Meticulous, as he is in all things unrelated to housekeeping, the 14-year-old is constructing a cardboard man for art class.
It is tempting to try to carry the metaphor through a bit, but he is too complicated for that and I am just clever enough to recognize the quicksand-like hazard of that sort of thing.
One minute you are constructing a simple literary device and the next thing you know you are stringing gimmicky bits of sentiment onto a stiff framework of dun-colored cardboard narrative and...
There is no way I am going there.
We are in strange territory. He sneaks off twice a week to sing in the school chorus and lies about his reasons for staying late at school on the day of a performance.
He tolerates us at orchestra recitals, but we must never, ever hear him sing.