Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Saturday, July 7, 2007



I encountered a toad in the dark, on the pathway of the apartment complex, waiting patiently for his one true love.

I did not know that right away, though. Before I knew anything at all about him, I conversed with him.

“mr. toad, what are you doing in the middle of the walkway in the dark where anyone who is not looking down might step on you.”

Mr. Toad gruffly replied, “’Tis a small price to pay, being stepped on, for all this warmth. Concrete holds so much heat in the night. It warms my cold blood like a hot stone. Until I can find my one, true love, I won’t have any other heat this cool night.”

“But, why not find a stone?” I said, “This is a dangerous place, with stiletto heels and dogs that have spent long hours cooped up in small apartments.”

“Ah,” said Mr. Toad, “That is exactly what I am doing right precisely here. You see, if a woman finds me and kisses me, I turn into an accountant.* As for the dogs, they might love me in their way. If a dog kisses me, I become an angel. An angel is a far better thing to be than a lonely toad.”

I agreed with the toad. I asked to take his picture. I told him I’d put it on the internet where all sorts of women and dogs might see him and fall in love.

*Upon kissing: frogs turn into princes; toads turn into accountants; snakes turn into thieves; lizards turn into insurance agents; rats turn into trash collectors; dogs turn into soldiers; cats, of course, turn into nothing at all for what else could they possibly desire to be?

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