Ever feel “fair-to-middling”? In The Curator, L.L. Barkat ruminates on “middles”:
Middle places can be unsettling. I wrote a whole novella I now look upon as a “middle” book. I wrote it at the same time I was fiddling with beginnings. And, oddly enough, I started the novella with the words, “The End.”
The End is a logical place to begin when you are middling. I asked a dear friend once — a person whose life I did not comprehend at the time — “How are you?” She was standing in the hallway with her spouse, and her face was tight and sad. “Fair to middling,” she said. What a fascinating phrase, and I wish I had been more understanding, regarding the end she must have been considering.
It is the rare person, I think, who is comfortable with another person’s middling.