This morning I went for a brisk walk around Town Lake with my new friend Caroline, who has friends named CeCe, and says things like, "oh, sugar," and is basically a walking Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Blond cropped hair, from Georgia, married to a Chef who mostly gives her her way, except when he doesn’t. "Then I’m just plain rotten, I swear," she tells me. I like Caroline. If she were fabric she’d be key-lime green gingham silk dupioni. We were set up on a double-blind date. A reader of mine suggested I meet her "painfully normal" friend, "even though you and I have never met, though I once was on a flight with you but too shy to say hello." So Caroline’s childhood friend (whom I’ve never met) set me up with Miss Caroline. And I’m thankful for it. When we first met, she said, "Well I could nearly kill my friend, setting me up with a perfect stranger. And I don’t do blind-dates, never have, but now I’m sure glad I did." Sugar, indeed.
"Oh, look," I say on our walk as we cross a hint of a bridge, "there are turtles in that pond."
"Oh who knows what all is in there."
But turtles are my sign. A sign of what? I don’t know, but I’ve been seeing a lot of them lately. Just last week I went to The County Line, a ribs place that reminds me of the Country Bear Jamboree at Disney. Old-fashioned signs, a porch out back on a creek filled with turtles and carp. Okay, so they’re not carp. Big fish, okay. Kids throwing handfuls of torn bread, mothers holding their children by their waists so they don’t teeter in. Sitting lakeside enjoying a cocktail, admiring the strung paper lanterns above, I felt almost as if someone smart-looking was going to ask me to dance, someone who used gel to slick his hair back, not spiked up. It felt very hoop-skirt. I liked that.
Today I’m sitting at Jo’s on South Congress (SoCo, not at all like SoHo), a coffee shop that makes its iced lattes with crushed ice! Love that! Outdoor seating is plentiful, and colorful to boot. Primary color lawn chairs, the smell of baked goods, and a string of people in flip flops with more tattoos showing than bare skin. Not sure what the draw is of facing a highway or parking lot as a view, but the server behind the bar said "Radical" a lot, which I found refreshing in a punk way. The woman beside me looks as though she colors her hair with kool-aid. My sister used to do that, so I know. I don’t get this look, where women wear most of their hair canary yellow blond, except underneath, they keep it dark brown. Not highlights. Not roots showing. Blond on top, brown on the bottom, walking black-bottom cheesecake cups. It might look recherche if, say, a rope of hair was twisted into something French. A knot. Very Audrey, well, no not Audrey. Pepe. Very reversed skunk. I like the idea of this the way I like the idea of camping. It reminds me of being younger and ironing my hair, while watching Hairspray. But I’m known for that, falling in love with ideas.