We spoke. His voice brittle in tenor and like a tide, drifted between not knowing what to do and darker, more resolute thoughts. As people we can be such frail things. I feel frail, sometimes. Sometimes is a useful concept.
A pause became a longer silence. His greyish eyes eased this way and that; appeared to have trouble meeting mine. On the pivot of his spine, like a sail, his jaw turned to avoid getting caught in the fresh gale of my gaze.
Standing in a landscape wrapped around the entirety of the world, I lay one hand on his shoulder and the other on the center of his chest, just firmly enough to dissuade him from exiting. No part of his situation was undifficult. Or certain. With no way to forecast any outcome what possibility could I speak of that would be understood as anything other than dismissive, lying; false words... of little comfort and little use.
Wearily, he lifted his head to face me, as if ready for yet another stone to be cast like a knife in his heart. In this place, there is no way out but through. But through what, exactly, differs dramatically; neither fair, universal, or even.
Silence began to accrue as we listened to our differing breath.
"What you say is not untrue," I sucked the cold air in through my nose and teeth, felt it warm in my chest and completed my thought,
"These things you do, you must to survive..." This is the task set before us. May we carry on un-alone.