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  • If I live to be 100, this year will be the smack middle of my life.

    I used to tell people my dreams like I was giving them directions: first this, then that, then this. It seemed so easy to dream up a life, to get on a plane to Asia, to buy my first horse, to get the job I'd always wanted, to buy my small farm in the desert. To fall in love without consequence. To adopt a puppy.

    When Ed the massage therapist asks me about my life I surprise him and myself with a choke of tears. "I can't see the next thing, Ed." I say. "I'm blind. I'm dreamless."

    Worse yet, I am a cliche. MIddle-aged. Restless. Impulsive. I preach to my writing students about cliches, their inherent uselessness and yet how easy it is to fall on them, big soft mattresses of words that seem comfortable for the first few minutes but then feel foreign and used up, the hotel bed of language.

    My husband says: Enjoy what you have. It's more than most; it's what you've always wanted.

    I hear a note of discontent around the edges of his words.

    In the middle of my life I see only horses and words. Words and horses.
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