I saw a Young Teen Male today. Not a particularly rare species, although it was more specifically of the Angsty variety.
This one's normally brown plumage was a washed out orangy red or red-y orange, possibly making him more unique.
Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera; anyway I hear this species is quite camera shy. So you'll have to take me at my word about the rest of it.
The pants simply defied gravity. Tall and reed thin, this YTM wore a big and baggy black t-shirt that he kept hoisting up in order to find his boxers (somewhere south of the plumber line) and his pants (somewhere around his knees...okay, thighs, if you insist on accuracy). He wasn't hiking them up, simply constantly looking for one thing or another in one of the many, many pockets.
He wore thick black eyeliner around his blue eyes, and a moody scowl on his lips. Which might have been outlined in dark red lipliner. As you would expect, he had many piercings.
He was with a girl, who took tremendous pleasure in being with a boy, even one who clearly found a great understanding and satisfaction in the Unbearable Heaviness of Being. She kept touching him, feathering her fingers over his cheeks and lips, stroking his pale arm. She was gentle, almost mother-like.
He bore it, like someone who is used to it. He never reached out to her, but he did make himself available to her, and he used natural courtesy to order food for her, pay the waiter with her money, wait until she sat comfortably before sitting himself.
He carried his notebooks and text books loose, no bag, no backpack. Her backpack was a weathered pink, with a name on it I thought I remembered from the Neverending Story. She was easier, an easier teen: cute, light and natural or no makeup, jeans, black tee. She smiled easily, with a top lip that curled up a bit.
They bent their heads over a book with Marilyn Manson on the cover, he reverently, showing her a passage that clearly resonated with him, she smiled and chuckled. She seemed indulgent, glad he liked it, and that was enough.
They got a large soda, to share. A quaint anachronism for such modern teens.
After a few minutes, they walked over to a standard four-door sedan that I hadn't noticed waiting. He opened the door for her---more of the courtesy---and they both slid into the back seat.
In the front, a middle-aged woman sat, patiently reading or listening to music, or peeping on the kids as they got their after-school soda, as I was.
They drove away and I turned to look at my girls, wondering what mask they would feel compelled to wear in their teens, whether they'd wear their hearts on their sleeves---and pants---as this boy did, or keep them closer to the vest.
By Julie Pippert
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