Middle Age Folly Lurching hole-eyed and numb, he wondered if talking might help. Maybe he could regain their respect that way; he could show wisdom as the product of his experience. He rehearsed during wretched nights: “Did you ever look into a mirror and see something lower than dog shit?” He gripped sheets as fever wrung him, sweat blistering his skin. “I don’t mean that as a metaphor. I mean, really lower than dog shit.” But he understood that it was useless to try and get their attention, all those smug bastards. He needed to feel bigger, but he knew he was smaller. It was worse than those days in high school, when they kicked his skinny little ass. This was no way to finish, it should happen near the start: the agony that you fight through, and laugh about years later.