In the infinite darkness of suburbia, an asphalt-hopping frog defies death to cross the road. I see it in a flash of headlight that hits it midway before it reaches the other side.
I brake to prevent from flattening it, guided by a lingering empathy from the 80s. I regret killing its countless cartoon compadres while playing the Frogger.
Caught in the intractable glare of my high beams, the frog hesitates, immobilized by the sudden iridescent light, an anomaly at night.
The frog’s confusion is evident in its inertia, a fleshy bull’s-eye sitting in the center of the road. I wait, stuck in the shuddering restraint of a two-ton idling car while checking the rearview mirror for oncoming lights.
With the weight of my shoe firmly planted on the brake, I allow patience to temper my inclination to pivot toward the gas.
“Okay, frog. I can spare a minute or two as long as it’s just me and you.” I sigh and then revisit the empty darkness of the rearview mirror.
“Frog, as long as I’m safe, you’re safe.”
I give the frog a moment to ponder the outcome of its inaction and hope the word, “Splat” comes to mind.
Meanwhile, I lower the headlights, thinking it might jump-start the amphibian brain.
Only seconds pass before the frog inches forward toward the grassy knoll on the other side.
“Finally, I won a game of Frogger. It only took me thirty years.” I smile from the pale reminder of a youthful memory, brighten the headlights and drive.