First of all they are faces but later they became more like caricatures of their former self.
Faces have a knack for changing, the obvious reason being they progressively grow old.
When you see people every day, you can't really discern the changes because you are living with the same faces, and you are growing older together.
All this changes however when you suddenly see someone after say 10, 20, 25 or even 30 years. Here, the contrast in your previous image of him or her becomes startling, even amazing.
The other day, I saw someone I hadn't seen in 26 years; I was actually going for an interview of some sort. If I had seen him down the road, I literally would have passed him off as a complete stranger, that is of course if he hadn't recognized me.
Features change, rims under the eyes become heavier, sagging skin, facial expressions become heavier and older. The memory starts to play up, is he really the person, or is she the one, I can hardly recognize her.
I keep bumping into these people. A year or so, I saw another person whom I hadn't seen in a long time, 10 years in fact. In my memory she continued to be a stunner, vivacious, exciting, fair, taught skin, and slim. You know someone you would want to date.
Fast forward 10 years. We are standing in a group like the other strangers. Then I looked at her, some of the facial traits faintly gave her away.
"Are you so and so," I say.
"You must be so and so, God you've changed, you are fat," she bounced rather ungraciously.
"I don't believe it, it's you, hello." I did not want to tell her you've grown podgy and your face has gone a metaphorsis, so I keep quite. To me she is no longer the self I remember. She is a totally different person.
Within 10 years her face totally changed, that delightful, detectable look into a complete stranger.
I later relayed that to my wife. "Wake up Marwan, people change, they become older, bigger, put on weight."
"But the transformation is complete," I scream, "the glamour and spark had gone."
This is not the same with everyone. A friend of mine came to Amman recently from the United States, the last time I saw him was five years ago. It was my sister that came up with the crack: "He is still a handsome devil, isn't he," and this is despite his age.
Obviously there is no hard and fast rule. Some people ripen as they grow old, they become handsome, sophisticated, pleasant to see and so on. Others don't, the haggardness of age just shows more.
This is however slightly different from what I begun with which is meeting people after a good period of absence and seeing the change.