highlyeccentric: I happen to like it here in my shell (My shell)
[personal profile] highlyeccentric
Thirteen is a difficult bridging age – no longer a boy, not quite a man, often a prat.

Between boyhood and manhood, between instinctively liking things and thinking about what things to like, on the verge of a troubling hormonal nightmare for which boys are rarely prepared. They should be taken aside, aged 11, for a quiet word: “This won’t make a lot of sense but in a year or two you will submerge and not listen to anybody for five years other than your peers, your pop stars and your penis. The dark tunnel you are about to enter will end and it need not be terribly difficult. Some people are on your side. You may not listen to good advice; indeed, you may not receive good advice. You may listen to bad advice; certainly you will receive bad advice. You will be besotted with girls (or you will discover for certain that you are gay), you will want to paint your bedroom black and you will pretend not to like Abba, Terry & June and Multi-Coloured Swap Shop (you will be wrong about the first two but right about Noel Edmonds). You will be at odds with authority as you try to establish yourself.

You will feel powerful and powerless simultaneously. You will behave like a fool and deny it, whilst suspecting you may have behaved like a fool. Older people will roll their eyes and try to ignore you, they may not offer you any encouragement, they may despair of you. This is normal. You are not a bad person because you are a teenager, in fact, you are about to discover the potential within you. Fly, spotty one, soar and be brilliant, follow your dreams, don’t overdo the Oxy10, eat some fruit, please, be who you want to be. Look, there’s Debbie Harry! What more do you want?”

For an idea of how strange it is to be a teenage boy, consider that, to a teenage boy, the behaviour of other teenage boys is in no way odd. They never wonder what on earth they are saying, or why they are doing what they are doing, or will they ever wake up, or will they ever go to bed, or will they ever eat anything, or will they ever stop eating one thing in particular? They don’t notice teenagers’ poor personal hygiene or, alternatively, their obsessive grooming. They understand a capacity to hang around bus shelters for 14 hours and have no fear of a mosh pit.

An excerpt from his new book, My Favourite People And Me, at the end of this Times article/interview which is adorable in so many ways.


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