Risa Horowitz


Very Short Stories

Middle Age

At middle age everything changes. We are each, at last, exactly who we are and will be. Don’t fool yourself. People are as good as they will be by now. I am no longer so young or naïve that I don’t know what it feels like to be a woman in the presence of a man. This one kisses me in front of his wife. This one goes searching while she sleeps. This one and me, we are not in love but a decade is a nice run for friends who can call on one another. This one does not notice me because I am a woman having entered middle age. This one, this one writes one morning, I feel lucky to have such an amazing woman by my side. And the next he writes, I am broken, swamp (sic) in despair and falling in the unknown. Like a rock thrown in a well with no bottom; while telling me he loves me and needs to be free. These clichéd dumbass similes help me to see him quite clearly, in fact. As for me, I am the greatest lover – they all say it, to my endless boredom. The one who takes care of herself. Still: one becomes accustomed to the tender touch, the caress given with deep eye contact, the holding of hands, and the fleeting feeling of acceptance, even when it has nothing to do with me and could be anyone, because that’s how narcissism works. So be it.

Updated August 2022 | Acknowledgements | Copyright ©1998-2022 Risa Horowitz