12x12 Gold Frame. Acrylic/ Canvas/ Glitter
I thought I was dying of that breakup. We went from all of my friends telling me he bought me a ring to breaking up completely a month or two later. When I think of being in that relationship, I can only remember winter and being in traffic downtown, behind a salt truck, chain-smoking. That and bad diner food. I always thought if he had the right amount of time for me, I would feel better and we could work. I mean not that I was some prize at the time either - I was desperate. Desperate for the pain to stop and to understand why I was the way I was. Desperate for someone else to fix me, to be responsible. In the end we broke up. It was messy. Just as I had used my trauma to be the victim because I had wrongfully believed that situations I had lived through were my identity, he later used it against me. This is only fair when one gets into a relationship solely to get over the last one. He called me and my dead friends all sorts of names. Things I will never repeat. The expectation of emotional intelligence let alone not being verbally assaulted was too high of a bar. It’s where my life was at, and it was a gift. I hurt until it was enough. And I grew.
His Sister held my hand. She told me I was always way too good for him anyway. I’ve always appreciated that comfort. I don’t think we ever spoke again. The day after it ended my girlfriend insisted I come hang out with her in a giant open field. She had a new Great Dane puppy named Siren. I had a horrendous head cold. I cried the entire 4-5 hours we were there. She just sat there with me the whole time. It was the first brilliant spring day of the year. The field seemed to go on forever, the brightest green I had ever seen, with pops of yellow dandelions and a bright blue sky.
This painting is a portrait of that day - with a gold lining. The gold lining is that I have literally never drank alcohol or done another drug since that relationship ended. It wasn't the utmost insanity that I experienced in active addiction that got me to get clean. It was thinking that I deserved a person like that - and believing that if I didn’t get clean - another version of him is exactly who I would end up with. Likely with children or something.
When I look back on that day and how destroyed I felt - I can’t feel it. I can only see the colors showing me how bright life all around me could be if I just gave it a chance. One of the most amazing things anyone has ever said to me (it was Jimmy Smith) was “I have a feeling, that something wonderful is going to happen to you very soon.”
This whole story feels like no matter how bad I feel, it doesn’t mean that the greatest times of my life aren’t in front of me. I feel it in the neon glow and sparkle of the memory of that field.