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.




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