The Lesson

'There's something about eighty,' said the old woman, 'that frees one from mortality.  How strange to think there was once a time when I feared death.  But that was only a symptom.  For what I feared was the metaphysically unknown.  A life filled with 'withouts.'  And now, I know what my life has been, and there is no need to fear 'withouts'in fact there never was.

'My days are narrow things to my age-young dreams.  And the strangest thing of all is that I am content to sit and talk to you, cat.'

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