I started this piece about 7 years ago, 8 whiskeys deep with Percocet, Methocarbamol, and a bunch of other pills swimming around my stomach. Wedged in the corner of my room I was staring, glassy-eyed, at the streetlight outside my 30 B Cannon Charleston apartment, and listening to Third Eye Blind’s “Blinded”.

I was thinking about a girl that I had gone on a date with the night before; the most stunningly beautiful girl I’d ever dated, and I’m probably one of many guys that’s expressed that sentiment.

Her “Pink Sugar” perfume was all over my bedding, and I couldn’t help but smell it in the Charleston humidity. It smelled like cotton candy and burned like fiberglass.

This girl and I had met a year or so before as freshman. I pretended we were dating for a couple of months, all the while I was head over heals for a girl back home. A girl I’m sure many of you have heard me talk about. A girl I still, a decade later, wake up from dreams about, emotional, like a widower dreaming of his spouse.

For those couple of months I shamelessly messed with this girl’s head, and eventually it caught up to me. She wised up, things flamed out, and she started dating someone else. In addition to being gorgeous she was also pretty brilliant.

The date we had gone on the night before was my feeble attempt at telling her how sorry I was about everything that had happened before, that I wanted to date her, and that I had changed. Which at that point I don’t know if I had. Can’t really say.

To my disappointment, she wasn’t emotionally invested anymore. She was on a break from her then boyfriend, and was just at my place after the date looking for something that… wasn’t a relationship.

She eventually sprayed my pillows with her perfume, left out the front door, and I knew I’d never see her again.

The next night, mired in self loathing, I broke out the drugs, some pastels, and spray paint and started to go to town on some paper. I started by drawing the figure, then covered it up so I could spray paint the background with a nice bronze color. Once the background set I started filling in the figure, piece by piece with white and sanguine pastels. Next came the ornate pen work which I filled in with a variety of patterns and gold leaf pen. At this point it looked something like this:



Since that night, I’ve worked on this piece any time I was thinking about a past relationship.

The things I loved, the things I hated; wondering if things would have worked out, what went wrong, if it ever would have worked at a different time, and a bunch of other neurotic questions.

So when I say, “This piece isn’t about any one person”… it’s not. It’s about the ones that mattered. The ones I created memories with, the ones that impacted me in one way or another.

So in short…

It’s about sneaking out to see someone at 4 in the morning on a school night to watch Friends episodes, skinny dipping together in a random stranger’s pool on the last night before college, it’s about getting caught going at each other in a random linen closet of a swanky hotel you’re not even staying at, making someone 14 mixed tapes for a 7 day trip, it’s about watching someone ravage an entire tin of raspberries in under 10 seconds, walking three miles in the rain to tell someone you care, pretzel catting, it’s about rolling around in your own filth for 48 hours like a bunch of animals, and accidentally saying you love someone when you know you shouldn’t.

It’s about all the messes, the fights, the claw marks, the tears and snot, the used up toilet paper rolls, and the 30 seconds of unbearable silence standing on either side of the bathroom door waiting to hear the verdict.

But most of all, after everything is broken, burned out, and can’t go on it’s about not knowing when you’re done and wanting it all back.