I stand beside myself and wait for me to say something clever. Somehow it seems this may be a long wait.
But no matter - I have an impressive array of despairs to amuse and bemuse and re-use. And why not? Is this future any less valid than those of my past? I sink into an accumulation of failures. Wallow. There is comfort here.
But wait; it appears I am about to speak! I sense in this moment the needs of the other, and am for an instant not alone. The breeze holds itself in anticipation.
"U..." mumbles the me, and I laugh at the futility of it all. Can he not manage an entire "Um", or "Uh..." or whatever banal utterance perched incomplete on the edge of a brain multitasked beyond the limits of human need.
The trees sigh their disappointment. Somewhere a car. Somewhere a television. Other things carried on the night provide far more amusement than the fool at my side.
"Well," I say, masterfully, "Bye then." And watching - internally raging, and laughing, and despairing - I see myself turn and leave. I notice, not for the first time, that the path is cracked and broken and black with mould.
On my lips there is a smile of sorts, and the observer understands it; for though the path may be rubble, it is at least familiar.