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  • Writer's pictureSteve Szakal

The Scars that remain

Man can get used to anything

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I can remember what it felt like to put my feet on the cold concrete floor. It was rough like a sand paper. I think I woke up early, but since there were no clocks I wasn't really sure. It was still dark outside. The thin window gave me my only sense of reality. I paced back and forth on the cold floor. When I came to each wall I would press my head against it. This was the bad time. Dreams and reality were mashed together. Time and space melted. So this was the beginning of insanity. There were no tears, only sadness. There was too much confusion for tears. There was no human connection. Food was passed through the door. There were moments I thought that I wasn't alive, like I was never really born. Almost as if I was in someone else's dream.

Man can get used to anything

I floated over the rocks like a ballerina glides across the stage. There were no human voices. Just the sound rivers, birds, and wind moving through the trees. The terrain is unforgiving. This place is a million years old. The trees can tell amazing stories if you listen closely. I am here, present in this moment. All things are right. The difficulty of this adventure is a manifestation of my whole life. Everything runs together. The past, and the present are the same.

Man can get used to anything

I would save the bread from each meal. I would save the little packs of butter and salt. At the end of the night I would feast. It became ritual. I would lay the pieces of stale bread in front of me. Then I would slather the butter meticulously over the entire surface. Next I sprinkled the salt ever so gently, making sure to get some salt with each bite. Each bite was just a little bit of happiness.

Man can get used to anything

I was almost finished. I was nauseous, thirsty, and sore. But I was moving at a great pace. I was running with two other people and we were keeping each other motivated to give it all to the finish. It was all down hill from here. I had my arms flailing to keep balance. I was smiling because I knew I was almost finished and I had a great fucking race. And then suddenly my right foot snagged a rock and I hit the ground so hard I thought I broke the whole front of my body. I fell in about two feet of water and my face was an inch away from a large jagged rock. It was pretty fucking great.

"He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How"


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