2011-08-24 / Musings

Double Play

“Don’t kiss any frogs. We have enough princes.” — Pogo

“Can there be misery loftier than mine? No doubt... The bigger a man is the fuller he is. And the emptier... What dreams! Those forests!” — Hamm in “Endgame” by Samuel Beckett

In baseball a double play is a continuous gaming action that results in two outs. The slang term for this kind of sporting event is “turning two.”

When I have been present at such a gaming event, I have found myself dreaming. The invitation to such time out might have come thus, in the form of a peal of thunder. Then there might have been the counterpoint of water drops, coming from their more ephemeral cloud source and falling onto earthy materials harder than themselves. Some might see sun, but for this one that would be heat with an apophatic brightness.

This particular dream setting is an advanced high school biology class. Preparations are under way for a mass frog vivisection. There is one frog for each student. The instructions given call first for the precise pith, the severing of brain and spinal cord. Still. The body now secure for the central incision and the peeling back of the skin.

For many of my friends in class this proved to be an impossible assignment. The Cartesian notion that animals do not feel pain was in place. But, nevertheless, it was like touching vomitus or other unnameable body excretions. Screwed up noses and sounds of disgust turned into talk about who’s on first or kissing or cars, the talk of cool disinterest disguising libido disguising fear disguising.

Imbued with a dauntless, investigative spirit, I go from frog to frog making the proper expository incisions. I keep my eyes peeled.

My looking does not go unrewarded. I move from frog to frog, seeing each one with heart still aflutter.

I look at the anatomical chart, the text frog map. The vision comes into sharper focus with each observation, with each comparison.

I see: The innards of each frog are as unique as the faces of my friends. And each organ display no more matches the anatomical chart than my friends’ faces match a smiley face symbol.

Time stops. The world whirled in stillness, and there was a knowing that something had changed, irrevocably.

“Look at this. Look at that.” Running around the room of baseballs and breasts and boredom I try to get others to see what I see. No one was too interested. Some were polite. Some snickered. Then I tried to tell the teacher. She didn’t get it either. “Thanks for helping your friends.”

The excitement turned to lonely sadness, to tears hidden, too deep and too afraid to materialize.

And at the game I indulged this feeling, basting it with superiority, bashing it with anger, freezing it with contempt. The memory played.

And in this playing a new symphony emerged. A dissonance, searing, screaming. The unseen me sees the frogs splayed open by my hand. Each one mother and child, egg and sperm. Each one from the double play amplexus squeezing of nuptial pads. Frog sex. Bliss and compulsion.

And thus laid out they sang old songs, like the singing of slaves who built the pyramids and kidnapped Africans and encamped Jews and slaughtered Tibetans. On and on, sacred dirge and effete counterpoint and childish singsong rounds. An aural hall of mirrors.

And I, in the middle of the dream, song and singer and serenaded, keep eyes peeled.

Who’s on first? You’re out. Squeeze play. Going into extra innings. Home run. Endgame. ¦

— Rx is the FloridaWeekly muse who hopes to inspire profound mutiny in all those who care to read. Our Rx may be wearing a pirate cloak of invisibility, but emanating from within this shadow is hope that readers will feel free to respond. Who knows: You may even inspire the muse. Make contact if you dare.

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