the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Sacrifice

I walked outside and it was pouring cold rain.   My sneakers from the West Coast, white, clean and virginal, were no match for the harsh New York City downpour, and within minutes of my first step from the safety of my home, my shoes were stained and my mismatched socks were soaking wet.    A car honked.   An old man in a yarmulke almost fell over from the force of the wind.   A black girl screamed motherfucker.   A broken umbrella sat on the curb, discarded like a drunken one night stand.   There was a cacophony of voices and alarms and traffic, like a symphony orchestra from a mental ward.    A woman wearing a burka and a raincoat stood outside the new bank, like a statue.   Only her eyes were visible, but they told an unhappy story.   Water fell down, steam floated up, thunder cracked, the subway rumbled.    It was as God above and the Devil below were having a fist fight and New York was frightfully and violently alive from the energy, like a living breathing animal.   All I could think about was entering the Colombian Diner and ordering a strong cup of their darkest coffee, then taking the tall, skinny waitress on the table, and fucking her hard, not caring about the other customers or the cheap coffee mug crashing to the floor, breaking into fine pieces.   And she would love it.   And then I would cry — a cry of happy and sad.   But of course, this was in my mind.   This was not real.    To actualize my thoughts, I would need to follow my ancestors, so I prayed to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, asking Him for a full life.   Why couldn’t every day be as powerful, as full of mystery and passion, as today?    The rain stopped and He replied.   He said Yes.   Yes, yes, yes!   BUT — he warned, and I knew there was going to be a “but”– BUT, he said, I would be forever blind to the magic and power of the world around me unless I showed him a sign, made a covenant with Him, to appreciate all that He has given me.   And that is when I deleted Twitter and Facebook from my iPhone.   I placed my phone in my coat pocket, pulled the zipper closed, and continued on, my five senses at my side.


  1. Neil

    Don’t worry. I still have them on my PC. Not that brave.

  2. elle

    you handed in your virtual reality, and now you will feel the power of your actual reality.. are you ready? yes, i think you are.. xo

  3. Juli Ryan

    The first step is admitting you have a problem. “Hello, my name is Juli, and I’m addicted to social media.”

  4. Alison

    I love this blog post! And no, I can’t explain why!

  5. better safe than sorry

    you know that saying, sometimes less is more? now you can really be aware of what is happening around you, because you will be aware.

  6. Middle-Aged-Woman

    A worthy sacrifice. Guys who cry after sex? Not the sexiest look, Neil. Considering, I don’t know, pounding your chest, or roaring, something like that.

  7. linda

    Sorry about your shoes Dude. But happy to hear you’re back out in the ‘real’ world!

  8. Loukia

    That is a huge sacrfice… and incredibly brave of you. Amazing how a few months ago (or a bit longer now) I didn’t have an iphone with the ability to have Twitter and Facebook on it… and I was a very capable, functioning member of society… I still am but I hate how often I am on my iphone!
    And? The weather is totally brutal here too.

  9. em

    loved this portrait of nyc…

  10. kanani

    Ah, Neil. Now that was writing. Visual and emotional.
    Yay! I’m glad you got rid of those two apps on your iPhone.
    Sometimes I think the less “tied in” to all these modern trappings, the more we can do things like go deeper into writing and find the solitude required for the harder stuff.

  11. mamie

    wow. i was going to ask if you had the DTs yet, but then i saw that you can still get a little on the computer.

  12. Heather

    Ah…but what is “real?” Is real the people around you who pay no attention to you, don’t know your name, and care less about your needs/feelings—or is real the people who care, even though you’ve never even met them?
    The word of the day is cacophony.

  13. sweetsalty kate

    Just sitting here smiling, as I always do when I read what you write.

  14. Kanani

    “Real” is dependent upon being willing and able to clear out the clutter in your brain to attend to what matter.
    So, yeah, Neil… those apps were clutter and one must be ruthless.

  15. jmap

    Been checking in on your hijinks for some time, and I really dig this post — part Tom Waits, part Raymond Chandler, and part Charles Bukowski. Great stuff, Neil. Just great.

  16. 180|360


  17. schmutzie

    This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday –

  18. Suebob

    You’re a nut, but my kind of nut.

  19. LZ @ My Messy Paradise

    I have deleted them and re-installed so many times. I don’t want them on there, but just can’t help it.

  20. Fran

    I love it! Baby, you move me. I wish I had an iPhone so I could delete my Twitter apps. Then again, I’m sitting in a room with 3 computers so I completely understand where you’re coming from.

  21. Miss Britt

    This is brilliant.

  22. C...

    What! But you kept the iPhone. You’ll only be tempted to add them back.

  23. Neil

    Not giving up the iphone. Not that stupid!

  24. Memarie Lane


  25. Chris

    I’m proud of you!

  26. Corina

    Brilliant. I didn’t use Twitter for a week. Felt freeing.

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