I think the second rail pushes me over the edge. But the first one has me feeling nice. Energy pours out of my eyes, ears, mouth, and fingertips. I grab my camera and tell Amanda I need to photograph her.

Something stirs itself, like an animal awaking from sleep. Its back shaking and bristling, arching up with life, claws spreading out and digging in to flesh.

Like a gun. BANG!

Suddenly everything seems laid out in front of you, in black and white.

Time seems more fleeting. What if it’s running out? What if it’s already close to the end?

Maybe I’m crazy, or more crazy than normal. Maybe I’m sliding down that slope to whatever is at the bottom. It seems like a lot could be swept away – the bullshit, the conventions, the niceties. Just tell them what you want. Just dig your claws into flesh.

So to speak.

I think.

Maybe.

I wonder if I’ve been sleeping for a long time. Years and years. I can’t remember. I feel like I’m in a dream, or that I was, and now I’ve only recently woken up.

Everything feels like a distraction, or a waste. Everything. The little detours, the outings, the gatherings, the socializing, the small talk, even the relationships. Just delve down to the heart of the matter, what you want, someone to stand in front of a camera for fifteen minutes or five years.

That’s it, that’s all. They can have what they want, or take it in kind. Money, love, time, attention. It’s all currency. It’s all secondary. It’s all a write-off in the end.

When I think about what Alysia taught me, it was that I like women with loose morals. I have very few myself, and they seem more like a rough framework. Concrete rules or principles? Sure. But mostly non-religious. A slight bent towards Buddhism. An intellectual curiousity towards Judaism and Christianity. A mental resonance with Daoism.

But I’m still savage and animalistic and carnal underneath the skin. A photo just takes that to another level. It turns something sensual and blasphemous into a form of visual sculpture. More permanent than poetry. More ephemeral than prose.

Kick my brain down the stairs when I’m fed up with it. Who even am I? What gives me the balls to talk about anything to anyone?

Just a guy.

With a camera. With words. Loving art. Worshiping idols. Under a strange sun. Searching for a tribe of people like myself.

The older I get, the louder I want to scream. The more I seem to be pushing up against the limits of my skull. Burn money. Throw out possessions. Speak in tongues. Keeping doing it. Keep doing it with your whole body.

Until the end.