“It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.” – Heart of Darkness
Following the river as it ebbs and weaves through rock, dread had taken full control. The rivers current shape shifts like a demon, and I walk blindly through Aravaipa Canyon.
“But his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself and, by heavens I tell you, it had gone mad.” – Heart of Darkness
Everything was blending together, and I felt as though I was going in circles. That should have been impossible, yet the nagging notion would not leave me.
“We live in the flicker — may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling! But darkness was here yesterday.” – Heart of Darkness
Stick to the river. This thought was repeated over and over in my head. Another hour slips by, each minute the madness burrows deeper into my mind like a giant tick.
“It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core.” – Heart of Darkness
All the wrong doings in my past are coming to the surface out here. Creatures of the night creeping in closer to get a taste of my madness. The canyon turns ugly, or perhaps it is myself that is facing the awful truth. Dark clouds gather with strength above, then the rains come furiously. It does not cleanse my soul, instead it drowns me.
“I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable greyness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid skepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary.” – Heart of Darkness
The canyon laughs as I scream to be forgiven. Broken, I ask God to show me the way out, but I get no reply. I slip and fall repeatedly in the river, feeling the intense bruising of internal organs. My breathing becomes rapid, the pain unbearable.