Is it true what people say about the world going backward? Looking at what’s going on right now, it sure as hell seems to be true. Humanity has lost touch with itself. I know I’ve always have, so this observation doesn’t in any way apply to me. Over the years, media outlets have given the impression this country has been moving toward progress. However, when you walk outside and really look at what’s happening around you, that doesn’t really seem to be the case. Inequality and corruption have taken over as wealthy elites continue to steal, rig the rules and prey on individuals of the lower classes. The notion that there are winners and losers in life isn’t the issue, but the fact the winners win by committing reprehensible acts that lack integrity, honesty and purpose. Losing is hard for all of us, but being preyed upon is worse. Yet we keep rewarding the selfish, egotistical narcissist who on daily basis practices immoral behavior and never seems to shy away from embracing his penchant to hurting others. They all do it while we watch, and if we’re not the ones getting affected then it’s pure visual entertainment.
Hope in a better future is what eases our fears, but at this point it’s very little if not completely diminished, so what are we exactly holding on to? The illusion of hope? I’d say end it while you can before it ends you. Burn it all down. It’s the only rational response. That way, we won’t be the only one suffering. Our tormentors will suffer too. In our downfall, there will be union and equality, and that should be enough satisfaction.
I’m trying to keep my life under control in a world that’s slowly spinning out of it. Zoning out has proven to be a good first step. Sometimes I get too lost in the clouds and unable to come down which often interferes with both my personal and professional life. My dissociation from my surroundings tends to come slowly and without realizing it. For instance, I’d be actively listening to someone talking then and before I can even recognize they’re either waiting for a response or a reaction. When neither occur it can make people feel frustrated, as if I don’t care about listening to them. Other times, I’d be trying to accomplish a specific task. If it’s one that requires more work than usual, I find myself either dropping it, overlooking certain elements or information required to accomplish it or even worse, feeling demotivated and sleepy if it’s in the slightest bit challenging. I no longer have the energy to do the things I’m supposed to do; pay my bills on time, pick up my prescription medication or even go to the post office to mail an envelope. The thought of having to accomplish such mundane tasks has become daunting—unnerving. I just want to be left alone.
The world is ending anyway, so what’s the point?
I say that to myself almost every day yet it never seems to happen. Or maybe I’m anticipating the end of humanity to be intense and apocalyptic when in reality it’s steadily manifesting in a slow burn sort of way. Maybe God is having mercy on us by preventing massive destruction and hysteria—killing us by putting us to sleep.
Behind the class and prettiness of New York were undertones of violence. It’s a city that improves only on the outside, by covering up the ugliness instead of erasing it. It’s a city hanging on by a thread, a city where injustice occurs on a daily basis, a city on a continuous downfall without ever reaching the bottom of the pit. It’s been almost six months since the city’s declaration of emergency regarding the Maikavirus—now considered as a large family of viruses that has been causing illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. As of this writing—the country has an estimate of 80,736 total cases and more than 3,000 deaths and due to the president’s lack of urgency in stopping the virus from spreading any further, online conspiracy theorists are dabbling with the idea the virus is a bioweapon created to extinct a large part of humanity. After Russia accused the American CIA of engineering the virus to wage a war between them and Asia where the virus allegedly originated from, the US government got back at the Russians claiming they’re the ones who intentionally produced it so they can blame it on the West. Due to this, countries across the globe are now in a state of fear and confusion which resulted in a lot of them closing in on themselves. Airports are now almost completely empty causing multiple airline companies to go into bankruptcy. A big majority of working individuals have stopped going into work, barricading themselves if they can work remotely while parents air on the side of caution by keeping their children at home. That said, many people are still going about their daily lives showing the minimum care for their wellbeing by practicing basic preventative safety measures. Some advertisement digital screens are broadcasting ways to avoid the contraction of the virus; coughing or sneezing by covering the mouth with the elbow, washing hands constantly and avoiding touching the face without clean hands. In public spaces, I find comfort in watching my fellow germaphobes interact with people and objects around them. All the baristas at my regular coffee shop now wear gloves while serving. Patrons are seen wiping tables before sitting down, using napkins to hold practically anything and kicking doors open instead of pushing them with their hands. At the grocery store the other day, I saw two young Asian ladies raiding the fridge and canned foods aisles as if some sort of major disaster is about to take place.
