That you’d get older, old enough to make sense of things that never made sense before, clarity a sort of reward for living this long, the recompense for making so many mistakes? Did you think you’d stop walking away from what should be faced and facing what you should walk away from? Did you hope for, if not wisdom, at least patience, if not a highway, at least a trail you could follow? Did you think the rain would fall more understandingly on your face, the wind let you off the hook, a fish that’d fought so long it deserved to sleep now at the pond’s bottom? Did you hope to be so old you’d have worn the world out, won from it begrudging acceptance, to live in this body so long you’d stop yearning for what it couldn’t give, your mind less greedy? That you’d tire of worry, terror? Did you think you deserved better? Better than what? The trees? The stones? The dried-up creek? Did you think you’d be better prepared for what was to come? Think again.