Tonight, I went along to the local Amnesty group. They were having a film night at a Centre.
I wheeled my bike out of the apartment and locked the door. Then I unlocked the door and went back in to get my helmet. Then I locked the door again. Then I put on my helmet. It was not my helmet. So I unlocked the door, swapped the helmets, put mine on, locked the door, got on my bike and left.
The Amnesty film night was on Queen Street. The email said so. I have not lived here that long, but I was rather proud that I actually know where Queen Street is, so I headed there. On the way, as I ba-bomped over a kerb, the bolt holding the left bracket of my basket to my handlebars pinged off. The basket teetered crazily. I shrugged and carried on. I still had the right bracket. Every time I went over a bump, the loose left bracket jingled.
I got to Queen Street. Except it was Queens Avenue. I stopped beside a park where two ladies were walking their dogs. One of the dogs was very excitable, and it was trying to jump about and poo at the same time. I asked the ladies where Queen Street was. They said I was on it. I said, no, this is Queens Avenue. Yes, they said, but there isn't a Queen Street. This must be what you're looking for. The dog succeeded in pooing. The lady didn't scoop it. I thanked them and carried on. I was in the 100s. The place was in the 600s! I pedalled harder. The loose basket danced and bounced. I found the 600s. I found 656. It was just a house. I turned round and cycled back the other way. I must have got the number wrong. I looked at 626. It was a house too. I pulled in to the side of the street and thought.
Then I realised I was cycling on the wrong side of the street! I was cycling with the kerb on my left!! But I am not in New Zealand! How could I have cycled up a busy main road on the wrong side, with cars coming towards me, and not noticed?! I almost had a heart attack. Then I saw that it was a one-way street. So the cars were all going the same way as me.
I couldn't find the Centre. My back wheel started making a funny noise as if something were caught in it. I started going home. I cycled past a row of pretty yellow brick houses. Their doors went red, orange, purple, brown, yellow. I cycled past many law firms, and a pub where the men stood outside and watched me go past, and a sign saying I could have Botox and look great for Spring, and a grocery store that sold "most Middle Eastern foods". My basket hung more crookedly and the bracket jingled.
I took a wrong turn into a suburban, tulippy wilderness. The houses were big and quiet. Finally I arrived home. I was so excited to find out what I had done wrong that I opened my email right away. It said, 636 Queen St.
I went back out into the hallway, turned, and wheeled my bike into the apartment. The basket performed a final exuberant galliard, and descended to the floor.