This story begins, like all bad stories do, with thoughts of suicide. The spring that would see a tadpole hatch from the head of my penis began with me being sent home three times for what my guidance counselor called "deliberately neglecting hygiene to the point of being misanthropic". I folded the counselor’s note into the pocket of my jean shorts with the delicate formality of one who knows that there is only one possible recourse.
Constantly ridiculed by my classmates, ignored by my parents, I decided that afternoon to end it all. In the woods behind my house there is a small pond filled with fish I’ve never tried to catch. I had secreted away my father’s shotgun, wrapped it in my leather trenchcoat, and I stood on the creaking edge of a sun drenched dock, looking out over the pond and noticing a raccoon’s carcass floating about ten feet away. Its limbs and tail are stretched out and it is turning with the stately slowness of a gray and bloated snowflake, yellow lava lamp pollen collecting around its fingertips. I turned around, my toes away from the pond, in the hopes that the blast will make my body collapse back into the water where I’ll float face up, me and the raccoon, our corpses crisscrossing the surface of the pond and sometimes touching, only to bounce off one another and float away again, an obscene screensaver that will keep the pond from burning its ugliness onto the monitor of God.
I sat at the end of a dilapidated bench and rasped the twin barrels underneath my stubbled, doubled chins, holding the barrel in my left hand while trying to lift my right toe into the trigger guard, as I don’t have the strength to even come close to crossing my thighs under my own leg power. Finally, as I am about to press down and make my brains rain across the pond’s scummy surface, the dock’s rotted railing gives way and I fell backwards into the water, but not before the gun goes off a foot to the side of my face, disorienting me even more as I fall backward into the muddy water.
For years our neighbor dumped his Christmas trees into the pond in an attempt to make a better habitat for the fish, and the first thing my head hit was the protruding trunk of the beginning of a Christmas tree reef, and I blacked out. I don’t know how long I was out, not long enough to drown, and when I came to I was half out of the pond, my lower half covered to the waist in muck. Inexplicably, suicide was now the furthest thing from my mind, and I was not even upset about my latest in a long string of failures—the failure to kill myself. Rather, I felt totally rejuvenated, like Wilford Brimley in Cocoon, only I wasn’t in better shape, because I was breathing pretty hard by the time I made it back to my house, the gun and my coat forgotten. My parents didn’t even notice anything different when I came in, they just go back to watching a show about that parasitic worm that burrows under your eyeball. Apparently they are fascinated by the idea of a repugnant creature totally dependent on latching on to another life form for survival. Whatever, I grabbed a piece of pizza from the refrigerator and ran upstairs.
That night I slept the best I’ve ever had in my entire life. Deep, and dreamless, unhindered by my apnea, I slept like a big gay baby pressed into a wet mash of ashen Phoenix feathers which has been mixed with piss from Cerberus, after he had taken a three headed swig from Lethe, the Olympian river of oblivion. I slept well.
But in the morning I found out that I couldn’t pee, something was obstructing the flow. I had never had to strain to pee before, the pressure built up in the head of my dick until something popped out, waving angrily before darting back in. It was so sudden and small that I might have thought it a trick of the eyes, or poo poo I don’t know a twig or something jammed in there after I fell in the pond. I would grow to learn that this snippet of wriggling obsidian was in fact a tadpole, its thin but wire tough tail soldered to someplace deep inside my urethra. Well, relatively deep. For my penis. Like an inch in.
I would keep catching glimpses of the tadpole whenever I urinated. It was maddeningly fast and would resist my trying to pinch and pull it out, slipping out from fingers or tweezers or my mom’s eyelash curler that I used to stand in front of the mirror and pretend was a phaser.
An Eyelash Curler
Sometimes I could almost see it crawling under my skin, like those scarabs in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns only instead of a mystical beetle it was a goddamn tadpole attached inside my urethra. Too ashamed and perplexed at my condition, I managed to delude myself into thinking the tadpole was just fatigue spots at the edge of my vision from the effort of looking over my gut. But like all tadpoles, it was in this one’s nature to metamorphose. And it took my penis along for the ride.
