He would give them the cream pie and say, “Hit me.” They would pause, he repeated, “hit me.” And they would hit him. While the cream pie was still dripping from his face, he would say, “here is the…
Whenever I imagine changing the trajectory of my life, I mull over this story and worry if I’ll truly be able to.
One day, I am sitting there in the swamp and I am the frog. I am YAAAAAWN-ing and stretching and eating my flies, when all of a sudden, some bored girl comes and SMOOCHES me on the forehead.
I can’t explain why, but my little arms grow long and strong, and my repellant face is now handsome and youthful and refined. Where once I had the grossest, stubbiest toes, now my feet certainly belong in tights and slippers. Look at my elegant legs, and my gorgeous hair. I am a prince!
And my God, my challenging God. It appears that this mysterious kissy girl likes me! I have done nothing at all, but she is pulling my hand and off I am to her palace, the most gorgeous of places. She fancies me, and thus I get to lead the fanciest life. No, I didn’t do anything but — to tell you the truth — I sort of feel like I deserve all of this.
I am there and the King likes me and the Queen likes me and the servants rejoice and that’s pretty much the story.
At what point do I admit to myself that there’s no freaking way it’s going to work out? During which etiquette lesson will I end up losing it? Because every morning, I wake up in a panic. I am terrified to look at my hands and see webbed fingers. I am horrified that whenever I hiccup, it’ll be my long tongue again slipping out.
And so I constantly need reassurance that I’m beautiful. Because sometimes, I will stare in the mirror and I will deceive myself into seeing frog-like features on my princely face. Under the right light, my little nose will look monstrously snout-ish. And my teeth will look too small and squishy.
And whenever someone dares bring up something aquatic — oh! I can’t help it! I can’t! I stomp my princely feet in agitation! People and their metaphors! I hear, “Give a man a fish,” and all I feel is a strong jab at my side. The chef says we’re having duck with red cabbage and madeira gravy and my mind is not thinking about the shallots at all. At all. I am thinking that everyone at the table is slyly snickering at me.
Oh! All day, all day I think about living up to this standard. Be a prince. Be a prince! And all day, I am constantly thinking of how I’m not.
Oh! For better or worse, I will always be the frog. I know this is true, I know it is! And thus I will make it so. Yes, I will go back to my swamp, slippers and tights. So be it!
And if my tongue remains this delicate four-inch length…well that is plenty long enough for me to enjoy my flies — the only snack I have ever been truly satisfied with.
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