Ponderings of life dropped in the gap separating my emotional and chronological ages.

Location: Comox Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Monday, October 02, 2006

My Old Toad

My old toad tastes of salt and fresh air after early morning bike rides. In the evenings, his skin is cool, reclined beside me on top of the bed, together unraveling riddles layered inside crossword puzzles.

On the chin of his oval face there’s a curious bump which is bigger than a wart, not discoloured like a mole and firm to the touch so it can’t be pushed into the skin to vanish even for a moment. It’s a mysterious pebble taken from a beach and treasured as a gem is in a child’s secret tin box. There are contour lines between the tangle of eyebrows and high cheekbones which bring you to the heights of his rich, dark, almond eyes. Moving and shifting with every expression and every emotion, they can be like molten lava folding over granite or water dancing in sunlight in a woodland stream. Ridges form like parentheses around his mouth and chin and like an aside in a sentence, they lead me to secret conspiracies and inside jokes.

My old toad has persistent warts that withstand his constant efforts to either annihilate or conceal them. Under his direct assaults they slip from the surface for a short time then re-emerge elsewhere like guerilla fighters in the forests of hair that cover his legs and arms. His strong hands and thick fingers have patterns of lines, x’s and y’s enveloping them like residual math equations haunting a classroom chalkboard. And the textured linen of the skin covering his chest and shoulders has shanties woven into it’s pattern, all taken from thousands and thousands of nautical miles in the salt and sun of the sea.

My old toad also has the scars of a warrior: inky dots tattooed on three sides of his hips which technicians used as laser beam targets to assault and kill his mutinous prostate. It was a battle lost, but a war won and he lives on, ten years afterward.

My old toad is the cover on the book I call my husband.


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