We moved the egg to the bedroom hoping it would hatch more quickly in there. A farmer or something had told us once that the temperature bubble you get in a warm, occupied marriage bed was perfect for this kind of thing. We’d been dreaming for months about what might be inside—an orange, a moon, another egg.
The egg hatched during the very first night in our bed, which made us feel exceptional. And when we pulled back the covers in the morning, we found these two little rust-colored frogs, adorable things with ethereal smiling eyes, worming around under our comforter, looking for love. By evening, though, the frogs had become a pile of uninvited avocados and by the next morning, the pile of uninvited avocados had become the eternal darkness. We hoped that the darkness might, in turn, become something else, a nice baked Alaska, perhaps, but unfortunately, that did not happen.
The eternal darkness lived in our bedroom, which was fine. We did not mind that so much. Our house was big enough to share with anyone, and so we adapted. Bedtime became strange but sort of fun. We groped around like lobsters, climbing over one another, giggling at the outside world, our trust, a pathological thing.
We liked the way the eternal darkness spoke its truth loudly, without fancy words. It was pure like that. We liked seeing how it got a rise out of our parents and our church friends, how it made them uneasy when we invited them over to gaze into its depths. And then when our parents and our church friends refused to visit us, we sort of liked that too. The eternal darkness in our bedroom made us feel we were once again young and careless and edgy.
Soon however, the darkness began to spread. It took over the powder room and the master bath and the hallway and the guest bedroom, until one day, after work, we discovered it had taken over the entire upstairs of our house. It was there, sort of hovering above the third landing, smiling at us confidently. Well, that was fine, you said. We always sort of wanted a ranch house anyway.
What ever happened to those adorable frogs? you asked me one day. They were so tiny, you said. I don’t know, I said. I never imagined it would end up like this, you said. I said; why does everything have to be so hard?
When the eternal darkness moved into the kitchen, it inhabited our food, and so the darkness found a pathway into our bodies. It discovered that we were good real estate—we were more spacious than we looked, and so the darkness packed its bags and migrated into our secret places—bloating us, making us unrecognizable even to each other, but we’d come this far together, we said. And we could imagine the smug faces of our church friends and our parents if we came crawling back, if we admitted we’d made a mistake.
And even though the darkness was only inside of us now, the lights in our bedroom seemed to have gone dim, our voices seemed to have gone distant. Whatever happened to those frogs? You asked me, wistfully, one night as we were preparing for bed. I was about to tell you I didn’t know, but instead, I opened my mouth and showed you what happened.