Friday, September 21, 2012
I liked the ring of a "Texas Toad Strangler," the sudden heavy downpours that fill the gutters past their banks and, at their worst, make the view from car windows resemble the sloshing sheeting frenzied view hitting hard against the windows in a car wash. I liked the color of the expression, its quirky regionalism. I liked it a lot more before I started meeting the toads. What they do during the day I don't know, but I can't take an evening walk without a jerk of movement in the grass snagging at my peripheral vision. They seem always to be in the devil's strip, seem always to be heading toward the curb and the asphalt still not cool even though the sun's gone down. I always, pointlessly, try to council them back into the grass, even though I always imagine the sharp blades of it must be rough and uncomfortable and prodding against the toad's soft belly. They are unmoved by my concern, respond only to the towering of my figure suddenly stopped and bent over at them. And they bound in perfect arcs, punctuated by the sound of body against grass, until the sound is the softer noise of body against street.