Before birth, he is there, with his long beard, red, red cheeks. He sits in his chair with you on his knee, pointing, way down there, through the clouds, into the vapors to earth, the house, that one, where you are about to be born. He tells you they are good people, and you know they’ll mean to be good, but he says it will be hard and if you don’t want to do it, he can send someone else. But you ask. The only thing you need to know. “Will I love them?” He nods. You will love them with all your heart, even if you sometimes wished you didn’t. You will love them all. Then he ladles molten gold from his cauldron inside your back, into the very core of you and he smiles. “You’re good to go.” Just before you go, you look behind, realizing, you’re not the only one in line. We’re all there. We all got the gold.