“The updates we’re getting are 85% blatant lies, 15% white lies, 5% the truth won’t hurt us. Why the fuck is anyone believing they’re getting it under control, that it’s not already in the millions?” David yelled coming into the office this morning. Clearly, he was pointing out about the US government still downplaying the seriousness of the current events. On the news, New York’s governor finally announced the city is now considered the epicenter of the Maika pandemic in America.
As human beings, we have a tendency and a desire to control things. But with stakes this high and due to the stay-at-home order imposed on all of us, controlling manifests itself on a much smaller scale. For many, this type of frustration often translates into art.
I never thought I could channel my violent urges and redirect them to art. I’ve always been artistic, but it was mostly just for pure entertainment. I was never motivated psychologically to practice it. It was never a way for me to tame my desires or cope with my mental disorders. Becoming a forensic photographer has desensitized every part of me; the value of human life means so little now that I’m used to seeing dead bodies left and right. Work has become so procedural I often forget about the seriousness of death. I can no longer relate or react to it. Being repetitively exposed to it damages a part of you to the point you become socially dysfunctional. I’ve always considered myself an outsider, someone who can’t be emotionally invested—at least not easily. Now I’ve reached a whole new level of apathy.
Walking into a crime scene has become familiar to me; it almost feels like coming home. You know that feeling you get when you enter someplace you’re used to, like your grandparents’ home or your old school? That’s how I feel when I’m inside a crime scene. No matter how sophisticated and unusual a crime might be, I’m now very familiar with the drill. The enjoyment of savagery and lust for blood is integrated in our humanity. There’s a reason even the most conformist of humans relishes and enjoys dark materials. Many detectives shamelessly share the same kind of thrill and excitement I often feel when uncovering a crime scene for the first time. They see it as solving a puzzle but with a more serious purpose. I mean, why else would anyone want to be a homicide detective?
My developing interest in crime scenes and domestic homicide wasn’t just professional, it became a part of my life; something I found a lot of pleasure studying and looking at. It became my art.
Sometimes I wonder what I would’ve been like had I not discovered how to channel my fascination with the macabre into something artistic and completely harmless. Then again, is it just a fascination or a coping mechanism for the inner rage growing inside me with each passing day? What if this kind of art is just a way for me to contain it? Prevent it from spilling? Now that’s scary. When you look back at the history of art, both ancient and contemporary, you see a lot of violence. Some of it is a reflection of a time where war and the right of the strongest to rule was prevalent, in others it’s an expression of repressed thoughts and desires. The desire to kill in a vengeful fashion or simply because you can no longer keep harbored feelings of anger and hatred deep inside of you. But what causes certain people to express their violence through art while others go out and inflict pain on others? Is it purely the fear of retribution?
My fascination with crime scenes reached a whole new level ever since I became exposed to their aftermath; documenting them, finding the clues and figuring out how to put them all together in order to solve them. It’s like a game. It’s puzzling how deadly confrontations between family members, enemies or total strangers—confrontations that involve guns, knives or any other kind of blunt object can sometimes happen unexpectedly and without any build up. People losing their minds and doing something out of character is today way more common because of the increase in violence and aggression around us. Committing a crime is no longer considered unusual, it has become as mundane as going to work.
For the past few years, I’ve been recreating crime scenes in hotel rooms, industrial sites, forests and homes where actual murders have taken place. The process involves me researching locations and tracking down home addresses through true crime magazines and online forums. I’d then gather all the photos taken by forensic photographers and put together a list of all the evidence collected at the scene of the crime, from the murder weapon down to the most irrelevant and meaningless object found in the room or near the victim’s body. My last step is finding the perfect model, someone who looks almost identical to the victim, using a free website that connects models with photographers. Due to a recent event where two men posing as photographers hired two women then proceeded in drugging and raping them, women have been quite wary about meeting male photographers, and due to the nature and themes of my work it’s become exceptionally hard. To make it easier for them to trust me, I often meet them in a public space, either a park or a coffee shop, and provide them with enough information about my identity and where I live for them to trust me. For the most part, I’ve been quite lucky considering the fact I work in law enforcement. Children, on the other hand, they’re impossible to find not only because they don’t have online profiles, but because they’re parents wouldn’t even think twice about letting them model for me. Sessions usually take three or four hours, and I pay the standard hourly rate of twenty dollars an hour.
