Accident no.31

2009

I join two friends in Münster to look at sculpture in the landscape.

We hire bicycles and ride along canals, rivers and lakes. I am leading because I understand the foreign rules. Something runs out of a bush as I approach. A creature stops just in front of my wheel but I swerve and miss it. I hear the bicycle behind me crunch the gravel but her wheels also miss the confused ball of fear.

James is tall and mostly silent. He ponders the small things in life from a height I can only imagine. He makes soft jokes that only register once the moment has passed – leaving the laughter unspoken, silent in the air.

Behind me there is a cry – in the distance there is aman at a loss for words. When I reach the bush, James is bent over looking at a tiny mouse – both of them frozen in mid-action. I pick up the smallmammal by its tail and drop it in the undergrowth. Looking up at James, I realize that I should have laid it down gently.