Her real name is Theodora, after her late, great Nonna, but that was a mouthful and Teddy spat it out, like every word that shoots out of her blood- red kisser so freaking fast, it’s a miracle she doesn’t choke. I have never met anyone who talks and reveals so much, in so little time. I don’t need to tell you, I was living a dream and fell hard for her Bronxian charm.
As it happened, my in-house music man and I were sniffing around for a way to get from my Mom’s condo to the Fort Lauderdale airport, when a friend of hers told us about this hairdresser / cabbie, hailing from New York. Teddy roared up in a white 1980’s Cadillac, in a field of brassy hair, with a swinging caboose and a thumping, solid-gold heart. We were running late and I was stressing out, but when she tossed our beefy bags and me into her faux leopard-skin coupe without breaking a 3-inch nail, my plebeian cares flew out the door. Teddy slid her beautiful body behind the fur-lined wheel, appraised my messy locks, slapped my knee and purred loudly, great hair
A gong rang in this writer’s swollen heart, an unexpected moment of peace. My husband relaxed into the backseat, closed his eyes and smiled.
You’re with Teddy, now.
She floored the Caddy with a howl and we roared off into the gaudy Florida sun. With her nasal drawl and its intoxicating gush of personal information –
I never wanted kids.
My best friend has MS.
My brother tried to pick me up in a bar before he realized who I was.
I gave up on men because if I can’t stand to see myself naked, how could anyone else?
– this gorgeous woman had me planted squarely in the here-and-now.
I laughed, I gasped and my heart grew, as I breathed in all of Teddy’s happy-sad, glittering glory.
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