I can now truly say that I am a Man, for I have braved the River of Pain.
I have just returned from Sagittaron, and I bring with me a harrowing tale of survival, and a rite of passage. I have returned to Caprica, but I can never return to my old life. Things seem so petty and meaningless now - my apartment, my job at the sporting goods store, the woman to whom I've grown bored making love. All that lives in my heart, mind and soul now is the River.
Those who have braved the beautiful blue Acheron will tell you of its charms, of its viciousness, its merciless temper and its loving embrace. I set out with my raft, alone, determined to run its course as long as it would take me. It pushed me a long at first, curious and playful. Then it decided I wasn't worthy of riding its current without me giving something back, and it began to thrash me about, demanding I contribute something to the ways of Nature. I had nothing to give but fear. Finally, it capsized me, flinging me and my raft to the rocks - the ultimate rejection. "Go home, boy," said the River. "Nothing for you here. This is the Acheron. This is the River of Pain, and Pain frightens you. Go home."
I didn't go home. I got back in my raft and tried again. And again the River tossed and turned me, again it threw me to the rocks. And I tried again, and failed again. Finally, after more attempts than I can count, the River must've gotten bored with me. It once again carried me along - reluctantly, and not without the occasional attack - but it allowed me something resembling passage. I was bruised, battered and broken...but I was riding the River, perhaps because it sensed that I now knew Pain.
By the end of my journey, the River and I were lovers. I feel empty without Her.
That's all I can tell you of my experience. For those of you who feel you are up to the challenge, then go, as swiftly as you can. The rest of you can only hope you will one day find something else that will open your heart, mind and soul so wide.