My phone beeped at me to tell me that it was fully charged. I picked it up, scrolled through my contacts looking for Glenda, and found her right above Frog-Man. My eye twitched at the sight of his name; an alias, of course, borrowed from a superhero who didn’t have much of an origin story or any superpowers to speak of apart from the electric leaping coils in the feet of his frog suit and his knack for being lucky. Frog-Man could never get his leaping coils to launch him in the right direction, but his good luck ensured that he would ricochet off a series of random objects before blindsiding his opponent with one or more of his flailing limbs. Frog-Man was used by the comic book editors to inject a bit of slapstick humour into the bleak metanarratives of the real superheroes. He was a chump.
Frog-Man the drug dealer was the complete antithesis of Frog-Man the not-so-super superhero, and I couldn’t help finding the aggression of this irony disturbing. He was as agile as he was severe, and he was ripped from head to toe. Literally, you could see the muscles move in his face when he talked, and I’m sure it was the same with his feet when he walked. He did not resemble a frog in any way at all, except for his eyes. They weren’t overly big or widely spaced, but they had that unblinking, all-seeing quality to them. For instance, he never looked directly at you when talking to you, yet you got the feeling that he was reading you like a book. He seemed to be two steps ahead of everyone at all times, including the cops, who were never able to bust him. Maybe this came down to good luck, which would, of course, explain his choice of alias. If he was indeed benefitting from the superpower of good luck, then that probably explains why he could get what no other drug dealer could get. “Whatever you want, when you want it,” was his personal tagline. And the quality was peerless, which is why I ingratiated myself to him in the first place. Well, that and the fact that he could hold conversations on wide-ranging subject matter; from Anarchism to Zoroastrianism.
The only thing that made Frog-Man the drug dealer a supervillain, rather than a superhero, was his mile-wide sadistic streak. If you were ignorant enough to incur a large debt with him, then you incurred a large risk as well. Your day to day existence became precarious because he could call it in at anytime, and if that happened when you didn’t have the money to pay him, then your outlook became grim. You were constantly looking over your shoulder when you left your house, because his first move was to send out his “monkeys” to keep tabs on you. If you didn’t leave your house, then you locked your doors, closed your curtains, turned off your phone, and all your lights. He could have easily ordered his monkeys to do all the kneecap and finger breaking, but usually he did it himself; relishing the chance to admonish his insolvent clients. I understood this, and that’s why my name never made it into the pages of his black book, which earned me his trust and the dubious distinction of being his delivery driver. He even granted me the privilege of delivering things to his girlfriend, an agoraphobic. I was always picking things up for her and bringing them back to their posh apartment. She was a real sweetheart. They could not have been more different.