A few of us were practicing at The Room, which was a bit warm early in the evening, so we opened the door which leads into the back garden. Later on, the evening cooled, Anthony left, and the door was closed again and locked.
In a pause towards the end, just before we packed up, as I was coming out of an embrace, I saw that there was something on the floor over there, something very small and dark, a strange little shape with horns.
A snail had walked in to join us.
Puzzlement from my partner and others.
What can she mean?
Is this some sort of coded feedback?
A little garden snail, helix aspersa I suppose. It was walking smoothly across the floor as snails walk, in a straight line, towards the music. I don't know why it wanted to come in; the floor is smooth, but brightly-lit and dry, and hardly seemed like a good place for a snail. A very beautiful little creature, so out-of-context, waving its horns and leaving a shiny trail.
“Love's feeling is more soft, and sensible,
than are the tender horns of cockled snails ...”
Holding its shell - its, and his, and hers, since all snails are both male and female - I gently peeled the creature from the floor, and it withdrew inside.
I couldn't get the back door open again - it had one of those high-security locks. By the time I reached the front door, the snail had reappeared and allowed me to see its curious textures and elegant apparatus for walking. I only touched the shell, as I thought our skins might be bad for each other. I put it behind a wheelie bin, where it was dark and damp.