I recall clearly the very first time a middle aged man said to me, “My wife doesn’t understand me.” The place, the time, the smell, the realisation he had no interest in my enthused conversation, but only in the youth of my body. In my mind’s eye, I saw his wife, and I knew without doubt she understood him all too well. And then, a knight on a shining white charger. Or rather, my equally young friend, who’d somehow convinced three coach loads of conference delegates to not only wait, but to come find me. One of the best nights of my life, a group of us played pool in our hotel until dawn. For years, that sense of smell served me well. The exact same aroma always woke me to another middle aged man in denial. Now middle aged myself, I watch it from the outside. I can still smell a rat.