I sit in the waiting area at the dentist, hating the enforced idleness. A colleague, met by coincidence, is summoned to the presence; thankfully signalling the end of any need for stalling conversation.
I hear a door open and instinctively look up.
A young man, smart in his school uniform, and his mother come through from the treatment rooms.
He retrieves a Blackberry large enough to do a delivery driver proud and is checking for messages even before the door has closed behind them.
They stand at the reception counter, waiting to negotiate the fee or a further appointment. They are near and far enough away that I can observe without my interest being thought inappropriate.
The uniform is black jacket, shoes and trousers, white shirt and a tie, black with silver stripes. All serviceable. Nothing flash. A simple serifed silver cross is the 'bit of wool on your tit' that symbolises his membership of school.
His jacket will soon be too small, a fact that his mother appears to notice for, as they talk, he puts his hand in a pocket and waves at her through a hole in the lining. I smile at the memory of using the same gesture myself those many years ago.
As their conversation continues he does not stand still but performs a slow unscripted dance, a pace here, a turn there, unintentionally allowing me to see him in the round.
His trouser legs are rouched on the heel and instep of his shoes in accordance with current 'half mast' fashion. Unlike some, he is not in imminent danger of losing his modesty, the elasticated waistband, provides the necessary insurance.
But, like the jacket, his shirt has now become too short and he wages a constant struggle, first tucking it in, then thrusting his hands in the pockets to adjust the trousers for the fashion. His dance then moves his torso and the shirt works loose. The cycle repeats.
They turn and have the attention of the receptionist. Talking to her, his voice is now loud enough for me to hear.
His bearing, looks and apparent age, even the bit of 'bum fluff' on his upper lip, show he is no longer a boy, but a handsome young man.
Puberty can be cruel.
His voice, although not high, still has that unbroken timbre.
As they turn to leave, I hear the door again and I am summoned to my fate.
Copyright © Pedro 2015
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