “keep out of reach of children.”

Once I cleaned a house called Happy Times. Every corner of Happy Times was some kind of museum. Mannequin and Strange Doll Museum, Bad Harlequin Museum, Endless Stacks of Records on a Ping Pong Table Museum. I cleaned Happy Times for three days, ten hours per day. Outside the fridge, it was covered with middle-aged masters swimming ribbons, 35 years of photo booth photos, grocery store receipts, baby pictures, and every ex-girlfriend’s every pet and child at every stage of life. Inside the freezer was a Ziploc bag that housed a budgie named Budgimagar. Budgimagar had been dead for at least five years. To taxidermy his body would have cost at least three hundred dollars.

I decided not to post a photo of Budgimagar in a ziplock bag.
Before I left, I wrote on the on the back of a mountain goat animal postcard.

Dear Fraser,
How come you don’t have any pictures of me on your fridge?
I wanted to remind you that you do not need to buy any more edamame beans. Or salsa.

Also, your dead budgie’s corpse is in the freezer in the basement.

Love, Erica.

I hung the postcard on the fridge under a picture of a dog in the snow and above a bicycle magnet and a photograph of an ex-girlfriend’s four-year old child who is now a grown man. Fraser did not see the postcard for at least six days.

Once I met a child whose insides matched her outsides, and her shirt also matched the sky.

“Guess what, Ercica?” she used to say. She'd point to her shirt and say, “Blue.” Then point to the sky and say, “Blue!”

“Er-ci-ca,” said the girl whose insides matched her outsides. “Are you proud of me?” She pronounced proud like an elementary school student whose music teacher had just explained the importance of accentuating your vowels while singing in the spring concert. Proud with wow inside of it. PrOWd.

The girl whose insides matched her outsides had just silkscreened a t. shirt. The blue and green and yellow puddles of paint made a sail boat on squiggles of water, and a tree on an island and a cloud that rhymed with proud with a wow inside of it. And the best kind of little kid sun, that’s just a circle with huge rectangular rays coming out of it.

“Yes, I’m SO proud of you,” I said. And I was. Proud with a wow inside of it.


On my fridge, I have three circular magnets of flamingos doing yoga. For a period of time, one of the magnets held up a list about of the three things I knew about my therapist, Vincent, you, at that time. There was something to do with how Vincent likes citrus and apples, and how Vincent does not recommend cooking with a crock pot as the excess moisture might interfere with flavour. And  you were learning to stand on your head, and this warmed my heart.

Now I know that when you first became a psychologist, you ate too much trail mix and this wreaked havoc on your liver. And I know that you are 38 years old, and that you are not amazing at doing your lunch dishes promptly after you eat, and sometimes you even leave them on your dusty filing cabinet until the next day which is somewhat questionable, as is objecting to cooking with a crock pot.

I eat an extensive amount of trail mix, and last October, I took down the list of the three Things I Know About Vincent, and this made me vaguely Proud of myself, kind of like I feel after I take out the recycling and most of the cans of coconut cream are more or less rinsed out.

Now the front of my fridge is three drawings from children whose insides match their outsides, a birthday card from my friend who loves me just the way I am, the Swadisthana sex chakra, the magnets of  bendy flamingos doing yoga, magnets my mother sent me in a care package, and a fortune cookie fortune that says, “Happy events will soon take place in your home.”

They say the stock market is starting to swoon. Inside my freezer there is compost, homemade vegetable broth, and one third of a bag of edamame beans.  Tonight I am going to a BBQ, but until then the kind of Saturday I am having is a Blob Saturday. Everything is green. I love you.


Send your imaginary and un-imaginary emails to Vincent, or to me. The secret email address is ericaschmidt85(at)gmail(dot)com.  

Everything is Green.

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Yours Til I'm a Post-Modern Literary Genius

Dear Vincent, On Thursday, January 4, 2018, I did not end up flying to the edge of Newfoundland and embarking on a long westward frigid and impossible walk across Canada in my boots that tend to become damp and cold within seven to 98 minutes of putting them on for the benefit of everyone’s mental health which feels like an emergency and also chronically neglected and in memory of Simon Girard who jumped off the roof of Sherbrooke Street’s le Tadoussac on Sunday, January 4, 2015.

Dear Vincent, This is a Hungry Ghost.

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