Free Hugs


The first act of the evening involved me settling a debt between a friend through one of my notorious exchanges. I don't accept or give back money when owed as monetary matters are moot. I had managed to find an antique drafting set and thought my good friend could find some use as he once had dreams of designing shoes with an Industrial Design Major. My good friend was not so happy with his compasses and did not believe that the dusty set was worth the twenty dollars despite my claims that the uses found in the compass would be priceless. Regardless he still joined me for the senior shows and to check out the Industrial Design department.

I caused more of a scene than intended in the Interior Design room. All was going well as I snacked my way around the tables and picked up a temporary tattoo saying "Free Hugs". I Began checking a few of the exhibits until I ran into a girls design of a rehabilitation facility. One of the rooms pictured was a yoga studio with a silhouette of a figure doing a standing warrior. I impulsively and very inappropriately leaned over and planted a figure in a tree pose with my marker. Being a teacher of Yoga I was so enthusiastically enthralled with the passion of seeing yoga that I was compelled to make an erroneous decision in an act of vandalism. Before I could finish the figure to blend with the image I was interrupted by a person who was not pleased of my actions. In fairly short time there amassed a small mob of angry people and one student whom was in disbelief of her art being subject to a further act of art. The only thing I could do at this point was offer free hugs to a group of people who really looked like they needed one.

I was kicked out of the room without receiving a single hug. I kept my hopes up despite not a soul finding enough love to accept a hug, or turn a cheek for a peck. We were told we needed to vacate the premises. I wasn't going anywhere until my friend saw the ID department but he told me he was leaving and would make it there some day. Susan Hunt, UW-STOUT'S art director, began chasing me around the building. I ran up to the organ room where I played a song and dedicated the piece to Susan, standing just outside the door on the phone-line.

I was escorted out of the building and very shortly running from the police. I ran to a discrete location where I felt it appropriate that the Police meet me. After we establish the setting I begin on the next scene of rolling back through the exhibition and getting matters sorted with an entourage. Outside the building the police cite me my first vandalism citation. I tell them instead of writing a ticket of bullshit monetary infractions that I would get my club, Zen Living, to submit to community service and clean up the towns graffiti. The police had refuted my claims of monetary matters saying that my group should not be subject to punishment, I told them my fifty some hands would enjoy cleaning the community up and consider it a Chrismas gift to the fine town of Menomonie. Alas against all reason the police fined me two hundred and fifty dollars to which I do not have a dollar of.

The next morning at the raw deal cafe I ran into our director Susan Hunt. I stopped by Susan's table to reminisce on Cy Twombly. A woman named Rindy Sam traversed a gallery, and put on a deep cannon red lipstick and plucked one onto one of Cy's finished canvases. The woman stated she was overcome with passion, with love, a testimony to this moment, the power of art and Rindy thought the artist would understand. Rindy was charged with vandalism despite the fact that the only reason a majority of people know Cy Twombly is due to that infamous kiss.

I was offering Hugs and only asking for forgiveness. In search of human compassion, humility, community, and proper justice I only found anger blinding the love I offered to a community, and a debt for a few dollars. The victimized womans artwork was defaced, however I believe her piece recieved more attention and will be remembered over many other pieces. The students work was executed beautifully and professionally and my actions were entirely inappropriate. I will continue to offer my apologies even if the student cannot find it in herself to hear me out and accept the present situation for what it is.

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