Tag Archives: large

All I Really Need to Know, I Learned From a Drunk 14 Year-Old at the Mall

"All I Really Need to Know I Learned From a Drunk 14 Year Old at the Mall." 10/25/13. Acrylic and spray paints, resin sand, and food coloring. 18x24" stretched canvas.
“All I Really Need to Know, I Learned From a Drunk 14 Year-Old at the Mall.” 10/25/13. Acrylic and spray paints, resin sand, and food coloring. 18×24″ stretched canvas.

Revision (10/30/13): This entry, as published, had no real statement or details. I wasn’t ready to share what was really happening at the time. I am now.


It’s one thing to spill my own guts publicly – it’d be another to spill my girlfriend’s…

I guess the reasons aren’t so important – what’s relevant is that it’s been a rough week. As it goes at times like this, she pretty much shut down all lines of communication. She doesn’t say anything to me and responds to anything I say with as few syllables as possible. I (as usual) have plenty of work to distract myself with (and I did just that) but I did it while feeling shitty and unloved. We exist under the same roof, but totally apart from one another. Life goes on for the most part as if nothing’s wrong  but everything is very clearly wrong. The first couple days, I took it with understanding and compassion. And – to her credit – in moments, she catches herself; on Tuesday, she apologized for “being weird” and told me she loved me.  But it didn’t end there. By Thursday, I felt emotionally drained and physically exhausted.

Yesterday, I went to Sun-Ray and found out that I was about to have my first art show. I haven’t told her about it. I’m too excited, and  too afraid of how she might respond. Totally devoid of enthusiasm or support… I don’t wanna be in a position where I’ll have to figure out how to process something like that.

Maybe I should tell her and give her the opportunity to prove me wrong. But I just feel so detached.

After I got the news about Sun-Ray, I decided to budget in some canvases; I wanted to have a couple new pieces. I started painting this late last night and just finished.  It took me about ten hours in all. The smaller caption says, “I don’t need anything, I don’t need anyone, I don’t even care.” This is the kind of sentiment voiced by wounded little kids, shouting through their walls of affected apathy  – and by twenty-somethings soaking in grimy, self-loathing punk rock. (I ought to know, having been both).

It’s really easy to not care. It’s about the safest thing a person can commit to. It’s a middle road of low highs and high lows. Eventually though, it all goes grey; it’s not sustainable (or isn’t for me anyway). And the rewards that come from caring (from giving a shit)… I like to think they’re worth it – hard as it may be to recognize that while I’m actually down.


Note: I feel obligated to remind anyone reading that this shit isn’t fair. My girlfriend is wonderful and human but – in any case – I’m pretty sure that, from her vantage point, things look a little different.  And I’m almost equally certain that she could tell this same story – just as truthfully – but with me as the villain. It just so happens that I have a website and she doesn’t. But my intent isn’t to cast anyone in a negative light, only to share my process. I hope that comes across and that no one takes this for anything more than a reflection of my feelings in a moment.




Still Sick (The Illest)

"Still Sick (The Illest)." 9/13/13. Marker and pen. 24x26".
“Still Sick (The Illest).” 9/13/13. Marker and pen. 24×36″.

Heroin is my drug of choice. While I’ve got a couple secondary DOCs, I’ve definitely never considered myself a “garbage can” addict (someone who will take anything at all to get any kind of fucked up). While I have a weird sort of pride about being a heroin addict, it’s only with some hesitancy that I’ll admit to ever having had any kinds of issues with alcohol or cocaine. I used to tease my friend Robin that – “while I’m glad to see you’re doing well, you probably need to go back out, hit bottom, and then come back if you actually wanna get better.” Because Robin’s DOC was crack – “not a real drug” (according to half-joking Sam).

So it’s really sort of embarrassing that I was as excited as I was yesterday when I bought OTC medicine for my cold symptoms. If there’s ever been any doubt in my mind about whether or not I’m really a drug addict, my excitement as I bought generic Nyquil yesterday ought to be all the indication I need to know that I am not like most people.


In so many ways, I feel like I’m just starting out – just starting to figure everything out. Myself, my life, what I want to do, how I want to do it. I feel like I’ve just recently started being me. This is my first large drawing (it’s two feet by three feet). Creating it was an interesting process and at so many different points, I felt myself being pulled in two different directions as to how I should proceed. Sometimes I want to push myself to try something new, sometimes I think I ought to stick with what makes my art look like my art.

The last thing I did was write in a sentence from the NA text that’s been in my head recently. “Although all addicts are basically the same in kind, we do, as individuals, differ in degree of sickness and rate of recovery.” I crossed it out. I wrote the word, “sick.” I crossed that out. I thought about what I wanted to do with the black bars where the words had been. I decided not to do anything with them.


Writing a statement about a piece, right when it’s done, is tricky sometimes. There are some other little things going on here, but I don’t know quite what to make of them yet. Thoughts about friendships, school, identity, and where I fit in.

The piece sold but limited edition hand-numbered and signed 12×18″ prints are still available. Hit me up if you’d like to purchase one.