A Problem of ScaleThe class after PE was Maths, the numbers big enough for him to hide at the back and rub at his scalp in the mistaken belief that he could get rid of the dandruff flakes in that forty minute period. But 800,000 dead cells for every square centimetre of scalp would not be so easily managed. Until now his adolescent changes had been predictable and therefore tolerable. But why had no one told him about this? And then the cringing realisation; the new girl was looking straight at him, round-eyed and open-mouthed. Some time later, she would tell him that it was a ‘wondrous sight’, ‘like shaking up and watching one of those glass snow-storm ornaments’. The next day, she wordlessly handed him a bottle of coal-tar shampoo and he caught her faintly medicated scent. Years later, he still found it more alluring than any number of Chanels.
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