After realizing that simulated crime scene photography wasn’t the most original idea, I decided to come up with something more intricate and thought-provoking. My recent project consisted of showing a seductive yet frightening juxtaposition of illuminated blood and the mundanity of a family home or a room where murder has taken place. Places that will forever be stained with a violent past, some kind of ghostly reminder of a terrible crime that can’t be erased nor completely forgotten. You enter rooms that are austere and find simple furniture and mundane objects scattered in them. At a first glance they seem safe and normal up until you use luminol to uncover their gory past.
Brighton, our main forensic chemist, taught me different techniques on how to uncover the hidden grisly marks of violence. The coolest one was the application of a phosphorescent blood splatter solution to the rooms which highlights the traces of the crime. Another one is “BlueStar”, a sensitive blood visualizing agent with a luminol base. Despite the thorough clean up and restoration of a home where a homicide has taken place sometime in the past, the protein left of the blood remains stuck in porous surfaces. The iron in the blood is what causes the illumination triggered by the chemical compound and exposing a lurid glow unseen to the naked eye. Even after the blood is wiped clean, the traces remain present like lingering marks. Droplets of glowing white gore are discovered all over the walls like rain drops on a windowpane. Amnesia of space, is what I like to call it. No matter how familiar a home can be—no matter how safe, one sinister event could erase what once was and impose on you the horror that’ll forever lurk in those homes. Because from that point forward, even after the cleaning, the gutting and the renovations, the sinister feel remains inside like a ghost with unfinished business. It’s like painting a haunting picture that leaves a mark. The photographs are a trace of a moment in time, one that erases the good ole’ happy days and pleasant memories and leaves you with an unsettling, eerie feeling. Living in a murder house is experiencing the crime scene over and over again. You might be alive, but you’re never really safe.
After years of endless thoughts of suicide, I’m finally able to express why I never carry through with any them. I stay to get laid. In the last few weeks, I’ve grown obsessed with a cam boy named Hades. He’s always sitting in his brightly lit kitchen, playing with his chest and unseen cock. His facial expressions are stern with the occasional smile that shows itself every time he receives a tip. He has long fair brown hair slathered with gel and pulled to the back. He’s practically hairless, thick with slightly imperfect teeth. I don’t know exactly where he’s from, but if I had to guess I’d say he’s either Slovakian or Russian— though that’s purely a guess with nothing that supports it. Living alone during this pandemic, it’s an unusual way to eliminate some of the loneliness. Sometimes, these guys stay online throughout an entire day, and even when I’m not actively watching them, I keep their channel open in the background. Many of them serve as good DJs, blasting their house music away in their bedrooms and into my apartment.
Even though everything is closed until the dust settles, I still see business men in suits strolling down the streets with their suitcases or having coffee out and about in groups around the Financial District, Midtown and northern sections of the city. After a brief stroll along the margins of the west side of Central Park, I walked over to the Columbus Circle train station. On my way, I spotted three men in suits chatting before each one went in their separate ways. As I hopped on the Eighth Avenue Line trian, one of the men sneaked in right behind me right before the door closed. He was the youngest out of the three.
