After a few moments, I go back to my bag to find tissues, realizing that I hadn't really cried about everything yet. The tears begin to flow quietly - I will not sob in front of people I don't know. I sit on the floor, burying my face in my knees and wishing to heaven that I wasn't so alone.
A hand reaches out and takes mine.
I looked up to see Andy, with his other arm around his girlfriend, taking my hand and squeezing it.
The message is sent, and received.
I am not alone here.
I still sit a bit apart form everyone, but now I'm with them, not just in the a room they also happen to occupy.
After the ceremony, everyone offers embraces to everyone else - Chip comes up behind me and squeezes the daylights out of me - and we talk as we dry our tears. Conversation pauses, and I pick up my bag. "The air in this room has gotten way too depressing - let's get out of here." They agree, and we leave for a few minutes. When we return, the air of depression is gone, replaced with an air of community, of togetherness. We are friends. We are what we need right now.