Midlife Assessment

Cataloging my ruination.
  1. I'm 41 years old, and I'm absolutely falling apart. I'll start from the top and work my way down, cataloging, as it were, my disintegration.

    I am bald, except for the sides of my head. All the stuff at the top has just about melted away. There are a few resilient, aberrant strands, so I buzz my hair down with clippers so that I don't look like I have mange.

    My eyes, from staring at a computer all day, are often blurry and in pain. I bought reading glasses a few years ago, but they are so smudged that I think they are making my eyes worse. I shouldn't stare at the computer so much, but I'm addicted to Internet backgammon and I'm a writer, which means I spend my days writing e-mails. The collective word count of all my e-mails would surely equal Tolstoy's War and Peace.

    Inside my head, behind my eyes and beneath my bald dome, is a lingering mild depression, which causes me to procrastinate and not do simple tasks like cleaning my reading glasses or to begin important tasks lik...

The complete text of “Midlife Assessment” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.slate.com.

Originally published in Slate, August 2005

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