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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Frog and Toad are Friends 1

Babe Snake rushes across the wash to Toad’s. “Lock this behind me,” she'd said to her eldest child, zipping her boots with the door open to the first smear of sunrise. Then took off with a jar of coffee in her hand. The wind is up, but they’ve had a late winter rain, so the sand isn’t kicking. She can squint across the creosote and trash to Toad’s little ship-a-sea house. It’s got a proper bow with a mermaid figurehead and a mast at the top of which is a crow’s nest where they stash anything they really don’t want scavenged. Frog was due back two days ago, but his little encampment higher up the ridge sits dark and empty. Frog and Toad are friends. Babe relies on them for work, for talk. Frog’s hands shake. He used to build machines. He was in Make Do when Babe was in Big Think, but neither of them mentions it. Frog makes noise, now. Pedals, boards full of switches, cords. Babe thinks of his hands, measuring out the coffee, adding the cream, slowly so that the shaking becomes part of the process. She imagines Toad has been up pacing the deck. She scans for him, narrow, tall, like a Giacometti leaning the way he does. Her heart thuds awkwardly and she wonders what use it is in the body, shouting the names of problems one already knows.

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