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.
Every thing’s been great so far. Got to see Stewart in Atlanta last night. I’m really excited to watch The Humanoids play tonight. We’ve got no A/C in the van, but it’s not even hot out. I was in St. Louis this time last year and it was devastatingly hot; this is definitely a welcome surprise.
I feel like I’m reaching. Writing about stuff just to write.
Okay, so if I wanna get honest about what’s on my mind…. There’s definitely something (relating to my being in St. Louis at this time last year) but I don’t know if I’m comfortable talking about it here. Which bums me out, but – reality is that – the things I write here can have consequences. Both positive and negative. And I’m afraid to express what I don’t really understand and don’t have much of a handle on in the first place.
To put it as bluntly and stripped of fear as I can, there’s a couple here who have at different times, to varying degrees, treated me like a son. And I feel about them the way a person should feel about parental sorts of figures. And I’d like to see them, but it’s not really convenient (or maybe even possible) and I’m afraid to reach out because I don’t know that they’d wanna see me anyway. And there’s someone else who I’m not sure whether or not I want to see, but who (much more likely than not) it’d probably be a bad idea for me to see at this point.
All of that was really hard for me to write and I’m just gonna leave it alone / leave it at that.
I have a lot of weird / conflicting feelings about this city. A lot of weird / conflicting memories.
I used to buy needles from a furniture store on MLK, just off Kingshighway. That’s not important, it’s just absurd.
I just finished this. It’s a meditation of sorts – done entirely in the van today.
I feel pretty good today. Not manically good, not hyper-excellent, but just good. Nothing is bothering me or clawing at me. It’s been a while since I painted. I made one piece on the 3rd, but it’s for a record so I’m not able to share it until the release is announced. Still, that was a week ago, so last night I decided to try and paint. Rather than take out a blank canvas, I pulled out one that I had painted a few months back but didn’t really care for. I repainted it and then decided to let what I had dry before I kept going with it. So I pulled out a second piece and repainted that And then decided to let that one dry too. Then I took out a piece that I started when I was sitting on the ledge, looking out over the water, and really having a hard time. I didn’t finish any of them last night.
Today I picked that first one back up and I guess it’s sort of finished now. It doesn’t look quite like my other pieces. Most noticeably, it’s missing any text. Well, it says “OKAY,” but not in any way that most people would spot it. I spent a lot of time on it, but it doesn’t seem quite right. I think that – maybe – I need to move away from paints for a little bit and work with a less fluid medium. And maybe work on some less abstract kinds of projects. I have some cartoons in my head that I’ve been meaning to draw, so it might be a good time to actually put those down on paper.
I reflected on how I’m feeling – on how I’m doing, overall – and I decided that I’m okay. During the painting process, I made myself look at the areas of my life that are… awry – in one sense or another. To see if maybe I could pull that into the painting and work with it. The only thing that came to mind was family. I’m not on speaking terms with two of my three siblings. I’m not on speaking terms with my mom. And the last interaction I had with my dad was earlier in the week, via text, and I told him to “fuck off.” And haven’t talked to him since then.
My dad’s done a lot for me lately, so I feel like I need to take a step to repair that but, at the same time, he said something that upset me. Still, “fuck off” probably wasn’t the correct response to that. I guess if I think about it – in each of these situations – I’m waiting for the other person to make it better when – really – if I want it to be better, I should probably take responsibility for that myself.
Which isn’t to say that I want to do that in each case. While it’d be pretty great if I could have good relationships with my parents and siblings, I’m not entirely sure that it’s even possible. Actually, I’m quite certain that it’s not. And that’s okay. I’m not aware of any rule that says I have to get along with everyone I’m related to. Life is easier without some of these people. And while – generally – I’m not interested in taking “easy ways out,” I can’t take on everything. Everyone has a breaking point. Somewhere along the line, what I know (or even what I want) doesn’t matter anymore. I get overwhelmed and negative feelings take hold. I’m not going to push myself into dealing with things that have the potential to ruin my day. Not today anyway. Outcomes aren’t guaranteed and now matter how I approach it…
[I’m done talking about this now]
I’m not stressed out about money anymore. Everything worked out this week and I don’t have a reason to be anymore. Which is a relief. And I’m grateful for that. I have all of the tools I need to maintain an income right now, I just need to remember to use them. For example, I still have a box of antique dolls and other stuff given to me (to sell on eBay) that I get to keep a share of the profits on. Granted, spending time creating eBay listings isn’t all that different from any other job, but I can do it on my own schedule and take time out for myself when I need it.
Having an online journal is tricky. When I was keeping a journal just for myself (with no intention of ever sharing it at all) I wrote differently. There are things I’d mention and things I wouldn’t. There are definitely more substantial, personal examples I could come up with, but – for example – Mike sent me the new Like Bats EP yesterday and it’s really awesome. And if this were a private journal, right now I’d be writing about why I think it’s awesome. But there’s something awkward about switching gears like that, here, online. Similarly, I joked with myself a lot more in my private journal, but – in this context – I find myself forcing myself to be serious so much of the time. Which just isn’t fun. And I like having fun.
Okay, I feel better about it now. That statement alone made me feel better about it. I’m gonna go listen to the Like Bats EP really loudly, smoke a cigarette, and then work on something else for a while. Today’s been good so far and I’m gonna keep it that way.
Oh – also, the fourth painting from “The Weak End” series in in the Gallery. If you don’t see the statement when you click this link, it’s just because you need to scroll down a little bit.