I have become middle aged. This rocket launched by puberty has reached the weightless apex of its climb, turned balletically, and is now plummeting to earth. I still have time, but there is a clear change in direction and momentum. The panic is arbitrary. I am a day older than yesterday and yesterday was fine. Today is something else.

I’d like to have a mid-life crisis, but I am not adult enough to regress theatrically. I already wear pajamas to work, and lack the income and drivers license for an ill advised sports car. I could lean into my artistic side. Insert myself into some community college poetry circle, where I pass off song lyrics from the mid nineties as original work

“Come my lady, come, come my lady…you’re my butterfly, sugar, baby.”.

They might mistake the fatigue and confusion of old age as a tasteful Xanax habit, let me ride their motor-skateboard around the parking lot, like I was make-a-wish kid with progeria. Not great.

The problem with wisdom is that you can’t even have a proper moan. I am angry that I am not immortal. It is halfway through a lovely dinner party and I am berating the host for eventually needing to sleep. It feels a tad entitled. And aside from years accrued, I have no real complaints. I am fine with my direction, and concede the fairness of my descent, but I have not yet made peace with the landing.