Until like, three days ago, I always thought of "middle ages" as a particular year---and then, only a year. I never contemplated the topic very closely, wanting to perpetually believe that I am about 23. I remember reacting with irritation when a colleague of mine was lamenting the fact that he was middle-aged at 40. I thought he was being overly-dramatic and that he should just go ahead an buy the convertible hot rod already. But then my friends and I were talking the other day and it dawned on me that "middle aged" is a span of time in your life, like the teen years, only closer to death. I'm not sure what decades signify middle age--is it 40s to 50s? Does it end when you qualify for social security? Or does it end when you start relating to the late night commercials about osteoporosis and Viagra? Do the middle ages begin the first time someone calls you "ma'am?" And then also, what are the thirties called? Pre-middle ages or post-college years? We need new terminology. And then the other day, when Peaches Geldolf died at 25 from what is likely some kind of drug overdose, I found a way to relate her death back to me, by thinking, I can no longer die young. If I died tomorrow, people would be like, "Oh, she wasn't that old!" But they wouldn't be like, "Oh, she was taken in the blush of youth." The blush of youth is gone.