The hotel I'm staying in covering this grading job has a breakfast buffet every morning. It's...well, it's belly-timber and it's free. So I was sitting at the high table in the center of the sterile room, eating my not-awful eggs and sausage and orange juice when a man's voice behind my right side started;
"Good mor...oh, um, hi. Sorry. For a moment you looked just like my dad."
I turned to the speaker. He was a tall, athletic man in what I think of as "High Middle Age"; mid-thirties to mid-forties. His wife was a similarly pleasant, well-kempt middle-aged middle class woman and he seemed genuinely pleased to see someone, even a stranger, who reminded him of his father.
I just looked at him for a moment, because my only thought was "Wait...you're middle-aged, so am I...how the hell can I look like your dad?"
I must have looked strange, because he began to lean back in the slightly embarrassed manner people adopt when they mistake a stranger for someone they know. I couldn't stand that troubled look in his eyes, or the concern on his wife's face so I smiled and returned some sort of happy triviality and we parted to our own troubles.
I looked for an answer in my congealing eggs and found none, except that the man was correct; if I had a son when I was 18 he would be the same age as his today.
And that I am no longer middle-aged. I am, instead, some middle-aged man's dad.