There are times in life when you do not have a choice. The path is laid out, it is the only one.
Here I sit, with a friend. A new friend, but still close. She needs me to do something, of course, I can tell. Will you be witness to this? You agree, of course.
And so I take her by the hand and lead her out into the middle. Which is where she actually is, whether that's where she is seated or not.
She does not strut or anything like that. Hers is an impervious walk even holding hands, you wonder where she learned that, must have been early, she owns it, not the other way around.
Everyone feels what she denies here. Everyone. She smiles and laughs and jokes and toasts. Impervious, waterproof, again and again.
You witness it all. You will tell stories of dark corners and dark passengers and companions to it all. You watch the alchemy as the lights dim. And they really do, you see the bartender turning the dial down, this is not figurative.
That is the last of it, every single dark square has been devoured, you will find no more. You are left with the richest, thickest, smoothest coating. You hope to carry it with you forever, everywhere. You know you can't, won't. You choose instead to frame every memory in the hardest of woods, woods that will give in to nothing less than petrification. Woods that bear the burden of truth, so laden they must turn to stone.