There are more reasons for what we do than can be observed by anyone else. No one else is inside your head, and except, possibly, for one, no one else can read your heart. We see only what you do and immediately make judgments based on where we've been because we've never been where you are. It's your road; and except for some places where our paths may have intersected, you've been traveling alone. Even when your way merged with mine, we only walked side by side, not in each other's footprints; and you may have come to believe that you really know me, since we've traveled together for so long; but we can never really begin to know one another until we accept each other as lone travelers.

"...I took the long and winding path, and were it not for loving friendships, who knows how long I would've lasted." Ferron says, along with that passage, that "if you're standing near a cactus, you're probably where you shouldn't be".

Paraphrasing Ferron : I've found myself near that cactus, and had I been able to break its skin, I would've had a drink for all of us. But it pricked my skin instead; and I found myself where I shouldn't have been.

I hope you never have to know what that can mean. And you may want to find your own answers to my questions, so you'll search the road you've walked; but the answers are on my road, not yours; so it may frustrate you into believing a lie, until you accept that each of us is alone, even as we walk together; each of us bears our own regrets, even as we hold each other, and each of us suffers privately, even while we trust our circle of friends.


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