I cannot pretend that I come willingly.
I imagined myself as a spectator, perhaps cheering, maybe jeering. This participation isn't me.
Now I have blood on my hands, splinters and callouses; the war wounds of a kindness that I did not choose. The pounding relentless noise of a thirsty crowd in my ears. The overwhelming weight upon my shoulders, the weight of a sentence that isn't mine.
There is hot dust underfoot. The feet of the crowd form a walkway, a tunnel towards the hill. I can see my feet, slipping and staggering under the enforced burden. I see too his feet, walking lightly towards their inevitable fracturing. Our feet fall in step; he slips as I slip, staggers as I stagger. The weight is shared now. For a brief moment of time it is not his burden, nor mine: it is ours. Then it is taken from me, and is no longer mine.
He walks off, more slowly than I; I remain, feeling light and no longer wanting to watch. I am still part of it, my thoughts remaining with him even though he has gone on ahead.
I am compelled.