Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Or is it the other way around?

I have known Barry for many years. We met at the gym, back when I was spending there, at least 3 hours daily. He is tall, dark, handsome and muscular. A regular at the gym, always a gentleman and always hanging out with the hottest women there.

I talk too much. Therefore it is easy for me to conclude certain people are not just "men of few words," but simply, non talkative at all.

I noticed that Barry had trouble expressing himself verbally, but I did not give it a second thought. That is how a spoiled, popular, shallow female behaves. She thinks the Universe revolves around her. I am ashamed to say, I was somewhat like that. Not as bad, as the really beautiful women behave, but I was not a role model for a good person.

Barry, on the other hand, was and still is, the kindest, friendliest, easiest to get along person.

I found out that along his regular job, he was a handyman. He painted my house more than once. He repaired countless little things that went wrong in the house, after my husband's departure. Barry fixed my flower bed, straightened out the bricks that surrounded the flowers and made it pretty, just to please me.
He had his regular job, of course, so I had to acquire eventually a full time handy man. But, until then, Barry was always there, fixing something or other.

It was not all that  easy.  You see, Barry is a deaf/mute. He learned how to read lips. I am a foreigner. Even to a deaf person, I sound speaking with an accent. It was frustrating to both of us. I was trying to speak slowly, placing my tongue and lips as precisely as I could, for him to understand. He was paying extra attention to my mouth, trying to figure out, what I was trying to tell him.

In hind side, it was comical. I remember how loudly I shouted, with the hope he would understand me.
He tried so hard to speak clearly and curse me only in sign language.
At the end of the day, we somehow achieved, what we had started and we would eat dinner in silence  at the back porch.

I do not know how, but I remember, we were laughing at jokes we had just shared. Between "legitimate" sign language he used and I never learned, "auto improvised" sign language by me, using every part of my body, we somehow communicated and gossiped, laughed, shared some precious moments together.

I lost touch with him, when he started dating a married lady, who also did work in my house. She also did my hair, every so often. The whole situation was getting too "sticky" for me. I withdrew from both of them.

I was very surprised to see him even in a night club a couple of times, trying to dance.  His lover's husband was the DJ. Boy, is life the biggest story teller, or what?

Years passed and I saw Barry, after I started going to my old gym. It was after I got diagnosed with advanced stage cancer, but I was getting better.

I looked of course like a corpse, after 2 surgeries and chemo. He just had some gray hair.

We cought up with each other's life and he gave me his number.

I went through the coma, the rehab. and the final statement from the doctors that I am dying within a year or so.

I shared all these things with Barry. He never lost his nerve. He did not make an extra effort to understand. He was just there. I did not try sign language to communicate with him. Somehow, he understands everything.
He brings me something that I need a lot of:joy. Now that I need him the most, he understands me the most. He visits and plays music that he thinks, I might like. He even tries to dance with me, because he knows that I get annoyed, when I dance with people, who do not how to dance structurally. He thinks it is funny, annoying me. It actually is, the way he does it.

He came to the ER, when I ended up there, bleeding one night. No one was at hand. Another friend, supposedly "real" friend, old lover, left me there, with no explanation. I asked him to come and keep me company, because I was scared. He was available, he said he would stop by, but he reneged. He never showed up. Barry, a casual friend, dropped everything and came.

He was listening carefully to what the doctors were saying to make sure he understood and transfer the information to me, when my head would be clear. And he did. And I understood.

Barry, finally understands everything. He brings me joy with his silence. He makes me feel less alone with his presence. He feels my pain and he simply tries to do, what he can, easier and better for me.

We finally understand each other perfectly. God is good.

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