Frog Music

better keep your mouth shut and seem stupid than open it and remove all doubt.

Happiness as un-pin-downable as a louse: you feel the tickle of its passage but your fingers close on nothing.

If you're sorry, folks can tell. No use piling on the verbiage.

I'm just preparing the way, just like John the Baptist for Our Lord.

It occurs to Blanche that English doesn't have French's useful distinction between libre, meaning that something's unconstrained, and gratuit, meaning that it costs nothing. Free thought, free speech, free love: the English word that Arthur was so fond of obscures the price of things.

Unknown Assassin, says the headline. Blanche skips over the details she already knows. How bizarre to see what she lived through last night turned into an item tucked between stock prices and Crazy Horse whupping the army at Little Bighorn.

Jenny wouldn't be dead if she'd never crashed into Blanche on Kearny Street. P'tit wouldn't exist if Blanche had never met Arthur. Facts as hard as rocks, and Blanche has to pick her way among them, find her balance, with an acrobat's cocky smile.

Men never feel quite the same about a woman's body once they know it's done that thing: widened and torn to push out a baby's head.

People have no idea of the things that don't happen to them—the lives they're not living, the deaths stalking them—and thank Christ for that. Hard enough to get through each day without glimpsing all the hovering possibilities, like insects thickening the air.

Same old notes, Blanche thinks at one point, but arranged into unfamiliar music.

she feels that surge of warmth, and this time she remembers what it means: not love but piss. Or the love that's mixed with piss and can't be separated from it.

She wants to slap everyone today, to pick up the whole sweat-slick City and punch its lights out.

[She] was easy to enjoy but hard to know.

[She] was easy to enjoy but hard to know.”
...
“It’s unbearable, the not knowing.

Well, they don’t make their music just to pass the time,” says Jenny, grinning. “Got to want something to sing about it, no?