On those autumn rainy days, by the river is where I walked with only my thoughts — irritants more than companions. They would dampen my trek more than the gentle spritz of lisping meteorological sibilance. And then those old wondering if-only’s and pondering damn-it’s would sidle up to me like panhandlers who wouldn’t take “Sorry” for an answer. I never tossed my two cents into their jingle-less cups. I had fewer answers than I had ready change for a dollar or five. No, I tucked my head deeper between my shoulders and looked to the Hudson for advice. But the river just kept running by, southbound, constant, always listening, never saying much more than the faintest whisper, never suffering fools who argued with themselves in the rain over waters long ago crossed beneath the bridge. That wise old river.