Barry Fouts

Christmas time in Sarasota always looked different. My bi-annual visit to work with Dorita allowed me to fit into other situations in this city I have grown to love. On my quest for spiritual enlightenment, I found the Unity Church. My friendship with the pastor led to a surprise occurrence during the service on Christmas eve. I usually sat near the front. Prior to the beginning of the service the minister came down to where I sat.

“Dave,” Don began, “it would be okay for you to sit over there next to Barry.”

He gestured towards a woman in my row sitting alone. I got up and moved to her side and sat down. She was a tall blonde with an asymmetrical haircut. We sat side by side during the service and enjoyed the traditional holiday inclusions.

When the service was over, she turned to me and asked, “would you like to come over for Christmas dinner?”

Thus, began my friendship with Barry. The next day I drove through the luxurious barrier islands off of Sarasota to the northernmost called Anna Maria Island. I found her house nestled between trees across the street from the homes on the ocean.

Her quaint home was filled with antiques and the setting at the dining room table reflected her connection with opulence. The half dozen guests included her daughter and husband and other close friends. I discovered later that her boyfriend of several years had also been invited.  Barry told me later that she wondered how she would explain my presence. But he never showed up.

Barry and I merged through this friendship into coupledom. Barry was fifteen years my senior. She had grown up next to Mobile bay in the affluent Daphne, the granddaughter of importers of Azalais from Japan. Her mother and father were never part of her childhood. She was raised by her aunt and grandmother. With me on the road most of the year, our relational pattern became only occasional access to each other. This suited her just fine.  Over the next several years we remained dedicated to each other. Barry had a lot to love. She had a magical ability to see nuance in her surroundings and erupt into appreciation.

One day we were bobbing up and down in the deep water off the beach and she pointed out the little flashes of color reflected on the surface of the constantly moving water. I have a developed ability to see thanks to becoming sensitive through mentorship and being a visual artist. I looked to find what she referred to and sure enough, there it was. Little miniature flashes of a color that had no source, no doubt the result of some refraction of light taking place between all the amorphous elements involved.

Barry saw magic. Since she grew up with no playmates, she created her own that included fairies in a secret world. This propelled her to find subtle nuance in her surroundings that brought pure delight.

This magic propelled her in her profession as a psyche nurse. She explained that there was very little difference between the wackiness of the patients and staff.

I learned that her previous boyfriend of seventeen years never lived with her. He just came and went as he pleased. Since she never had a primary male figure in her childhood, this left a void where most women had desire for a life companion. This dynamic made my irregular inclusion in her life as normal as she had ever known.

Barry loved to join me at River Ranch. She put on her cowboy boots and fit right in on the dance floor. She also liked the long hair on orchestra conductor Andre Rieu. So, I discontinued getting my hair cut. 


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