To the world, he smelled of white teeth and expensive coffee. Expensive coffee in a crystal cup, billowing seductive smoke over a copy of Dostoevsky. To me, he smelled of dusty mirrors. You know, that scent. He was tall, tall as a university professor with an aquiline nose, a black waistcoat dusted every morning, and dimples smirking of charming, ironic arrogance. Tall mirrors enthroned in the hallways of haunted houses. I was short, short as a skinny acne-faced teenager who wanted to be Dostoevsky and found coffee too strong to be. I wanted to stand on tiptoes and stare into him, illusioned. But. I could not touch his peppered grey hair. He had a wife who could reach down and punctuate me like a pustule with her willowy crimson nails.