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Paid update #1

I have a friend that keeps overdosing on the smallest shots. This puts me in the position of regularly having to either revive her myself or (when it’s especially bad) call 911 to get professionals to revive her. It’s really frustrating because she’s only injecting a small fraction of what I’m using and it’s stopping her breathing and (at least once) her heart when all she’s trying to do is get high. Meanwhile, I don’t give a shit about getting high; I’m just trying to kill myself. So I’m using exponentially larger amounts than she is but can’t even catch a nod, let alone stop my heart. I’ve even tried combining the heroin with alcohol and other drugs (all of which I hate using) and I just cannot seem to kill myself.

Is it just me or does heroin only seem to kill people that still have reasons to live?

Life isn’t fair. And apparently neither is death.

HERE’S THE PLAN (post-relapse 2K15)

I love you guys, I appreciate your support but – seriously – I’m going to be just fine. I’m going to be great. I’m not going to use again and I’m going to continue conquering the universe. (If you don’t believe me, I’ll be happy to accept bets and collect your money when I prove you wrong).

Now, I know it might seem like a “cry for help” or something because I posted from the hospital but that was not my intent at all. My intent in “coming clean” immediately after fucking up is twofold: (1) When I tell someone I’m clean, I want them to believe me and the best way to accomplish that is to be perfectly honest and forthcoming anytime that I’m NOT clean. If everyone sees that I volunteer that information freely when I could have just as easily kept it private and secret, then they have no reason to doubt me when I tell them that I am, in fact, clean. (2) My story and my recovery are a huge part of my art, career, and income. It would be disingenuous to tell my story and sell my art without telling the *whole* story. That’s not who I am and that’s not what I’m about. I believe in rigorous honesty and total transparency.
So… with that said, I’m gonna sleep this shit off ’til tomorrow at which point I’m gonna buy a playstation controller and destroy Kyle at NHL 2001. On Thursday, I’ll be bouncing around Brooklyn, harassing art galleries and, on Friday, I’ll be back on the streets of Manhattan, painting funny faces, peddling art to strangers, and trying to charm Tinder girls into sleeping with me. Cool? Cool.

Here’s a picture (from Friday night) that I found on Instagram yesterday.


I’m in the hospital

Fuck. I just OD’d. I woke up in an ambulance. Cardiac arrest. I’m embarrassed. “I don’t shoot heroin anymore” – that’s, like, half my schtick as an artist. It’s kinda false advertising if I am, in fact, shooting heroin. But I’m not. Not regularly anyway. The last time I used was seven and a half months ago and I owned up to it (through my blog) the very same day that it happened. I mean – that’s kinda why I overdosed: ’cause I got no tolerance. Two bags. Two! That’s it. That’s what almost killed me. Fuck… thank God I’m not fucking brain damaged or nothin’. My heart stopped. There was no breath. If [my friend who I’m not gonna name] hadn’t acted as quick as he had, I could be brain dead or just plain dead. I’m so embarrassed. I don’t know if I’m ashamed. Honestly, I don’t really know how to feel. I mean, all this shit… I’m still just kind of coming to. I’m writing this from a hospital gurney. I feel relatively coherent but I’m still a little disoriented. I guess that makes sense, seein’ as how my heart just resumed beating within the last half hour. Ugh. This whole incident isn’t especially compatible with my narrative. It makes me feel weak. What’s the opposite of integrity? That’s the feeling I’ve got. I guess I’m done writing for now. My heart monitor’s beeping a lot and I guess the narcan’s wearing off ’cause I’m feeling kinda sleepy. I wish I could get outta here and smoke a cigarette. I’m not looking forward to having to explain this incident in any detail. How/why it happened. I’m glad I’m okay though. It’s good that I’m not dead. I’m such an idiot sometimes. Can you imagine if I HAD died tonight? From heroin – at THIS point in my life/journey? I know I don’t owe anybody my “sobriety” (or whatever) but I still feel like I’ve somehow betrayed people’s trust by using tonight. And I don’t really have an excuse. I just did it. Okay – now I’m really done writing (for now). I’m so hesitant to post this online while I’m still in the hospital. So soon after it’s happened. But I don’t wanna keep this a secret – not even for a minute. I don’t wanna lose anyone’s trust and (I know I already will have inevitably lost some, just by using tonight but) I feel like coming clean about this incident – immediately / as soon as possible is the best way to prove that I’m not someone that hides things. I might fuck up sometimes but if I say something (like, for example, “I’m clean”) I want people to know that they can take that to the bank. So – yeah – I fucked up tonight. It’s not a regular thing. I hope you’re not too disappointed in me. 