At first the changes were insidiously subtle. Four thin lines of slightly reddened skin began to creep out from the base of my shaft all the way to the head of my penis, each line equidistant from each other. Then the tip of my dick began to slowly split along those lines, like the end of a hotdog left too long in the microwave. I was more than a little concerned at this point, but couldn’t be bothered to go to the doctor. You understand. Raids and all.
But then one night in bed, with the sound of a cracking banana, the four side segments of my dick flowered open like an Octodog, the Frankfurter Converter ™, only mine was technically more of a Quaddog, with only the barest nub of unsplit dick left. And there, its throat thrumming benignly as it looked up into my eyes, its webbed hands perched upon both balls, was my serene bullfrog Buddha. Only the upper half of the frog is visible, the end of its pale belly and what would be the waist grows to a bottleneck that fits into the stub of my penis.
Now I’m a little freaked out, as it is doing that low throated warble and kind of moving back and forth, winking at random over wet, unsettling eyes, and making itself cozy at the base of my dick, and I tried to bash its head in with my alarm clock when I am seized by excruciating pain all the way through my body. This happens every time I’m about to hurt the frog in any way, whether it’s with safety scissors, slamming the bathroom door really fast, or trying to suffocate/crush it with the fat of my thighs. The frog is rooted to my nervous system and can anticipate my hatred, the point right before I attack, and fights back by crippling me with waves of pain and on one occasion, seizures, which were aggravated by the fact that during the seizure I was also laughing, having caught a glimpse of the frog rocketing about as my hips pistoned back and forth. The frog never tried that again, I think because even though I hadn’t physically hurt him, I did manage to wound his deep amphibian dignity.
I’m sure a lot of you have heard about how to boil a frog. Supposedly, (I’ve never had to boil one before) if you toss a frog into already boiling water, the frog will reflexively react and jump out right away. But if you put a frog into cold water and gradually boil it, the dumb animal won’t know that it’s being cooked until too late. You might have heard this analogized to global warming and obesity; you might also be a fat gently caress chomping frogs boiled over a tire fire. Whatever, the point is that putting the frog in something I know wouldn’t harm him right away would prevent him from causing me pain until it died. Well I didn’t have the balance to squat over a pot on the stove, so instead I constructed a sort of two part harness out of couch pillows, two where my knees would be and another two where my chest would be on the kitchen floor, with a hot plate and pot placed in between. I carefully scotch taped back the four sides of my frog flayed penis to my gut, inner thighs, and scrotum into a kind of sacred cock cross, making sure to have another piece of tape pulling my scrotum taut to taint.
I was still a little afraid of having the four split flesh of my ruined manhood scalded by boiling water, so I decided to get erect. I hadn’t been able to masturbate or even concentrate since the tadpole appeared, but I knew that if I got excited the frog would lower a few inches downward because of the increased blood flow. I couldn’t put my desktop on the floor in front of me, but it’d had been years since I had any hard copy pornography for reference. This is after all, a brave new era of electronic pornography, and the closest thing I had to anything resembling paper porn was a pull out poster of Joseph Michael Linsner’s Dawn from Wizard magazine. Naked, I laid the pullout on the floor and climbed onto the pillow harness, gently lowering the frog into the tepid water. It seemed unaware of any impending danger and almost pleased at finally being immersed in water, as opposed to suffering the weekly droughts between showers.
Joseph Michael Linsner’s Dawn
Man. I am backed up. The frog had made release impossible; it had been months since I’d even thought about sex. Now, half concentrating on Linsner’s curvaceous goddess crying three dead black tadpole tears across her soft cheek and down to her generous breasts, and half rejoicing in the thought of the dead frog withering off like the rotted stump of an infant umbilical and the subsequent resealing penis (I hoped), I began to get hornier than I ever thought possible. I got so hard that the frog dove all the way underwater, and I could feel it getting very agitated. As I neared climax the frog began writhing in the now steaming water. Maybe it had caught on to my plan. Maybe it was afraid of the prospect of having a couple million tadpoles inside it for a change. Whatever the reason, the frog went insane. The frog wasn’t hurting me yet, but began hitting its head back and forth against the sides of the pot, splashing hot water up onto my belly and consequently onto its back. And he knew then. God how he knew.
