Watcher

It’s always been my dream to watch an accident happen. I haven’t been able to manage it yet. Not that I haven’t tried.

So far, I’ve only seen what any of you have seen. And don’t lie – I know you always slow down when you pass the site of an accident. I’ve just seen a lot more of them, because I take an interest.

The first one I saw, back when I was thirteen or so, was a lot of fun. A woman had been run over by a bus while crossing the road at the streetcorner. She’d been talking on the phone. My best friend for the week came and told me what had happened, and we ran over to take a look. The phone was lying on the far side of the road, miraculously intact. I was around twenty feet away from the place where the accident had taken place, and I stepped on something. It was a bit of brain. It’s a wonder how the head pops when you put pressure on it.

My dad was having tea at the cornershop as usual, and he said these things happened a lot around there. I think that’s when my addiction to tea began.

But they never happen while I’m there. I always hear it from someone and then run over.

I sometimes go to the streetcorner in the middle of the night and put nails on the road. But the cleaners always get rid of them before morning. I tried to go at the crack of dawn, but there are always people around.

The tea-shop owner admires how early a riser I am. I get a cup of tea and settle in with the morning paper. Dad joins me around 8. I pass him the morning paper, always commenting that I love how the city slowly comes alive. Dad’s there more for the gossip. But I think he knows what I’m there for, and I don’t think he wants to miss it either.