word by Kate Shaw
colour by Micheal Ward
spinnign no, spinning how long have i been here thirty minutes? an hour? i think it’s been hours
Stop counting the seconds and try – just TRY – to act like a normal human being and enjoy yourself.
it’s so loud here and i think i’m going to fall over why am i lauhging
That happens. Things are funnier when you’re drunk. Just calm down; most people take laughter as a good sign.
i want to leave
You’ll regret it as soon as you get to your room.
but i’m not having fun i want to go tobed
It’s not even 1. Hayden won’t be home yet, and then how will you feel?
i don’t um, it doesnt matter
You’ll feel like an idiot for leaving early and being home hours before your roommate. It does matter.
Why didn’t you talk to her? She was being friendly.
i don’t…i can’t! i can’t think and it is – is so loud
You don’t have to think, just talk to someone. Standing mute by the wall is a shitty way for you to start the best four years of your life.
i can’t do this alone
So find someone to talk to!
no no i can’t be here alone, at this school
Well you are. And everyone else is dealing with it without any problems.
Have another beer.
i dont want another i want to go
You’re being ridiculous.
[At this point you push off the wall you’ve been clinging to for what has only been, in actuality, about forty minutes. Your senses are shocked by the rush of gravity that pulls you side to side, lower and lower; your body has become a pendulum and you have no control. Someone helps you stand and you just laugh. Once you’ve collected your swinging limbs and whatever scrap of composure you can find, you start a determined march out the door and down the stairs (you only trip once).]
[Getting across campus to your dorm takes five minutes or maybe thirty, and there are silly slobbering messes of students strewn across the paths like litter. You laugh at them too, although you don’t know why.]
[Climbing the stairs to your floor appears to be a seemingly insurmountable task, yet somehow you find yourself curled up (giggling) on your bed so you must have accomplished it somehow. It’s this moment when you finally stop laughing. In the dark, Hayden’s empty bed comes fuzzily into focus.]
i dont know how todo this
I don’t know how to do this.
From the author: “There are two kinds of social messages I wanted to address with this piece: The belief that alcohol necessarily leads to “a good time,” as depicted by the artist, and the fallacy that everyone at university is adjusting to their new lifestyle immediately (and better than you). For me, the Bud Light ad on a random street corner spoke to the omnipresence of the belief that life is more fun when you’re drunk. I thought there was a dissonance to be captured here: the true experience of a first year student at university versus the societal messages he or she has internalized about what the experience should be, which ultimately break down.”
On the painter: “Phyllis Lutjeans, Museum Educator and former curator, has said of Ward’s work: “Although Michael Ward may be called a neo-realist painter his work can ultimately be described as abstract realism. The picture image is photographically realistic, but within the context of the painting his compositions are complex and almost abstract. Deciphering the work section by section one sees how a multitude of individual complete compositions are put together to form the entire work. For me the viewer is confronted by a realistic image that puzzles us and clearly tells the story simultaneously.”