The Day I put my Purple Vibrator on the Curb

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It was Spring Cleaning Day.

The day you pull the fridge out, wash the baseboards, the day you get on your knees. Not the kind of get-on-your-knees-to-please knees. This isn’t about him, this isn’t about anybody else. This is the day you get on your knees because you want to, this is the day you get on your knees for you.

The day you find something old and it feels like a present even though you’ve had it since you were seven.

The day you find the thing you never want to see again and so you put it in a yellow bag and leave it on the curb.

Liam and I usually do our seasonal clean together. We put on a playlist and slip into awkward tank-tops and reminisce. The ones that say things like “Moose-aging,” the ones that have a picture of a Moose texting, the ones your Mother bought at the Gas Station near your house. Liam finds my hairballs and pretends to be grossed out. I find his festering Tupperware and I don’t pretend but we’re even.

This year I started the Spring Clean earlier. I wasn’t able to balance in Crow. I knew if I got rid of some stuff, I would really start fly. I went through the closest and chest in my room, all the in-between places. I gathered all the things that were not serving me in Spring 2013. I placed all the objects in a large yellow bag at the top of the stairs. After a week, I placed the bag at the bottom of the stairs. When something is at the bottom of the stairs, it’s closer to being taken to the Goodwill down the street. Sometimes it takes me a very long time to do things, but I always keep a forward momentum.

I forgot about it. Or maybe it was because the bag was filled with things I didn’t want in my life anymore, I wiped the bag and its contents out of my conscious. The bag and its objects didn’t exist anymore. Sometimes it takes me a very long time to do things, sometimes I keep a forward momentum.

So then, the yellow bag became Liam’s yellow bag. Liam’s bag of stuff he’s left at the bottom of the stairs for a really long time. It was this morning, our official Spring Clean morning, that I saw the bag and thought gosh darnnit, Liam. I’m going to make him get rid of this yellow bag today. It’s crowding up our life. It’s sabotaging Crow.

I confronted him about the bag.

“That’s not my bag.”

I look inside. I see my old things.

…..

This is my bag.

…………….

I’m going to put it on the curb.

………………….

I put the bag on the curb.

I get great satisfaction from putting things on the curb. My old things become someone’s new things, a redistribution of love. I can no longer love you, but someone else can. Some of our finest treasures are things found on the curb. My bedside table, a handful of mugs, our Indian-inspired toilet-paper platter, shining silver. Someone else cannot love you, but I can, this home can.

I start hosing down the recycling bin. Moments later I look up to see a man on a bicycle stop at the yellow bag. Pleased with myself, I anticipate the redistribution of love as I continue to spray down the dried up yogourt and tomato sauce I’ve been ignoring for months. Yes, this Spring will start fresh.

I glance up again and something catches my eye. A flash of purple. I look down. Yogourt and tomato sauce. I look up. A very distinguishable flash of purple. No. Down. Yogourt and tomato sauce. Up. A very distinguishable flash of purple. Down. Yogourt and tomato sauce. Up. A very distinguishable flash of purple. This is not the colour of love. No. This is the colour of something very different. I look down.

Down down down down. I am much more comfortable with yogourt and tomato sauce. Down down down.

I look up. A very distinguishable flash of purple. I see a man on a bicycle. The man on the bicycle is smiling. The strap to his helmet tightly around his chin squeeze his cheeks together only to make his smile smilier.

This is not the smile of love. This is the smile of something different.

I am wearing Liam’s shoes, pajama shorts and a Moose-aging tank top. I am hosing down dried up yogourt and tomato sauce. A man in a bicycle helmet is holding my purple vibrator.

I am wearing Liam’s shoes, pajama shorts and a Moose-aging tank top. I am hosing down dried up yogourt and tomato sauce. A man in a bicycle helmet is holding my purple vibrator.

I am wearing Liam’s shoes, pajama shorts and a Moose-aging tank top. I am hosing down dried up yogourt and tomato sauce. A man in a bicycle helmet is holding my purple vibrator.