The train was empty. He sat across from me and unfolded his copy of The New York Times. On the top corner of the front page, a white sticker with his name and address was attached. At first, I couldn’t read it. When the train stopped at 50th street, he reached for his phone and put the newspaper on the seat beside him. He started texting. I moved over and sat down beside him. It almost felt as he was completely oblivious to my presence. I looked down at the newspaper and read:
306 W 18th Street
I’m not sure why, but crossing him seemed purposeful. His face struck me as familiar. Then again, I often tend to overthink everything, even when I’m not aware of it. But I have a strong belief that crossing paths with certain individuals tends to happen for a reason, especially when they make everything around me seem like a blur as my mind zones in on them. You just have to pay attention when that happens and try to understand why, because it’s easy to be lost in a city like New York. Navigating through it, the rest of the people tend to feel like tiny offshoots of your consciousness—shadows or empty shells. It’s only when you stop and initiate a conversation with a stranger that they slowly start to gain dimensions, feelings and personality. On average, a person commuting within Manhattan can at the very least come across or interact with over a hundred individuals a day. That’s counting passers, train riders, coffee shop/restaurant patrons and workplace colleagues.
When I looked at the name I was immediately triggered. The first guy Matthew cheated on me with a mere few weeks after moving into his Seattle Penthouse went by this exact name. On an even more augural note, Brian Neves was apparently the fuck boy I’ve been seeing in my dreams. How did I know that? I recognized the face, or maybe I didn’t, but my gut instinct seemed pretty sure. I connected the name from the visitor registry to the unnamed face of the boy in my dreams. It wasn’t the older gentleman from the bar and the Amphidromia, it was the boy—now a grownup man—from the underground gathering. I followed Brian as he exited the 14th street train stop and walked to the bank where according to his online business profile he was recently hired as Vice President. To back up my assumption as him being the man in question, I did some more research. In 2024, after he had earned his Master’s Degree in Business at The University of Washington, he was hired by a private firm as a financial advisor. Now he’s in New York and on his way to become a narcissistic business leader himself. The way he walked and carried himself instantly gave the impression he was bold, with a superficial take charge attitude with no real substance to back it up. When you really think about it, businessmen aren’t that different from the guy pouring your coffee at your typical 24/7 dinner. The only difference is that they have an education and get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Yes, their jobs due require a certain amount of ambition, dedication and most importantly a smart brain as they’re often challenged to help the bank meet certain annual loan and deposit goals. And all you need is a few extra brain cells and a rough attitude to stand out from the rest. The job seems pretty mechanical, or maybe it’s my utter disdain for men in suits speaking for itself.
A few blocks west and as my mind came to the firm conclusion that Brian was indeed the man I knew he was, I sneaked into an alley to blow off some steam, growling and restraining myself from screaming. In situations like these, I always aim to distract myself with either work, sex or art, but sometimes when things are out of your control, when they involve other human beings that you just want to off but can’t, it’s almost impossible not to fall into never-ending rage, irritability and possibly, mania. Revenge offers both relief and a euphoric sensation. Thinking and plotting for ways to get rid of somebody and eliminating them for good is usually the most exciting feeling followed by the lame, intense anxiety of things turning downright dark that tends to cower me. When the rage can’t be contained through any form of distraction, it festers and explodes, so I let myself feel the burning energy of my anger and visualize it as vividly as possible as a hot flame cleansing me. However, I’m one of the physically inclined individuals who aim to get it all out by punching a bag or hitting a pillow which have proven to be effective release mechanisms. Sometimes, though, those aren’t enough, and that’s when the real danger begins.
Now that Billy is out of the picture, I no longer have a living volunteer to hurt and after attacking and accidentally killing Stefan, I really need to lay low, but I don’t want to. I’m a risk taker—always been. Even when I weigh the pros and cons and think about my possibilities and the repercussions of certain violent acts, my impulsive nature is always there to take over and allow the violence to manifest itself. If I get away with it then I would’ve succeeded and if I get caught then I’ll just regret and cry about it. Within 24 hours of my brief encounter with Brian, he quickly became my next target. The following morning, I jogged by his apartment building to study its surroundings and acquaint myself with his routine. I got there early in the morning, wearing my sweatpants and dark hoodie. Around 7:30 A.M., I saw him leave his apartment. He lived in one of a collection of brownstones glued to one another. All of them had almost an identical black gate and a small surveillance camera located at the top side of each building entrance. The following weekend, I rang all the buzzers of the building facing his and of course someone let me in. I snuck into the building and went up to the third floor. In the hallway was a window overlooking the street. I took out my binoculars and spied on him. He was idly sitting in his living room with a bunch of gay bros. The three of them seemed to be close friends. I watched them engage with each other, talking and laughing hysterically for no valid reason, just because they were basic. Soon, they started playing A Murder Mystery Trivia game on the large LCD TV in front of them. Brian eventually stepped away from them to grab another beer then started texting by his window. That night when I returned home I couldn’t sleep. I felt taunted, alone and miserable. In my head, I replayed the fantasy of me smashing his head over a counter until his head exploded. I jerked off to that and the release of dopamine and cum helped put me to sleep.
