I have seen some of the boys at my new school and they are not only big but they seem a hundred years old, hairy with big hands, hands that will clench into even bigger fists, hands that will grab you and break you like a twig. I need to go to the toilet. I go into the public toilets in the multi-storey car park, I find an empty cubicle at the end of a long row of occupied cubicles, I lock the door, double check it and I begin to relax. I take down my new school trousers and I sit on the cold hard seat. The door opens. I swear I double checked it. A man comes in. I explain that I am in residence. He pays no attention but tries to start a friendly conversation. “On your way to school are you?” I do not reply. “Shy are you?” Again I do not reply. He offers me some money but I do not truly comprehend why. I explain it is not my habit to take money from strangers. He tells me not to shout, scream or cry. I shout and I scream and I cry. I shout! I scream! He slips out of the cubicle with a hurt look in his eye. I move fast, faster than I have ever moved, I lock the door and lean up against it. Then I unlock the door, run for the exit and sprint all the way to school so keen am I. Nothing happened, just a slight shame that in my hurry to get out I forgot to wash my hands. Cleanliness is next to godliness.
New school, new blazer, first lesson learnt. There are things not covered by the curriculum.
And I need to learn them and learn them fast.