A certain version of a petroglyph


Špela Prunk, 2018

Malanca Cave near Sežana, Slovenia

As I scratch my story onto these cavern walls, and—as I lay dying—the question of two truths comes to pass: where do I begin, and where do I end?

Stalagmites and Stalactites of fits of passion surround me as a wistful mist comes from the belly of the abyss as a fatigued arm and hand fall poised unto the cold ground. My head lulls in a passing glance at the fate which exceeds me.

Everything so unforgiving in its casual water droplets that allow me to feel the foreboding memories of things that didn’t seem so far away in a different time.

Like stepping onto an unusually cold October’s frozen pond, once the cracks had begun there was no stopping their viscous tirade through the leaf-entrapped ice.

Onwards I had fought, commanding my fingers, bitter from so many days of fighting, to retract back into my sweatshirt sleeves as if to prevent them from further harm from the elements.

Nonetheless, I couldn’t skate to save anyone’s life, forgetting my own, and in this different time, up until now, that truth remains constant. Losing once again, and by far not for the last time, I brought a shocked sense of self into every new obstacle I had faced from that, and every other, moment forward.

Like stepping onto an unusually cold October’s frozen pond, once the cracks had begun there was no stopping their viscous tirade through the leaf-entrapped ice.”

Thinking about it now, I have every opportunity to get back up again in this very moment—to bring shaky knees to a staggering halt and regain some sort of traction upon the stone of this cavern, glossed with the reflection of every single tear drop this place holds for its own.

Glancing again into the darkness, I ponder what it would be like to just let go—to stop caring—simply because I have grown weary of wondering when the fight will be over. Easy times never grace me with their presence; in fact, I can’t remember the last time that I was utterly, totally, unquestionably in a state of sublime bliss.

Turning my head to my left, the black tinted fog dissipates into a shining corridor of bright colored, particularly scented, pine. The trees smell like everything, and everyone, I love. They smell like friends and goals for the future unparalleled in their tyranny.

“Wasted,” the darkness mumbles into my ear as I shift facing upwards into a starry night sky of merciless rock formations. “What an idiom for these jagged edges to be my version of the beacons of the dark,” I whisper back, “something so terrestrial reveals itself as quite the opposite.”

The breaths that rack my body become ragged now, but somehow I find a deeper calm in the nothingness. I roll my whole body to face it now, my entire self shuddering under the dead weight from a lack of warmth. At this moment I decide this is not where I end, nor that, although popular literature would commands me to think so, this is not where I begin. I began a long time ago, and no amount of false hope or a salary earning professional with the promise of a new beginning will convince me otherwise.

I see no new do-overs; however, I see the moments along the journey that revive my exhausted structure back into more than just a skeleton as the things that make my occasional arrival here all worthwhile.