Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Friday, 6 April 2018

Dear Vincent, In my heart, I feel quite strange and lonely.

Dear Vincent,

In my heart, I feel quite strange and lonely. A strange and lonely thing to do is to attend a Silent Book Club where everyone sits silently and reads whatever book they are reading and we all bask in vague intellectual smugness and the beautiful potential we each possess before we open our mouths. In my youth, I used to impose an extensive reading list upon myself. Everywhere I went, I’d insist on devouring books that were meant to enhance my mind. The Second Sex, or Margaret Atwood, or failed attempts at the Odyssey.  On the metro, walking down the street, through every empty moment, in any empty chair or living room.
How joyful was that?
I’m not sure.
These days I do not read as extensively, or, as voraciously. But sometimes I try.

Last night on my way to the Silent Book Club, I dropped off a bag of extraneous clothing in front of a Donation Depot on Bernard Street. I tend to give away all my extraneous possessions nearly pathologically. Further down Bernard Street, I passed an older man and woman who were coming out of Lester’s where apparently they serve the best French fries in Montreal and once I saw my friends consuming enormous slices of yellowish cheese cake.

The older man said, “Well that would take away from the treat for when we get back.” I did not know what the treat was, or where the old couple was going, or if they’d already returned and had just consumed the treat together. But somehow, his words unravelled my strange and lonely heart and I wept reasonably delicately for about seven lonely steps on Bernard Street.
This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M. Homes
In the book I read at the Silent Book Club, the main character’s name is Richard. An enormous hole is taking over Richard’s back yard and is causing a structural catastrophe to his vast and fancy house. And Richard has begun to go to a doughnut shop every morning. The book is called, This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M. Homes. One evening at the grocery store, Richard comes upon a woman who is weeping between the lettuce and the tomatoes. The woman weeps because she is thinking about the salad she prepares her family every night and the salad has two kinds of greens and lovingly selected tomatoes and chick peas and a meticulous salad dressing, and her family does not seem to give a shit. There are so many salads like this out there, and so many strange and lonely tears in cereal aisles, or somewhere between the lettuce and the tomatoes, or in seven lonely steps somewhere on Bernard Street.

Now I am on page 126 of This Book Will Save Your Life.

Doughnuts, from my friend Shayna

I have an aversion to French Fries because in Grade Six French class we learned that 10 frites ont 110 calories and this seemed excessive. And I have an aversion to doughnuts because someone told me they take three days to digest, and they seem far too sugary and hollow.

Love, Erica.  

Send your imaginary and un-imaginary emails to Vincent, or to me. The secret email address is ericaschmidt85(at)gmail(dot)com. You can tell us about your favourite doughnuts, or the books that saved your life, or else your strange and lonely heart.

Strange and lonely solace from the Drying Rack
(April 4, 2018)

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Rideshare, Sterilization and Doughnuts
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Dear Vincent, Are you lonely? Do you have a pain body?


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