"28" 11/5/13. Acrylic pain, food coloring, ink. 18x24" stretched canvas.
“28” 11/5/13. Acrylic paint, food coloring, ink. 18×24″ stretched canvas.

This is how bad at relationships I am: I wait until twenty-four hours after things start to get better to share my painting from when things were still fucked up – thereby risking that they get fucked up again. Actually, that’s bullshit – I don’t think this is going to fuck anything up. I’m just not comfortable sharing this ’cause I think it makes me sound petty and immature. I don’t need to write a statement for this piece because it’s got all the text it needs right on the canvas. Here’s what it says…


I didn’t cry. Well, no, when it got bad, I did. But pre-addiction, if I cried, it was usually fake. To show a girl how hurt I was. It was emotional manipulation. But at my worst, I’d break down and cry. Then I went away to treatment and I watched other people cry. But I didn’t. Still “in,” a year later, I started. Like all the time. I was a mess but I was getting better. Then I “got” “better” and I stopped.

I have an idea for a cartoon. It won’t be hard to make. People will like it.  But I just wanna cry. But I don’t do that anymore. I can still force myself. I can fake it. But I don’t do it for real. I’m not holding back tears because I’m not in the kind of emotional state in which they can even begin to form.

The question of “what I wanted to do for my birthday” never came up. Maybe that’s my fault, but there were already other plans and I didn’t want to be disagreeable. Am I being crazy though to feel like I should have never been in that position? Is it unreasonable to think I should have been asked?

She’s not at all mean or selfish. She had good intent. But this gets to what was under my skin the other day. That we just might not be on the same page. We might not be right for each other. And that’s what I’m actually upset about.

On the ride home, I wanted her and told her so. She said she had to be up early for work in the morning. I guess I understand that but – at the same time – it’s my birthday and I guess I sort of thought she’d want to do whatever for me. And it makes me sad that she didn’t just want me the way that I wanted her.

I don’t think it’s supposed to be this way. I think something’s missing. She says otherwise but I can’t imagine that she gets what she needs out of me / this relationship. Which is why I feel guilty whenever I bring this stuff up. It’s not like I’m so great.

This is the story stripped of all its detail (at its vaguest). I write that way for myself. To keep the focus on my feelings. Even though I know it’ll be less satisfying for anyone else. Less “entertaining.” I enjoy an audience but I won’t cater to it. Not with this kind of work anyway.

I enjoy the sentiment of self-pity but not when its point of origin is with me. This feels like self-pity and it makes me feel embarrassed.

I wonder what I’m saying without realizing it. What I want this to say (or think it says) and what it actually says are probably wildly different. [I’m probably an asshole].


So that’s the text on the canvas… Have I embarrassed myself enough for one day? Great! Here are links to the other pieces in what might as well be considered the “series” to which this one belongs.

Say somethin'.