David knew he was a cliché. A man of his age hanging round with a woman twenty years his junior. It was pathetic, doomed and irresistible. It was also adultery, but he put that on ice. He and his wife went back a long way; theirs had been a primeval romance and they had evolved, he told himself, into different species.
It was different with Katie, a junior executive in a sister department at his conglomerate. With Katie, there was passion, originality, lots of laughs. She didn’t think he was a played-out irritation, she thought he was worldly and capable. She admired him, and she told him so. Nobody had done either of those things for years, if ever. This had to be the real thing.
He bought a baseball cap. And an i-pod, which he could just about operate, without breaking it or dislocating his thumb. He tried to follow, understand and tolerate TV dramas, documentaries about dogs coming back from the dead and the extraordinary effectiveness of the primal scream. An essential part of his pre-sex supplication was an update on modern culture and Katie required him to hold his own, before she held his for him.
He ate vegetarian meals. He folded up the bigotries of decades and threw them away. In return he got a new life, a reborn vitality and an entirely new sense of self worth.
Until one day Katie told him they’d have to stop. And went off to a different job and persons of her own age.
David thought he ought to be grown up about this, but he found that in his time with Katie, he’d forgotten how. He wished he could be an old dog again, but the new tricks kept getting in the way.