Matthew loved using his silky black butt plugs on his boys. He had them in three sizes and enjoyed taking his time stretching me out before we had sex. It was sort of his thing and so I assumed he incorporated that personal fetish into all of his sexual encounters. Thinking about his unique MO, I got an idea—quite a special one actually. I stopped by a sex shop in Chelsea and bought a very similar set of butt plugs. On my way, another strange encounter occurred from a distance. As I walked down the block and right before aiming for the steps of stairs leading down to the subway, I caught a glimpse of a guy on a bicycle. He was making a sharp turn into Ninth Avenue. The split-second glimpse I got of his face was blurry, but I knew who it was. Christian Akelheim.
Christian Akelheim was Caspar’s best friend before I made it into the picture and replaced him. He never liked me. He was also the one Marnie cheated on me with back in middle school. The first time I became aware of how much he disliked me was during Caspar’s 11th birthday. His mom had reserved a private indoor pool for us to hang out at. Everyone from our class was invited. When in the boys’ bathrooms changing into our swim trunks, I overheard Chris and Caspar exchanging talk in the bigger stall right before I walked out.
“Why are you even friends with him?” Chris said. I paused and felt my heart sink. Up until that point I had no idea Chris hated me that much. I was aware of his unfriendly behavior toward me which wasn’t necessarily cruel nor mean. He simply never gave me much attention and ignored me half of the time. We never got along but it wasn’t hostile. What took place in the bathroom was, and it took me a while to come to grips with the idea of being unwanted. At that age, you just want to fit in and impress. You want to count. I didn’t and never managed to figure out my way in.
If anything, my brief sighting of Chris managed to fuel my rage even further as I looked forward to the day I’d give Brian what he truly deserved. Waiting for the train, I lost my resolve. I moved away from everyone, hid behind a column, covered my mouth and screamed a muffled scream. The skin around my face felt like it was about to rupture and as my face turned redder and redder, the veins on each side of my forehead bulged. An overwhelming migraine took over me and I felt like I was about to faint. My cloudy vision readjusted by the loud arrival of the train which pulled me out of my frenzy.
When a new obsession strikes, I’m no longer able to sleep let alone accomplish any kind of task. I can succeed in warding the thoughts off for a minute or two, but for the most part they play in parallel to everything I’m either thinking of doing or actively doing. I’m constantly in battle with intrusive chaotic thoughts—messy, absurd and unsynchronized. Luckily for me, I’ve been out of work for a few weeks and so I had plenty of time to mend to my psychological wounds and destructive obsessions. Brian had to bite the dust sooner than later, otherwise I might as well go crazy and admit myself into a mental hospital.
Even though I’m pretty impulsive, it’s mandatory that I plan ahead of time for things like that, but the more I thought about how I should approach my attack, the more my knees got weak and my muscles slackened, so I mustered the strength and left my apartment without having a clear plan in place. Thing is, when you’ve worked in law enforcement for a while, strategies become engraved in your subconscious. You know the in and outs, how a criminal gets away with his crimes and what the potential mistakes that should be avoided are.
