The prison guard featured in a story about the most unequal place in America is 44. He works a night shift in Louisiana for $8.50 an hour.
The guy who learns the vast comic collection he has saved since childhood is worth about $500 is also 44, and now he has to find alternative funding to pay for his kids' college educations.
And the suspect in the Anderson Hall assault on an adjunct is 45.
So, to an extent, it's my age, even in food stamps lost, that's hitting me over the head on this first of November, and it doesn't feel like a good time to be a mid-forties male in America.
I better write fiction quickly from now on. . .
(Returning to this on February 3, 2014, and 1) from a student essay on a magazine advertisement I learned Jennifer Aniston is 44 2) newly crowned Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, Frank Sherlock is 44! and, alas, 3) we've lost a great actor who was 46.)
(Stumbled upon on March 1, 2014, a Times Op-Ed, on what you learn in your 40s that begins, "If all goes according to plan, I’ll turn 44 soon after this column appears.")