Now apply this to the analogy. Life is one wall. Chemicals the other wall. The gray in between. Fine. So all the things in the grey are not white or are not life.
Yes, I understand this exactly like you do.
But all this leaves me wondering once again what the point of your definition is. One end of the continuum has life. Everything to the right of life is non-life. But then when we take a example infinitesimally to the right of life, we have some non-life that is much much much much more similar to life than to most of the rest of existence. It is, in fact, identical to life in almost every way, but differs ever so slightly from one of your arbitrary conditions. It is much more similar to a lot of life-forms than these life-forms are to other life-forms. If I wanted to study this thing, I'd do so in the same way I studied the lifeforms to which it is almost identical.
Nonetheless, by the strict AOK definition, it's not life. Great. What I can't see is how that fact is of any practical or theoretical use.