Hugh Fulham-McQuillan

Rigor Terra


By Hugh Fulham-McQuillan.

Now see the riverrunning through the city to the sea, just ahead of me. I cannot compete with its easy flow: the wind fights my every pedal. I remember watching a video of Dublin, circa 1970, on the internet. The city looks unusual at first and then you realise why, it is that bicycles outnumber cars. The early, middle, and latter aged of the population can be seen in various uniforms atop their bicycles, enchained between their two wheels without knowing it. The wind, though invisible, reveals itself by its cruel humour: a lifted hat landing before a bus, the flippant hem of an otherwise modest dress, a drooping coat tail about to catch in that office worker’s back spokes. Having no mass it defeats us before we can put on our armour, before we have slid inside our underarmour. Those same bicycles now rot in forgotten sheds, beneath towering mounds of household waste. They have been transformed. They are flaking rust, torn leather, burnt rubber.