This may seem insignificant, but it is a part of our daily life, so I thought I would share. We have a tiny tenant who has been living with us since we moved into our house. He is a lizard called Frank. We call him Frank because when I was growing up in Togo, my family used to call all the lizards in our house Frank. We had a lot of them. Julie and I decided pretty quickly that we should name our lizard as well, and tried to think of different names, but we always came back to Frank. “Why fight it?” we asked ourselves. A fitting tribute. Plus, the more we have gotten to know him (her?) the more the name Frank seems to fit.

This Frank is different from the Franks of my childhood, however. He doesn’t actually live in our house. He is an outdoor-Frank, he lives in the yard. I don’t know what he does all day (judging by what he does all night, probably not much other than sit around and be cute), but I do know this: he spends his nights on the screen of our bathroom window. Like clockwork, every evening he shows up in the exact same spot. The cynical among you might ask, “How do you know that it is the same Frank that shows up every night and not some other Frank?”

We know Frank, ok. It is him (her?).

The thing is, Frank has been living here for as long as we have. Arguably longer. So we can tell the difference between him and the other little guys. That’s how much we know Frank. We recognize his slouch when he starts to nod off. Picture someone riding next to you on the bus. They read for a while, but then fall asleep. Their head inches slowly towards your shoulder until finally, contact is made. Now you are pinned, trapped. Thankfully, you hit a bump or something and they wake up with a start, mutter an apology and stare awkwardly out the window. You both try to ignore the drool on your sleeve. That is Frank.

Sometimes when I get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I give Frank a scare. When I flip on the light switch, he jerks so suddenly that I am afraid he is going to fall off the screen. He never falls. That is Frank.

I guess it could be a little creepy, having someone (ok a lizard) hanging out in your bathroom window all the time. Frank could easily look down into our shower, for example. He could rob us of all privacy. But he doesn’t. He never looks in. I am not sure he physically can (see the picture), but that is not the point. He doesn’t. That is Frank.

First thing in the morning, I go into the bathroom to brush my teeth, and Frank is always gone. He gets an early start. No matter how early I wake up, he beats me. That is Frank. It is always a little sad when I look up in the morning and see the sun starting to come through the Frank-less window. Julie is pretty attached to him. Ok, so am I. I worry. There is no guarantee that he will be back. There is nothing keeping him from going out and exploring. After all, it’s a big world out there, full of bathroom window screens. But every evening, just as the sun is setting, he is there again. In his spot. That is Frank.

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10 Responses to Frank

  1. Irma says:

    Your Frank – is my Alfie in Switzerland 🙂 A black and white cat who lives in the yard outside our window…I have no idea who owns him, but I have seen him almost everyday since I moved here in August, and yes, I would know him anywhere 🙂 ❤

    Greetings from Alfie to Frank 😀

  2. Mark says:

    Frankly, I liked this post a lot!

  3. yael says:

    Perhaps it’s not really a coincidence that the coolest Disney character is a lizard named Frank…

  4. tamirann says:

    Nice to meet Frank . Now I think you should get a dog . Not a cat or Frank will be in real danger . 🙂

  5. Liz Kopp says:

    Awww….Frankie! One of the many things I miss about your house in Niamey! He’s right up there with the world’s best freshly baked croissants next door and your ice coffees!

  6. Ben says:

    I know you KNOW Frank and all but I think you should spray him with something like spray-paint, although that could be toxic, maybe surprise him with some food coloring from a spray bottle just so you can tell keep track of him. I’m sure the bugs attracted to the light coming from your house will be a big enough draw that it wouldn’t scare him off for good. Bonnie had a lizard-friend that slept in her ceiling but he was MUCH smaller than Frank.

  7. Sarah Owen says:

    Enjoyed this story! My middle daughter used to have a pet gecko that rode on her shoulder around her home.

  8. Savannah Fields says:

    I love this post! Lizards in windows is one of my favorite things. I hope get to meet Frank one day. Sophia and I spend hours rescuing lizards from the dangers near our house, be it cats, the cleaning lady, or a chemical we were on constant duty! Funny how attached one can get to their little window buddies huh 🙂 Saludas a Frank!

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