Wednesday, January 18, 2012


My first exposure to this class of animalia came in the form of an ancient iron bullfrog with a maroon rubber gasket and an orange hole installed in his posterior.

After screwing the shiny brass end of a long green garden hose into his sphincter, my grandmother carried him around the corner of the house, and dumped him about 10 yards from her bed of white-purple-pink pansies on the front lawn. Then she returned to the spigot. My brother and I sweated expectantly on our naked haunches—ready to spring on her sprinkler at a moment’s notice. I noticed my brother’s back was striped with shadows. To the vultures on the telephone wires, we must have looked like tigers crouching in the grass.

Heaven only knows what the frog was thinking. He stared straight ahead, as if he had other, more pressing matters than tigers on his mind: namely, the location of my grandmother. Instead of blasting his entrails across the street—as an inept poet would do—leaving frog intestines hanging from the audience’s unfortunate faces—with one vigorous twist of her fist, my grandmother forced this fossil of the 1950s to cough up his rusty guts and resume spitting rainbows across creation.

Greedy children that we were, I suppose you could say that Kyle and I wrestled for the sky that day, dividing the rainbows between us, sousing each other with laughter. We left our grandmother’s thirsty flowers safely unmolested: behind the shallow ditches that marked their borders—their beds—immersed in nutritious mud.

It was an ingenious lesson in pleasure—one that I never forgot—and one that I will deliver to a few spaced-out friends in the dungeon of a sexclub in the Meat-Packing District in the not-so-distant future: where pansies are still almost entirely dependent on hoses and the kindness of a few quirky old ladies for care.


Vincent said...

This made me smile... hugely!...and wish I had a brother, and recall how much I miss my Gran..x

Eric Norris said...

You know, having a brother is pretty cool. So is having a Gran. Both of my grandmothers died in the last couple of years.

I am so glad you liked the piece. I am still tinkering with it. The smile was what I was going for!