"Evil." 11/1/12. Pen. 8½x11".“Evil.” 11/1/12. Pen. 8½x11″.

I didn’t like Spirituality Group because I didn’t have any spirituality. But it was Thursday afternoon at Tranquil Shores so that’s what was happening. I was especially miserable on this particular day and it got worse as group went on. Toward the end, we were given an assignment: Write a letter of forgiveness (to yourself) and share it with the group. I wouldn’t share but I kind of wrote the letter.

Dear Sam,
You are a total fucking shithead. You gave up on everything a long time ago. Though you sometimes have brief moments of optimism, they’re few, far between, and extremely short-lived. Everything you say is calculated and contrived. You may be the most dishonest asshole to ever walk the earth.
I’d like to forgive you on the grounds that you’re doing the best you can – that you can’t help but be a miserable little prick – but even that’s not true. If you wanted to be a better person, you would be.
And you’re not even nice to look at! How have you not been choked out yet? People can’t stand the fucking sight of you. Even your voice is outrageously obnoxious. Every day that you continue to live is either a slight against God or proof that he doesn’t exist – or at least doesn’t care about anything anymore. Or maybe you’re the new plague for the twenty-first century! Sent down to punish this wretched world gone awry. Only YOU are deluded enough to (even jokingly) attribute that kind of significance to your stupid presence.
All I know is that people, and the planet, would be better off without you around. Please kill yourself now.
Unfortunately, time has shown that you’re too weak to even bust that move. Seeing as you’re too pathetic to even express in words (given the limitations of human languages) I’ll forgive you. It’s a pity thing. It must be hard to be so worthless and rotten. Besides, I’m not one to hold grudges. I just hope that you’re somehow miraculously transformed or that – somewhere out there – there is some kind of hell for you to burn in one day.
Love, Sam

As a kid, I’d always said that I didn’t believe in God. Sometime in my early twenties, my position went even further. I wasn’t willing to identify with atheism because I didn’t want to stake any claim — and because I didn’t want to identify with atheists (who often seemed as righteous and fanatical as the worst evangelicals). And agnosticism was just dopey (or agnostics were anyway). They were to spirituality what undecided voters are to politics. I wasn’t undecided – I didn’t give a shit. I was a non-voter, a total non-participant. If anyone asked if I believed in God, I’d tell them it wasn’t a relevant question – that it meant nothing to me.

In trying to not be a heroin addict anymore it had become necessary to let some of that antipathy slip away. I had taken to talking about God as if I believed.

But this was Spirituality Group and I hated it. I looked at the letter I had just written and I hated that too. It was like I was trying to be clever with my self-loathing. It made me hate myself even more. I flipped over the letter and started scratching an upside-down cross onto the page, around which I wrote I FUCKING HATE GOD for making me this fucking stupid.

This was on November 1, 2012 – before I learned to use art for emotional regulation. If this is art though, then this is the first time I did it (even if by accident). After scratching down the last of my authentic expression [the words I HATE EVERYTHING] I wasn’t done but I didn’t know what to do. “What else do people consider evil?” I thought.

From that point on, each thing I wrote was sillier than the next. I wasn’t miserable anymore, I was actually having fun.

My favorite part / the coup de grace came when I snuck the least evil thing that I could think of onto the page.



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