I saw two turtles sitting on a log poking out of the shallows of Ragtag Lake, sunbathing. "Don't get too close," I admonished myself. Water turtles (snappers, I presume) are wily and dive in as soon as they see you or sense movement, or, for all I know, smell you. "I am not too close," I asserted, to myself. "I am a good fifty feet away." Maybe forty. Or thirty. I am not good at judging distances. "Okay, but be careful," I cautioned back, moving just a tiny bit closer. Sure enough, eagle-eyed little beasts that they are, they both immediately took a dive--plop, plop--and disappeared.
Loneliness settled over my shoulders like a curse. Fortunately, though, I then saw, further out, two more turtles parked on a thick branch sticking up out of the water. No way to creep close. No dives. Communion restored.
Today, feeling some haircut regret after a visit to the local budget hair salon, I thought that one of the great things about being a turtle is never having to worry about your hair. Even my cat, eighteen and a half years old and shedding heavily as spring advances, has bits and bunches of hair that stick out at odd angles in her ruff. Just a couple of small chunks that will eventually fall out, like last year. I believe this is a consequence of old age, for it never happened when she was younger. Frankly, it makes her look quite silly. Today, back from the salon, I felt much the same, though at this point I am somewhat reconciled.
I realize, that like the turtle without hair, I am a writer without buzz or vibe or coolness of any kind, with a very small audience. I am invisible, really, but feeling more comfortable with it than I used to. If you have no hair, you have no hair, so why worry? I envy those with a head full, it is true--especially if it's smartly styled (and it always is.) But a turtle climbing onto a log with a head of wet hair would look woefully ridiculous once it had dried, with weird little whirls and dips and sticky-out parts all over the place. So, you see, there are blessings to be had everywhere.