REMEMBER THAT?* A key to a locker!
I had had hopes for a tack box — the proposal was mooted, and then shot down, because if everyone found out that I had a tack box, then everyone would want one too, which is indisputable, because if I heard that a schoolie like me had a tack box, you can be damn sure I’d ask for one for myself.
The intervening week, between the instigation of the notion of the tack box, and the actual refusal, had been filled with fantastical images of myself, on the bus, bearing a normal-sized backpack rather than the ginormous rucksack that contains my body protector et al. The night before the first day that I had to hit the streets carting that thing around, was one filled with anxiety and annoyance, and in fairness, the whole palaver of boots, hat, water bottle and armour is pretty heavy. But I got over it, as it was becoming glaringly obvious that to continue to ride without one, with the increase in challenge that was now being introduced in all my lessons — well, it was just stupid. I had gotten away with it up to a point; time to cop on and be safe.
Fine. But: hassle! The fumbling around of extracting the thing from the rucksack — which I had, fittingly, bought for my first trip to Ireland in 1996 — was very… fumbley… and I had taken to changing my boots on the bus because sometimes I’m just about making it up to the yard in time. But if I had a tack box, then I could just keep all my unwieldy bit and pieces in it, and, and, life would be awesome.
So I followed up on the request, the ‘no’ came down, all my blessedly unencumbered mental pictures faded to black, and then the offer of the locker was proffered. And then I thought, ‘They’re too small, the stupid thing will never fit in it,’ and despite having an art background — you know, working with space and all that — the thing did fit in, and I think I should have been able to see that? ANYWAY: Happiness! It fits, the boots went in as well, and now all I have to do is pack up my hat and my water and my Clinique-Bonus-Day bag full of the paracetemol and tampons and Polo Mints and gum and extra elastics and those bus schedules that are probably out of date, and off I go!