Dear reader, I love the unlovable, because if I look close enough I see the holy glimmer of goodness even in the sickest of men. This dear woman I met at the State Hospital, Barb, an older schizophrenic spitfire, I loved with all of my imperfect heart. God, she used to yell “Yoohoo,” while she took a shower, or when all of us animals fed ourselves, or just walking around the halls or the grounds.
Sometimes, she scared the shit out of me, because do you know anyone who is accustomed to a woman sneaking up behind them while she screamed so fiercely, as if she just came after copulation with a zen monk? I loved her too, because another side of her whispered, so that in order to hear her she required me to approach her. Oh, her ramblings were tragic, but in a hilarious recourse.
When I worked at the library with her, the librarian fired her, because she shouted her “Yoohoo’s,” randomly while she “worked.” Barb, however, continued to come to work…she ended up with free time to smoke, and scream with a choir of discordant angels.
One day, a day I received a bit of satisfaction from hearty laughter with my peers, I wore a long flowing sundress. The color theme ranged from bright greens to light browns. Barb fell over her flip-flopped feet to compliment my garb all day long. I undressed to get in my jammies, and without a concrete reason I walked over to Barb’s room where she stood by her dresser whistling. I interrupted, and gifted her the dress. I turned and I walked back to my room. She wore the dress for two or three days.
Thin, with longish gray hair, and nice skin–Barb reminded me of a Goddess. A vision for one of George MacDonald’s short stories. The writing world regards him as the “Father of Fantasy.” I suggest Phantases and Lilith. Adult fantasy fiction about the journey’s of terrific and fabulous creatures. Barb, in my eyes, floated down the hallway, in a fabulous creature sort of way. I loved her.
The doctors placed me on a discharge ward not long after I gave Barb the dress. At 49, she died due to complications of the medicine she took from the age of 16. Her kidneys were spent, as well as, other organs. I wondered what happened to the dress I gave to her.
Her son, in the military, attended her funeral along with the people who lived with her the longest. She gave me a piece wood on which her son carved a ram. I knew she adored her son. I still have that memento, and if I ever happen to meet her son I will gladly return the ram to him.
With one last “Yoohoo” for my friend, and with love still preserved inside my heart for dear Barb,I end this story.