#5fifty5 The Interim Face

The other evening I noticed a local man introducing an old friend to his boy and looked on as the friend appeared taken aback by the teenager's appearance.  The kid, who I've known since he was just an infant, now has the face of a young man stuck on the frame of a boy. It’s unsettling, more so when he greets his dad’s friend with a grown up handshake. These kids should be taken out of everyday society until their whole physical development’s in sync. I especially feel that way about sixth formers.

The average sixth former face is a curious one. An interim face liberated by no longer having to wear uniform and behaving as if that’s all there is to being an adult. Sixth formers should all be separated from their families and transferred to one big sixth former-only city until their physical development has been completed. When adult features have finally assumed full control of their no-longer-sixth-form faces, we can bring them back into normal society.

I was lucky. Everything about me came late and in one go. The growth spurt, the shaving, the manlier voice. I had to wait until the spring of ’89, having endured five years of teasing at school by kids who I would end up towering over. I went from underachieving baby faced kid to arriving at a set of traffic lights at Clapham North and suddenly feeling an unusual pain in my side. I ended up stuck at home for three weeks, beset with growing pains and reemerged into the spring seven inches taller and having memorised the lyrics to Boy Meets Girl's Waiting for a Star to Fall, which has nothing to do with this story whatsoever.

I never confused my family and friends with the sort of hybrid man-boy features that so threw this man the other night when he met his friend's boy. All my changes came simultaneously. That’s the way it should be.