They say everything worthwhile requires sacrifice.
Now Abraham dragged Isaac up that hill, to speak as much.
In the corridor of days, it makes about as much sense. In the sound that still gets through. Air being pushed up out of the dark underground.
Missing sleep until it’s something that comes and goes. Vision blurry and out of focus. Mind not working right. Coming and going, like bad wiring. Kill it with booze and cigarettes.
I’ve been feeling rotten and reptilian, but only when I read scripture, or other religious or philosophical texts.
Never when I’m in the simple day-to-day, in the mode of working, and coming and going from work.
The way her voice sounds, soft and sweet. “For sure,” she says in answer. It rolls off of her tongue.
Like an animal, what I would do.
I crack my neck and knuckles waiting for my stop at West 4th. I feel like I’m coming alive, my head breaking the slimy surface of a black pond.
Rising up. My eyes roll up and focus on the light above me.
Somewhere up there, I think.
My little brother tells me he wants a copy of the print I gave to our mother.
But what good is art if you give it to everyone?
The same thing, done well, over and over again, becomes cheap, and ordinary.
After days of obsessing about models and projects, they seem to like what I’ve done.
But what I did is just everything except what I didn’t do.
The part you hide away from everyone probably wants to get out, too.
Eventually you’ll tear yourself in two. Right down the middle.
The holidays are right around the corner and already my body begins to slow down. One by one, the lights go out in all the rooms. And my brain grows darker.
One day Garrett laughs about stupid nu-metal lyrics he found online.
The next day I come clean about asking his ex girlfriend to work with me.
I never know how to factor anyone else into the equation. In my mind, when I do the math, there’s me and there’s a camera, and a woman, and photographs. Everything else is just interference.
Some nights I sit at the bar and stare into a glass and drink in the static. All the mindless chit chat. All the wasted minutes and hours and days and years.
“You’re lucky because you got out early,” Garrett confides.
“Smartest thing I ever did,” I tell him. But sometimes I wonder if I had that piece of paper, and I was just another fucking idiot brainwashed by the American Education System, if things would be easier.
If ignorance is really bliss, maybe stoogery is only a slight downgrade.
At night I edit photographs for a job. And in between the looks is a Look. I know it means nothing.
I’m just at the point where anything could seem like something.
Tilt my head back until it pulls at my throat. And the tension begins to drip down my spine. Wipe the sleep from my eyes. And brain.
Not yet. Not yet.
Photographing stains on the subway. And on the platform when the train comes, I think about killing myself.
Just a thought. What will I have for dinner tonight? Hey, photograph that stain. You know, you could jump in front of that train.
Life is getting easier. The less you talk, the more that fades, the smaller the circle gets and the colder you feel. Maybe depression gets worse, too, this time of year. But if you’re a man, who the fuck cares?
Holidays and the biblical flood of imbeciles it brings to the streets. The cold. The general bullshit and misery of the holidays. The invitations of family, invitations that force me to question whether I really can’t make an appearance, or if I simply want to remain away from warmth.
But then I wonder if anyone really wants to see me, and I begin to think it’s all some big lie or joke. Like they’re all in cahoots with one another – to make me think I’m part of something I’m not.
But I’ve always felt that way, about everyone.
“Tomorrow is another day,” Tony says. Then he utters his goodbyes and melts into the night.
I stare up at empty windows.
And I rake my brain for a reason.