New York, NY

The intake officer in the probation office told me her boss was “in a better mood today.” They’re going to treat my file as “an open case” until my motion goes through, which means I’m still free to travel.

So now I’m off to New York. Hopefully it’ll be a month before my motion goes before the judge and I won’t get called back to court and have to be back in Illinois a week from now. And (of course) the rest of the awful circumstances of my case still stand but…

Whatever – right now I’m just happy to not feel shackled by some court order. I’m just gonna focus on that and say that it’s a good day.

See you soon, New York.

Wallis is gone

I dropped Wallis off at the airport this morning. For our last day together yesterday, we went to the LaBagh Woods, rode the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier, and walked through Millenium Park. I’m gonna miss her a lot. Writing this short blog post will probably be the most active I get all day today.

Here’s a picture from the ferris wheel.

6/2015 progress report

OKAY – SO… A lot’s been going on. Legally and art-wise. Let’s get the bad news out of the way.

The prosecution in my case was, at one point, offering a deal that would keep the felony off my record so long as I satisfactorily completed two years of probation. Before accepting that offer, my lawyer filed a motion (on my behalf) to suppress the evidence against me (which, had it been successful, would have meant there was no case against me and the charges would have to be dropped). That motion failed and now the prosecution has revoked their earlier offer. At this point, the best they’re willing to give me is my choice of two years probation or thirty days in jail but – regardless of which I choose – the felony will be on my record. Which would be problematic should I ever get caught up in a similarly silly kind of situation or if I ever want to use my degree and practice law. My next court date is July 1st and I’m hoping that, with the additional letters and documents I’m submitting, the prosecution will reconsider and let me take the earlier deal.

In similarly bad news, I’m currently in Chicago and had been planning on setting up to paint and sell prints downtown each day when the weather is nice, just as I did here last summer. Today, however, a cop told me to pack my stuff up and threatened to take me to jail if I didn’t. This despite the fact that it’s the same exact spot I used more than fifty days last year without any cops ever doing anything more than stopping to look at my art. Print sales are a significant chunk of my income and nowhere have I ever done better than downtown Chicago in the summer. So losing my spot here is a pretty big deal.

Luckily, I’ve still got Vito at MP Shows who lets me set up at night at the venues hosting his events. It’s nowhere near as profitable but it should at least keep me afloat and I’m super grateful that he’s been so accommodating. Here’s a picture of me drawing at the Worriers show the other night. 

In better, brighter news, after I got kicked out of my spot downtown, I spent the day meeting with galleries in Chicago and it went pretty well. Ann Nathan will be exhibiting one of my paintings, I’m in the process of scheduling a solo exhibition at Dreambox Gallery (to begin later this summer), and am in talks with several other galleries (both in Chicago and elsewhere) regarding potential exhibits a bit further into the future.

And my newest / still-in-progress painting is coming along really well. Here’s a picture of me just after starting it, in a park in Normal, IL. (I promise it looks much more exciting now that I’ve spent some more time on it).

That’s all for now. If you’re in Chicago, you’ll be able to find me at the upcoming Sundials, Toys That Kill, and Angel Lust shows. If you’re in Milwaukee, I’ll be around up there the whole week of Dummerfest.

If you’d like to write a letter to the court on my behalf, feel free to get in touch. No matter what happens, I’m still grateful to have such great friends, fans, and supporters. You all make it possible for me to have this amazing life of freedom, traveling around the country, making and sharing my art. I can’t thank everyone enough.