When kids are in high school, doodles usually adorn every surface of their textbooks; at least they did on mine. I loved scribbling on the back of my tablet, or in the margins of my history book, or just on loose leaf and in notebooks. Anything was better than listening to the teacher and taking notes on whatever bullshit they were going on about.
What I’ve most enjoyed about making the “Lunch Drawings” is just how much they remind me of those drawings I made trying to escape the mind-numbing and mundane crap they tried to teach me in school. With very few exceptions, my teachers talked like a roll of toilet paper. One bloodless, colorless theory after the next, until I had annihilation fantasies about blowing up my high school. The history I was taught was a lie. The math, I can do with a calculator. The English lit was the boring shit only Catholic schools would teach.
I went to a high school with no windows. At least in grade school, I could look outside at the birds. This became my great escape, and when I drew them, it became even better.
Often the drawings wound up situated in the middle of the crazed and vulgar doodles that I made. I didn’t realize it was my subconscious telling me to broom the rest of this shit and just go somewhere and draw. Eventually I got it. Drawing birds and naked girls became my passport to what the nuns used to call, “Tony World.” I liked it there.
I could do whatever the fuck I wanted there. When I was drawing, nothing that the teachers, cops, or other pain-in-the-ass authority figures had to say meant dick. It was all a blur and I learned how to shut out the noise, and listen to the music in my head.