Middle school was all about new things and experiences. New teachers, a new building, new friends, a new bus stop, and a new back pack. But nothing marked the rite of passage from kid to tween like the newest, most exciting thing of all: my very own, fully lockable, freshly painted locker.
When I opened that locker for the very first time, I knew I had arrived. It even had vents. Vents!
Before that, the only place I had to keep my things at school was the inside of my desk or the zippered pocket of my backpack. The locker introduced, for me, a whole new level of privacy that I had never before imagined. I could put anything inside and only I would know it was there. (I was, of course, too young to know that the custodian could open any locker he wanted. You did know that, right?).
Oh, the possibilities.
And talk about cool. Nothing is as cool as the casual spin of a locker’s dial many times to the right before the methodical right-left-right (or was it left-right-left? Details…) brings the gentle clunk of the lock letting go. Don’t even get me started on the mirror hanging from the inside of the locker door, the furry carpeting lining the interior, or the snazzy shelving constructed by hand in wood shop class.
All very cool, but none of it as cool as that very first spin. I felt like a spy every time I spun that dial.