The days are getting shorter and so am I. It’s a fact. I used to be six feet tall. Last month, at my doctor’s office, the nurse checked my height and told me I was five feet ten and a half inches. I just looked at her. There must be some mistake, I said. Maybe the measuring arm wasn’t at the proper angle. Maybe she hadn’t read it right. She smiled patiently. It’s because of gravity, she said. The disks in our spines get compressed over time. After the age of forty we lose about a half inch in height every decade. In other words, my diminished state wasn’t her fault; it was mine for having lived so long.