Table Five: Joseph Suglia

You look at her. The young woman sits down. She is sitting on the road, rubbing the stem of a white rose between the thumb and the index finger of her right hand. The corolla of the rose rotates in a fast circle. Now she is thumbing the white petals of the rose. She looks blankly ahead, as if through you, as if you were made of Saran Wrap.

A Thai restaurant is burning to the ground. Frogs and toads are leaping through the air. The frogs and the toads are leaping through the broken window of the Thai restaurant. The window next to the broken window implodes from the heat.

The frogs and the toads are jumping through the imploded window.

A tall middle-aged man in a brown suit is tugging a bagful of frogs across the street. The frogs in the bag are mobile. Jaunty.

He is dragging the bag of mobile frogs into a daycare center.

In the fountain, beside the daycare center, the frogs are swimming. The frogs are hopping into the fountain beside the daycare center. They look like fat vacationers diving into a swimming pool.

Two young boys, dressed in yellow jumpsuits, are snapping pictures of the frogs with their iPhones.

You look at the young woman again. Now, she is standing. She is walking slowly, meditatively. You follow the young woman down Clark Street. She is a well-tanned young woman. Her skin golden or goldenized, she resembles Phryne, that famous lady of ancient Greece. You journey southward. She is before you—you are one hundred feet behind her.

All around the young woman are running people, screaming people, hopping frogs, and twirling dandelions. Thumping and thudding around her legs, an army of frogs surrounds her as she walks. There are many frogs, and the frogs seem to be multiplying. The young woman is indifferent to the frogs.

An old woman is sitting silently on the pavement before the entrance of the Crate and Barrel. A puddle of water laps at her purple dress. Leaping and hopping, a frog falls into her lap. She pets the frog with a loose and absent hand.

You are wafting past the Crate and Barrel, trailing the young woman. She turns her head to the left and to the right. You look at her strawberry-blonde hair, which is done up in a ponytail.

You glance through the window of the Crate and Barrel as you walk. Leaping frogs are leaping into the washing machines and racing into the laundry machines, frogs are hopping into the white ovens, frogs and toads are circling and tumbling in the hollows of the dryers.

The young woman is walking past a bank now. Above her head, the digital clock of the bank is blinking idiotically—054114, 410514, 411450. The digital clock no longer tells the time. The numbers are senselessly flickering on the clock-screen.

See the toads on the pavement, shooting their long tongues. You hear the croaking of the toads.

Copyright 2014 by Joseph Suglia


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