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April 15, 2009, 9:44pm

Ben Frey

illustrates children's books about

bi-racial friendships.

He's also Sitka's resident artist and was part of that group show JK LOL in Toronto that just closed, and some other show put on by Telus in Whistler this month. I told him I wanted to interview him about those things but instead we got wasted and I got emotional and cross-examined him about what it's like to be my ex-boyfriend. By the end of the night, I had a breakdown about why I'm a failure when it comes to relationships and Ben sat there while I cried into my lap.

Vice: So does it bother you when I introduce you to someone as my ex?

Ben Frey: Um, nope. There's something almost nice about it. It's like introducing your roommate as your roommate instead of as your friend. If you called me your friend, it would downplay our history.

Aw, that's sweet. I always thought it bothered you.

Well, it sucks when you introduce me as your ex and then roll your eyes.

I'm glad we're the type of exes who hang out cause we like each other, rather than hang out cause we have to carry on a certain ritual. Like watching the X Files every Sunday night together or whatever.

Have you done that before with an ex? I have.

I don't think I ever had any rituals with my boyfriends. Or have I? Well, I guess boning is a ritual. Being friends with an ex seems like such a big deal. People are either all for it or all against it. Why do you think that is?

Why are we doing this interview again? I thought it was supposed to be about art.

Yeah, yeah, we'll get to that. A lot of the guys I dated after you were really weirded that we're friends. It's annoying. How about the girls you've dated?

They probably thought it was a bit weird but they never really mentioned it.

Is it best to leave out the fact that we used to date? Some of the guys don't get that we're over, and we're friends and I'm not into you, I'm into them.

You're not going to ask art-related questions, are you?

I think jealousy is all about having low self-esteem. What do you think?

Jealousy is all about wanting something someone else has, which means you're not comfortable with yourself.

My dad says jealousy is like the flu. Once you feel it coming on, try to get rid of it because it's useless. Not bad for someone who's ESL.

Remember Taylor Saavy? He toured with Peaches. He was like a karaoke opener. He has a song called Jealousy. Oh man, I want to find that on YouTube.

If a girl you were dating told you she didn't like you being friends with me, would you drop me? I wouldn't put it past you.

No, of course not. But it would probably take some negotiating and explaining. There were these artists I read about, I think they're called Herakut, who are exes and still collaborate together. I think that's really cool.

You're trying to get back on the topic of art. I'm not done. Would you say we're more like Elaine and Seinfeld or Betty and Archie, minus the on-going drama?

Elaine and Seinfield.

They probably had bad sex. What do you think?

I think I want to talk about my art, like you said we would.