He was an alpha male, one need not be judgmental to say that. He was mean, fearless, speaking ill to the face, back stabbing, and could use any means to prove to his colleagues his superiority. He was feared by almost everyone who worked with him, not because he was all the things said before, but most importantly he knew what he was doing, and almost every single time he took a stand, he took the right one. Thats something you admired in him, being able to be right almost every time, taking stands against people, even his superiors, spreading terror, and throwing open challenges. He was almost like an older, evil version of you.
He was around 55, he had a daughter older than you, and a girl friend younger to you. One could easily make out that he liked flirting, A biker, someone who was in shape, did a lot of flashy activities, just someone who knew how to live his life.
When it comes to work, you too never shied from challenges. You never took people head on, but then you were not the one to give up either. Someone like him, was your ultimate challenge. Debating with him, disagreeing with him and proving him you were correct and he wrong, was something you looked forward to. Even though rare, you did get to do that many a times, and you were rewarded with his trust, and more importantly respect. When such a guy thinks he could share a problem, which he is solving, with you, and then asks for your opinion on it, that day my friend brings the ultimate satisfaction which no promotion could give you.
At 55 when he is still ruling the professional world, what if one day he shares with you, a story of his painful breakup. The girl who he made him move cities, someone whom really cared about, someone who shared his passions, had decided to go her own way, living him devastated.
For the first time you get to see the human side of him, his vulnerabilities, his insecurities, his pain. He is still the terror he was to people, even to you he is still the same fearless person. Deep down you know he is human, he is vulnerable. Years of grey hair on his scalp has not hidden his vulnerability, he still cares to be loved, he still cares for his woman. You want to ring up a friend who wrote “here“, how with age he had not buried his vulnerability nor strangled it out. He was as susceptible as his younger self who gave up a college education to marry at 17, his then sweetheart, mother of his 30 year old daughter.
One day, when on not being reminded by him that its a friday, and you ought to be out dancing at a club, or hitting a beach, you decide to ping him to check whats wrong, and he gets back 45 minutes later, that he is done for the week, and she had stepped in to take the last of her belongings. You for a moment not knowing what to say, tell him to dial you up if he wants to talk to someone, to discover he has already logged out.
One is never old to be vulnerable, and nor too young to be.