In that land, at that time, there was a wealthy merchant. Having been born to simple folk, the several wives and several businesses he had acquired over years of ruthless smiling gave him the status he needed to feel like a big man.
Nonetheless, at moments, such as in the stillness of the dawn light, he harked back to his youth, and searched for the feelings that he knew he once felt.
For he was older now, than his father was, when he turned his back on his father's simple ways, and ventured into the wider world in the certainty of wit-gotten wealth.
Who would have warned him that the wives would one day inspire so little? Amongst his peers there was endless ribaldry and chatter of ageless virility that could be fortified by merry drink, powdered animal parts, and little pills bought from an internet doctor. He played along in the banter, knowing since he was a child that if you were all together in the same boat, you must cheer each other along until you reach safe shores.
The women, he knew, spoke openly about their own changes. He thought about how it must be, to be they. When in their prime, they could either bring men to their knees, or they produced men from between their knees. Then slowly the decline began, and accelerated, until one day undeniably, the regularity of the workings of their womb stopped.
Surely, he thought, men are not the same?