Then I was going to write about the middle of nowhere but who wants to read about the letter H? Rim shot, ha ha, I’ll be here all week, unless, well. Unless.
My last name starts with H but that’s a coincidence, and my middle name starts with K, a letter I’ve always liked. The hardness of it, which sounds sexier than it is. I would apologize for the puns and innuendo but what are you gonna do? We are who we are.
I thought maybe instead I could write about the middle of a Tootsie Pop but it has been so long since anyone licked me with that kind of curiosity.
Halloween is next week. It’s already the middle of fall. I say already a lot these days. My children are already in high school. My new reading glasses are already not strong enough. It’s already time to turn on the heat.
I am not a middle child. I have no middle children, though I am somewhere in the middle of being a parent. My children will see me die. And that’s the good outcome.
I guess it depends how generously I define middle.
That’s true of so many things. How generous we are matters. How willing to excuse each other’s imperfections. I had thought I might outgrow many or even some of my flaws.
For instance: I remain more generous around the middle than I’d like to be, but I’m working on it.
That’s not true. I’m not working on anything.
I’m working on everything. Look at this mess I’ve made. It’s obvious I’m in the middle of something.
So, yes, often I feel caught in the middle between who I want to be and who my body says I am. Who I used to be and who I will be someday, which is dead.
It sounds so harsh when I say it aloud.
The other day, after raking away the first yellow leaves of the season and mowing the grass for what I hope is the last time this year, I stood approximately in the middle of my yard approximately in the middle of my life, and looked around at the lawn, which seemed, for a moment, orderly and well-cared for.
Not bad, I thought, before heading inside. Not everything is a metaphor, but this turns out to be one. Nowhere is now + here, but means the opposite of that. I am not very religious, which I suppose means I believe that when I die I will be nowhere. For now, I am here. It’s enough. It’s a kind of joy.