Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Dear Vincent, If Oprah does not invite you to sit in her decadent plushy green chairs in the middle of the Oprah Forest to discuss your beautiful soul's beautiful hero's journey, it's possible this might be a blessing. It's possible you might just be spared. Love, Erica.

Dear Vincent,

If Oprah does not invite you to sit in her decadent plushy green chairs in the middle of the Oprah Forest to discuss your beautiful soul’s beautiful hero’s journey, it’s possible this might be a blessing. It’s possible you might just be spared.

Love, Erica.


Dear Oprah,

My beautiful soul’s beautiful hero’s journey is I broke up with the love of my life’s most beautiful blogging fairy tale and after six months of weeping indelicately in public, I ran away to India and this was fun for approximately five and a half weeks and then I got extensive shits and I got to be an emaciated and hysterical bone rack and when I finally made it back to Canada, I was so washed out that I had to go on Prozac and then I met my therapist who I fell deeply and madly in love with and this really messed me up as did accidentally doubling my Prozac dose in the winter of 2017 and then going off of it and then breaking my roommate’s delicate and precious teapot, and meanwhile, to fulfill my enormous potential and to live my best life, I clean other people’s bathtubs and sometimes I weep over the ledges of these bathtubs, or else the dusty baseboards, or else the refrigerator drawers filled with mouldy vegetable chunks, and approximately 100% of the time, nobody notices.

Love, Erica.

Dear Vincent,
When I call the crisis center they tell me to call back because I am crying too hard.
They should bring back the role of the Village Wailer, and this should be my job.

Erica Schmidt, Mile End Wailer.

On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, as I wailed below the Saint Laurent underpass, two people, asked me if I was okay, and I blubbered ‘I’m fine, this is just me, a walking disaster,’ and then next to the railroad tracks, a woman on her bike who said she worked with addicts insisted on an extended conversation, and she asked me what I liked to do, and said, ‘I can see you like to walk,’ in fact, she was right, and in fact, she was quite kind, and in fact, I sincerely hope our encounter was good for her Mother Teresa complex. 

Addict Mother Teresa Friend said there isn't some magic formula, you just keep trying different things to see what works. I guess this is not terrible advice.
On the way home, underneath the underpass, some dude walked by me and handed me an apple. He had an apple too, and I was too lonely to go home and so I followed him to Clark Park and watched him wash the apple in the water fountain.  

His t. shirt was white and on the right breast corner it said something about the Xavier school of gifted youngsters.

“Were you a gifted youngster?” I asked.

“Oh, this is from X-men,” he said. “And it’s a rare shirt. Kind of my superpower.”

“Oh,” I said. I know very little about x-men, due to being a philistine.

“What about you? What is your superpower?”

I did not want my superpower to be mopping, although I am quite good at this.

The star of my life’s most beautiful blogging fairy tale used to say, my emotions could maybe be a superpower.

The star of my life’s most beautiful blogging fairy tale had never seen anything like my emotions.

“Maybe my emotions could be my superpower. But mostly they just give me a really hard time.”

My emotions, they
are very astonishing.

On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, I found a dead mouse, stuck to a sticky mouse trap under a kitchen sink, and the sink belonged to a family who has an enormous baby, and I always say that the enormous baby’s face is very astonishing.

Every 12 minutes to 36 hours, I feel totally astonished.
The guy with the gifted youngsters t. shirt said, “I bet people give you all kinds of suggestions on what you should do. Meditation, working out, yoga, journals.”
“Yes,” I said. “And I have been doing all of it since I was seven years old.”

He went to drink beer with his friends, and I went home to do the dishes.
The apple was macintosh. It tasted small and generic. Then I fell asleep on the couch.
In the morning, I finished a translation about houseplants. Apparently, there is no reason to resist growing houseplants. None of my houseplants have grown since I got them, and the basil seems doomed. And I have a lovely succulent plant that Dexter brought.
Succulent plants are very trendy.

I am not happy with my Village Wailer performance though some might say it was rather impressive.

Best wishes for an unoppressive and/or invigorating day.


Dear Vincent,

I can appreciate professional boundaries but just to let you know where I am coming from, last Friday afternoon, I gave my client Linda a free haircut and henna streaks at my house, partly because being a hairdresser is my dream job and partly because on Friday, May 27, 2018 I knocked over Linda’s precious and delicate miniature horse ornament and the front left leg came off and considering how suicidal I became after breaking my roommate’s teapot on Friday, May 26, 2017, and considering how the horse’s leg can probably be glued back on, the incident was not all that traumatic; however, it did instil a self-imposed obligation to buy another horse and to say yes to the next seventeen things Linda asks me for, and this began with the henna streaks and the haircut.

Last night I dreamed about cleaning big chunks behind someone’s stove, and the chunks belonged to my client Genevieve who barely needs a cleaning lady and who is about to move across the country and I’m a bit sad because we get along great and Genevieve signs off all her texts with three emphatic thumbs up, and I sure as hell could use three emphatic thumbs up every other Monday or Wednesday. In my dream, I cleaned up all the chunks behind the stove, and then I went to Genevieve’s wedding, and I was deeply embarrassed by how disgustingly dirty my feet were, and the groom was Tim Ferris, and Genevieve and Tim vowed to manifest the spectacular hell out of their lives, and when they kissed, it was passionate and convincing.

I woke up at 4:14 and all the stoves and the bathtubs and the whole week seem impossible.
I really wish you could save me and that you loved me back but you can't and you don't, not even if I offer to give you a free haircut and even though you probably like some version of my face when I am not sobbing it off, and maybe also my legs and all this, along with at least 37 easily listable details of life leave me feeling breathtakingly disappointed.

The other thing I want to say is, I packed a sandwich for lunch.
Love, Erica. 


Dear Erica,
Where is your nervous system?
Thinking about your nun friends.
Love, Erica.

Dear Oprah and Vincent,
Linda’s haircut went great.
Love, Erica.

Dear Vincent,

On a podcast I learned that to relieve trauma you can lie on the floor and cradle the back of your head and then gaze your eyes from one side of the world to the other. Maybe I will try that the next time I am hysterical.

Love, Erica.

Dear Vincent,

I still love you, and I still love Oprah.

Love, Erica.

*Names and crucial identifying details have been altered due to excellent professional boundaries. Send your letters to me, or to Vincent or to Oprah. The top-secret email address is ericaschmidt85(at)gmail(dot)com.

p.s. Vincent is my therapist and I have that thing where you love your therapist and I get to see Vincent every other Wednesday.
I still love you, and I still love Oprah.

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Dear Vincent, It used to be that the last time I felt home was in a tiny blue penthouse apartment in Mysore, India on the 10th avenue of the 3rd stage of a neighbourhood called Gokulam in November of 2014.

Dear Vincent, Now you know I have that thing where you love your therapist.

Performative Crying in Alleys

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