Thursday, Mar. 24, 2005, 1:00 AM

Rock Operas, Amphibians, School Loans and other notes



I have decided today that my life story should be composed and presented in the form of a Rock Opera, and that the creation of such should begin post haste.

Last month I paid of the last of my school loans.

I was dating a girl (imagine that) when I bought my first truck. She lived an hour away, and it was Spring, and it was just after dark when I called her to ask if she would like to see my new truck. So I drove out and picked her up and we drove and drove through the evening over the mountain roads thick with deer, and through the valleys awash in fog.

At one point we rounded a bend to find an opossum in the middle of the road, obviously the victim of some trauma, probably hit by a car. The creature looked at us with its reflective eyes bright in the headlights, its yellow-white fur damp with the fog and dew, and blood lining its teeth and dripping from its mouth. I realize that the opossum was only about the size of a football, but it was a rather gruesome sight, and managed to unnerve us for a while after.

Eventually the shock of opossum encounter faded, as did the cloud cover and our trip was accompanied by the light of the gibbous Moon. And as we hurtled down the road my girlfriend was surprised when I suddenly braked and pulled to the side of the road, threw open the door, and yelled “We have to save him” as I ran back into the road. When I returned my girl was standing in front of the truck, the light from the headlights radiating from her blonde hair and fair skin, with a look of concern. She asked what was so important and I told her to hold out her hand where I deposited the chubby toad that I had rescued moments before from the street. She almost dropped the little guy as she squealed and informed me that she had never held a toad before. For a girl who spent her time traipsing to parties in fields around bonfires, and who lived only miles from one of the most active Bigfoot sighting valleys in the Northeast, I was surprised that she had never held a toad. It didn’t take long before the little guy, in an act of defense, peed all over her hands, but by that time she had already grown fond enough to gently stroke his back and refer to him as “little guy” in the tone of voice reserved for children and small animals.

The toad was released on the bank of a nearby stream situated well away from the road. The girl was released to the lawn of her parent’s house and I returned home as the Eastern sky pinked with the first rays of morning.