I Finally Understand All Those Straight Edge Songs on the Radio!

"I Finally Understand All Those Straight Edge Songs on the Radio!" 8/11/14. Ink. 6x6".
“I Finally Understand All Those Straight Edge Songs on the Radio!” 8/11/14. Ink. 6×6″.

The four drawings in this series were all completed following (what I guess I’d call) a “break-up.” We weren’t officially dating but we spent virtually every night together for a month straight. I was the one to end the relationship but I wasn’t happy about it. I don’t think I even realized it at the time but – in hindsight – it’s hard not to recognize that I was outright mad. At what exactly, I’m not sure. At the time, it was easy to fault her drinking for all of our relational issues but (while I definitely think it was a factor) I think my own emotional insecurity and low self-esteem was just as much (probably more) to blame. Maybe that’s what I was so mad about – my inability to feel okay in a relationship. The slightest bit of criticism or the slightest disagreement would push me over the edge and I’d find myself instantly packing my things until she was able to soothe, comfort, and calm me. The night she was too drunk to manage (or too drunk to care) was the night I finally left for real.

This is the angriest of the four drawings – the one in which I really get mean. It says:

What about any of this [me, my lifestyle, my personality disorder] made you think that I’m boyfriend material? Enjoy me for what I am or don’t.

I don’t wanna come across as one of those “I wouldn’t belong to any club that’d have me as a member”-types but – seriously – if you wanna date me, something is seriously wrong with you. Your emotional issues are worse than mine and that’s saying something.

If your past is littered with broken friendships, there’s a reason your past is littered with broken friendships. It’s got nothing to do with the universe. It’s YOU. It’s the people YOU choose to surround yourself with. It’s the way you behave and the kind of people that behavior attracts.

I’m a bit of a broken fuck-up but I’m not so broke to stick around for this. You could’ve chosen to be better. You’re on the precipice. You chose not to. You chose old habits.
Enjoy “drinking [your] dinner.” It makes me sad but not that sad.

I finally understand all those straight edge songs on the radio!

For those of you keeping score at home, here’s the “Hindsight’s 20/20 Recap.” 1) When I got to Chicago, I was in no fucking shape to be any kind of a partner to anyone. 2) We attract (and are attracted to) people who are about as emotionally healthy/sick as we are. 3) I thought I was leaving because I was too well for this girl but we were probably at just about the same level. 4) I might be flighty and insecure but drinking (as a coping mechanism) sucks and will only ever make everything worse; it precludes so much as the initiation of any real, lasting solution.


It’s worth pointing out that this drawing was finished in August and the relationship to which it refers is not the one I bailed on last week. (This one ended a day and a half before that one started).

Say somethin'.