I walked with two friends. One brought her husband, the other arrived late. We met to climb the mountain, the path ever changing before us. Initially, our feet crunched over coarse gravel; we wore dappled green and honeyed light as cloaks and crowns. Next, we walked through a parking garage, sparse of cars and curled with shadow. Finally, we stepped, single file, over a plush red carpet along a narrow aisle that moved in straight lengths, rose in flights of short steps, and turned at right angles through a museum. We passed glass display cases of antique devices — clocks and telephones and radios — until we reached a pair of sunken benches upholstered in red. Sinking into the benches, we sat together before an antique miniature pipe organ set against one wall. A marvel of construction, crafted entirely of polished, glossy wood and bright brass, the organ was a thing of beauty…until it began to play. Its keys and pedals moved entirely on its own mechanized synchronizations, and the music that blared forth was discordant, cacophonous. Despite this, despite the path’s many mutations, one scene melting into another, the only aspect of the journey that grieved me was the realization that my two friends — who each were so dear to me — had nothing in common, shared no bond beyond me, myself. Unable to build any connection between them, they could only exchange wan smiles with one another before looking away.