Story and illustrations by Russell Gottwaldt
You admit it. You can’t relate to your fellow art students. And why would you want to? They piss you off. If they’re not monopolizing entire conversations with trite ideas or hackneyed explanations regarding their shitty projects, then they’re just obtrusively there, being boring and predictable.
Often, while you’re waiting for the elevators before class, you realize that virtually every person around you is vain, short-sighted, malicious, vapid, or just plain ugly. Sometimes you’re visibly disturbed by just how ugly some people can be. And it doesn’t get any better once class starts: it’s just ugly student after ugly student giving moronic after moronic answers to contrived after contrived questions. Would it be so hard for everyone to just say what’s correct? And would it be so bad if teachers could try a little harder to inspire you? I mean, what the hell are you supposed to be paying for?
Wouldn’t you rather just be at home? You could be sleeping comfortably in your bed, but instead you’re catapulted head first into a pool of bratty hipsters who think they have their fingers on the pulse of developing art theory. It’s enough to make you schedule a fourth nap into your daily routine.
You’ve never considered yourself a sexually driven person, in fact, embarrassingly enough, you can’t remember the last time you’ve let yourself be in a position to have sex. It’s not that you’re unattractive. On the contrary, you’ve had plenty of people ask you out in the last month alone, it’s just that you’ve had an appetite for people and things that are just, well, inaccessible.
You intensely and constantly want. In fact, that’s all you really understand, emotionally. As soon as someone you’re infatuated with stops being an object of admiration and starts being an involvement, they become undesirable. After all, you can’t crave somebody and interact with them simultaneously.
Friends will tell you that you’re a caring, loving individual who doesn’t want to date around or break any hearts—that once you find someone right, you’ll be a great partner—but you know that you’d rather be fantasizing about people you can’t actually have than struggling to make good with someone who likes you. And why not? Between the time when a student first learns of your fancy and the time right before they introduce themselves to you and you become repulsed by them, I’ll bet they feel flattered.
Have you noticed how every other student in your studio class always manages to make better work than you? It’s uncanny how much consideration and effort you can put into something and, next to almost anyone else’s work, still have it come out looking like a huge, steaming pile of inability. Or how about sheer wits? How come all your friends always seem to know just a little bit more than you in any given subject?
It seems no matter how hard you try to keep up, you always fall short of the people you compare yourself to in every regard. Why is it that, as much as your friends’ lives mimic your own, and even though you all take the same classes, listen to the same music, watch the same movies and admire the same professors, you just can’t seem to do it right? Your friends’ boyfriends are always of higher caliber to the inferior men you habitually choose to date, your friends’ tastes are somehow slightly more sophisticated than yours, and last week they even smelled more appealing than you.
You’ve thought extensively about finding new friends, but even your social skills can’t compete in the school’s clique market, so you decide against it and just suck it up.
Bar hopping in Lincoln Park was awesome, wasn’t it? You partied right. In fact, you’ve been partying right every night for a few weeks now. Not that this seems strange to you. You’ve always considered yourself a free-wheeling lover of good times; an easy-going art student who simply enjoys a good night filled with urban bacchanalia. Perhaps a few people have accused you of being indulgent, maybe even some have gone so far as to say that you’re a child of money and a bored socialite who finds new ways to alleviate boredom at any cost, but what the fuck do they know? Only repressed assholes believe that pleasure should be moderated.
You believe that people can be classified into two groups: Those who will help you—or can be exploited—to achieve the highest state of pleasure possible for yourself; and threats. Anybody who gets in the way of your contentment is a threat.
You admit, it was hard to convince people of your breezy, fun-loving nature after that time you threw a fit when your friends agreed you would all watch a movie that you didn’t want to see. But sometimes, your friends can just be unreasonable. Like that time one of them asked you for a beer (one of your beers), beers that you bought for yourself? Didn’t they understand how unreasonable that was? They were asking you to contribute to their satisfaction at your expense.
Maybe those jerks should’ve stopped and asked themselves why they would consider asking anything that doesn’t benefit you directly.