 A MAN IN A BICYCLE HELMET IS HOLDING MY PURPLE VIBRATOR.

I drop the bin and run inside. Liam is on the porch, cleaning the windows. He does a really good job cleaning windows and has a clear view.

LIAM GET INSIDE.

We get inside and shut the door.

Now I remember what is in the bag. Memories, now buzzing through my mind on level three, the quickest level, the hardest level, the level that was always too fast. I explain to Liam when I was getting rid of stuff, I finally threw away my old vibrators. Oh my goodness. I just put an “s” on vibrator. Vibrator PLURAL. THERE ARE TWO.

We peer through the red stained glass. I pray that he will leave. Please strange man on a bicycle put down my purple vibrator and leave. I pray that he will not make the purple vibrator plural. Please strange on a man on a bicycle do not make the purple vibrator plural. He leaves, but not seconds pass before someone else walks up, and then another and another.

I can’t look anymore I duck down. I can’t not look anymore I look up. I see a woman holding the second vibrator, the remote control dangling down. She thinks it’s a computer mouse. She places it in her purse, pleased.

I am forced to watch as person after person rummages through the unwanted contents of my past. My parents camera I broke and always felt guilty about. The character shoes I bought from theatre school that I never used enough. The jewelry box my ex-boyfriend’s sister gave to me. It was very beautiful but I could not love it anymore. All these things, I could not love anymore. I am forced to acknowledge this as I watch person after person pick it up, and eventually, take it away. Memories, now vibrating through my mind on level one, the level that was always too slow, too uncomfortable, I watch as person after person rummages through the contents of my unsatisfied sex-life, my yellow bag of purple secrets.

The purple vibrator was given to me as a gift. My girlfriends presented it to me on my 23rd birthday. It was after a bad break-up. I just wrote a piece about my vulva and my girlfriends gave me a basket of things to feel empowered. Floral gardening gloves and a purple vibrator. A way to get dirty but not too dirty. A way to get off and get up from getting down on my knees too many times.

It broke two weeks later. I got down, I took it as a sign. I deserve to be unhappy. One day something changed and I thought no, I am in charge of my own happiness. I went to the store and bought a new one. I’ll get the one that looks like a small computer mouse. Yes, the small, sexy one.

It broke two weeks later.

I got down until I realized I didn’t need a vibrator to get off or up, or anywhere really.

I’m not sure what it means to have a history of broken vibrators.

But I do know it’s a very vulnerable thing to see a strange man on a bicycle hold your purple vibrator. And I also know that usually, the more uncomfortable the thing, the more potential there is for something good.

I think back to the yellow bag. I felt so much aversion to those objects, I actually wiped out their existence. The whole out of sight out of mind thing is silly. It is impossible to wipe something out of existence entirely. It will come back and you will face it. One day, one fine Spring day, you will hose down your recycling bin and you will come face to face with more than just yogourt and tomato sauce.

It will catch you when you least expect it, and you will face it. It will catch you in your Moose-aging tank top, the one that nobody’s suppose to see, especially him. He will see it and he will smile bigger than you want him to. 

There is a difference between shoving things out of sight so that you forget about them as quickly as possible and truly saying goodbye. Sometimes you need to be reminded what you are letting go of. So that you really let go. And although I don’t think I needed a strange man on a bicycle that I’mnowconvincedisgoingtoshowupinmynextyogaclassdownthestreet to help me realize that, in a way he did.

I see you purple vibrator. You are smooth and purple and you do not work anymore. I see you sneaky mouse-like one. You are small and black and broken.

I see you, the strange man on a bicycle sees you, the strange woman not on a bicycle sees you, THE WHOLE SAINT CLAIR WEST NEIGHBOURHOOD SEES YOU.

I see you and I say goodbye.

Goodbye yellow bag of purple secrets that are no longer secret. Goodbye to all the things that are not serving me in Spring 2013.

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4 thoughts on “The Day I put my Purple Vibrator on the Curb

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