The frog that crossed the sky

I believe that no one has simply had the courage to dive into the thicket and find out whether God is male or female, and I believe that beliefs are too serious a thing to be taken seriously. Winter has become a form of nostalgia. When a civilization is smashed something is crushed too in a grain of sand. Wind is the only part of the landscape companionable enough to travel with me. A sign in the dining hall the other day encouraging everyone to eat mushrooms enticed by listing all the delicious metals they contain. Walks on the street are replies. I stand between two cultures the way the Great Wall does. My dream is to climb inside a vase, protected forever by the sanctity of pretension.

I was not protected at all when I tried to fly into Denver yesterday in the face of exceedingly quarrelsome weather. The wind had filled the sky past the breaking point and broke forth in incessant heaves and blows. It kicked up so much dust on the ground that the whole plain looked on fire and smoking. For a target as wide as the earth the ground nonetheless seemed as elusive and coy a target as a minnow, as the plane lurched and danced and jerked back like a drunk trying to lunge in for a kiss on a reluctant date. There was an abortive attempt to go to Cheyenne to refuel; apparently the pilots ultimately decided, as I did, that braving the cyclone and the whirlwind still beats Wyoming. After twenty more minutes of buckling and disputation with the elements the plane headed to Colorado Springs. I wondered whether the situation would really be better there since it’s only like 70 miles away, but a sort of magic pall descended as we approached. I suspect, after all, that God favors Colorado Springs more than other cities. Though I might have reconsidered the in retrospect perhaps ill-advised decision to wear my “Jesus is my health insurance” shirt had I known we were going there. We eventually got back to Denver not too much behind schedule, though not before the airline people had given themselves the chance to make and break numerous silly promises. They kept saying everything would take 10 minutes: 10 minutes to land, 10 minutes to make it to Cheyenne, 10 minutes to Colorado Springs, 10 minutes to refuel on the ground. 10 minutes must be the airline version of the Five Year Plan: not so much a specific temporal prediction as a vision of a golden time in the near future when all good things will come true. If only I could get an airline to predict that I have 10 minutes to live I would be greatly reassured about my health and longevity.

2 Responses to “The frog that crossed the sky”

  1. Andy Says:

    Well put, Curt! Glad to see the story made it on the blog.

  2. Curt Says:

    Thanks, you can also be my witness that I didn’t just make that up.

Leave a Reply

If your comment doesn't appear right away, it was probably eaten by our spam-killing bot. If your comment was not, in fact, spam (and if you're actually reading this, it probably wasn't), please send me an email and I'll try to extricate your comment from our electronic spam purgatory.