I arrived at the street where Brian lived around 8 P.M. I walked over to the building next door and buzzed all the intercoms. Once again, I was let in by some random tenant. I walked up the flight of stairs leading to the rooftop. There, I waited until midnight before making my next move. As the brownstones were practically all glued to one another, I had no difficulty reaching over to Brian’s rooftop building. On the south side of the building, I located the fire escape set of stairs/balconies. I couldn’t properly anticipate the height, but the jump didn’t seem too scary. I was just concerned anyone might see me land. After short hesitation and a mild episode of vertigo, I hastily attempted to accomplish my decent, my hands gripping the concrete edge, occasionally hoisting myself up whenever I felt like I was about to slip and fall. I met the wall with my sneakers and relaxed my arms to allow myself to get as close as I can to the platform. Once my body was fully stretched up, I gave up and released my grip. Making sure both legs were straight and feet parallel to the ground, I managed to land safely. The window of the top apartment seemed empty, so the first step was accomplished successfully. I went down the fire escape to Brian’s apartment and caught a glimpse of him walking from the living room to the bathroom. I hid away under his bedroom window and waited. I heard him go through his nightly routine before entering his bedroom and going to bed. I took a quick glance at him and saw him messing with his phone. I waited for another half hour before sneaking in.
Before going straight for the action, I took a quick look around the apartment to get a closer look at the man’s life. He led quite a simple one. He went to one of the most prestigious schools and colleges thanks to his rich parents, managed to move around the country and make friends with gorgeous men from different cities. He dressed like a typical Ivy League bro who didn’t put much effort into the brands he wore. His kitchen was stacked with gym supplements he barely used. Inside his fridge were a few basic necessities; eggs, milk, some veggies and a couple of Tupperwares containing protein pre-made meals. Outside his fridge were a few polaroids from a trip to some exotic outdoor concert. In his attempt to fit in with his smooth gay friends, he had picked a black mesh crop top and matched it with ripped denim shorts. Next to those were candid family pictures. I decided to stop there. I didn’t want to distract myself sympathizing and humanizing him as I was about to end his life even though it wasn’t possible with the smug face he carried around.
I walked back to the room and stood by the doorframe. I watched him sleep and listened to the stridor sound of his breathing. Once I was done contemplating him, I put my small bag down and took out the biggest dildo which I covered with my own shit. I walked over to the bed and positioned myself on top of him with my knees squeezing his waist so he wouldn’t be able to escape. As soon as my fingers reached his mouth, I felt him slowly gain consciousness and as soon as his eyes opened, I shoved the dildo into his mouth and punched its bottom flat surface over and over again bringing the thing deeper and deeper into his oropharynx. We struggled , flailed and he tried to push me away but I kept the punches coming and almost instantly choked him to death. Quick, trivial. Live fast, die even faster type thing. My eyes fluttered as his body went completely still. I stepped away leaving the plug in his mouth to humiliate him and his family, grabbed his pair of flip flops and cleared the scene exiting the same way I came in. I stopped a couple of blocks away, dumped my gloves and shoes in a garbage can and put the flip flops on. I avoided taking the train and walked home instead, picking either alleys or obscured streets.
Before making it home, I stopped at a fast food restaurant and ordered a double burger, diet soda, fries, a chocolate shake and took my order home. I ate the whole thing like a savage and ended up upsetting my stomach, something I purposely intended as my way of punishing myself—not because I myself felt guilty, but because anyone else would’ve. I don’t think I deserve to be punished. Some people are better off dead. Everyone knows it. Politicians, elites, dirty cops. They would’ve done the same thing if they were me. The Maikavirus is proof as I’m pretty certain it’s man-made to eradicate a big chunk of the human race. Powerful people are killing the less powerful and they’re succeeding in getting away with it.
I woke up early in the morning to a foul smell. I turned on my night lamp and flipped over the duvet to find myself a victim to nocturnal diarrhea. I got out of bed, removed the sheets and threw them in the laundry basket then sat in semi-fetal position in my warm bath and wallowed in self-pity for hours on end, realizing I want to stop acting destructively, telling myself that out loud enough times so I could hear it and maybe put my mind to it all while knowing it’s a waste of time and that I’m totally unable to do it. It hurts to feel so helpless after being so close to the edge of lucidity about my own predicament. That’s why deep in my mind, part of me wishes for me to get caught so a definitive end to all of this can be put in a place.