The funny thing about passing out from a greater pain before going completely limp and lowering your midsection and genitalia into a pot of boiling water is that you don’t know why you’re screaming when you wake up. When I finally stopped screaming, I didn’t even have to look down to know that the frog was still alive, and that something inside me had died in its place. His place. It’s a he. He told me so many half remembered things about himself as he was dying. From that point on I was completely controlled by the frog.
Things have been drastically different in the thrall of the frog. I dropped out of high school, ran away from home, and the frog found a place to rent from a guy we found on Craigslist. Rent is low as long as I let him “worship the frog” every couple weeks, and I told him that this isn’t one of those frogs that can give psychedelic effects, but he says that’s OK because the action is surreal enough in itself.
It was kind of humiliating at first, but then again the last time I had a head near my dick was when I was thirteen and walked down the wall to my own awaiting face, but my back spasmed and I kicked both feet up suddenly, my toenails tearing right through my Wolverine poster, which was totally cool because it looked like Wolverine did it himself.
The frog is always hungry. I bus tables and when I’m sure that at least the majority of the people around aren’t looking I stuff scraps down my pants to keep him sated. He can’t keep from eating. One time I was using the urinal (the pee goes under the frog) and a fly settled right on the handle. The frog tried to shoot his tongue out to catch it just as I was zipping up and the frog’s tongue got caught in the zipper. I winced in anticipated sympathetic pain but a lot of times now the frog shuts down or enhances processes in my body so I can better serve him, and he needed me to concentrate in order to extricate him. “Oh frog,” I joked as I ripped the zipper apart with a frog inspired rush of adrenaline, “sometimes you catch the fly, and sometimes the fly catches you.” The frog was not amused.
I, however, have lost a ton of weight, I feel stronger and about ten times healthier. I guess it’s just the vibrancy of the frog regulating my once sluggish metabolism. But I can tell the frog is preparing for a greater leap, a further metamorphosis. My mind works much faster now too. My room is stacked with books, I’m taking night classes to become an electrician, and I spend hours making flawless origami frogs that can be folded back into, yes, you guessed it, penises.
I should have never let him see that Crazy Frog commercial. I was lying on my back in the apartment, disgusted at how I wasn’t dreading my roommate’s arrival, watching The Great Outdoor Games on ESPN2, when that loving Crazy Frog commercial came on, the one where he’s wearing the old leather fighter pilot goggles and advertising a ringtone or something. Well the frog, my frog, went nuts. He was just beyond excited. Usually I gently grasp the tympanic membranes that lie on either side of his head between my thumb and forefinger and rub them slowly and coo Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” to him and he’ll calm down. But the frog would not be assuaged.
Tympanic Membranes are the circles, the male has the bigger ones.
My dreams are now of flying. Endless soaring. No frog. No genitals at all. Just the cool open air and a need to be above. One night I awake from one of these dreams to a low humming from underneath my sheets and a cool breeze flattening the hair of my thighs. I flicked on the light and there was the frog, eyes closed, concentrating, not paying me a bit of attention. Around him, the four segments of my penis were spinning at unbelievable speed, so fast that I was being lifted a few inches of the bed.
It only lasts a couple seconds and the frog hunches over, exhausted, but it isn’t long before the frog tries again, using his webbed right hand to spin the propeller that is my penis until some immeasurably strong muscle kicks in and I float for longer and longer intervals.
I know I’ll fly eventually. The frog’s will is so strong, so unyielding, it radiates through me, compelling and propelling. I think sometimes that I am not alone in this world, that there are millions of others out there like me, like us, and that one day the mighty air fleet of our flayed nation will rise up over our oppressors, those without a frog in their penises or a robotic diamond dolphin sprouting from their vaginas (I’m only guessing on this one ladies). And as the frog diligently sloughs skin cells from my wind chapped scrotum, chewing them into leather for his contact lens fighter goggles, I rejoice in the fact that finally, after all this time, something inside me has a plan.