Some people just get me high. I just plain like being around them. It's like they emanate some chemical that gives me a rush. She is one of them. I met her when she was living in the institution. The mere fact that I've told you that tells you something big. For those, the last to be freed, that I went to meet - I went because there was REASON for me to go. Long histories of problem behaviour, long lists of why everything was going to go to hell once the move occurred, huge files filled with a forest of paper. From the moment I saw her I thought, WOW, this is someone who lives big. And she does.
Her voice is a bit Marilyn, a bit Marlene. It's a torch singer voice, with a flame thrower attitude. Some, who hear me present, think I am prejudiced against thin people. I'm not. I don't understand them, but I wouldn't want them to have to live on their own island or anything, although you could get a lot of them on it. I am prejudiced, however, against people with thin souls. I think souls should be abundant. Let me tell you I meet a lot of people who's souls need an extra pudding or two. She, the woman who makes me grin. She has a big, ol' plump soul.
Today I was chatting with one of Vita's supervisors when she arrived. She came in and joined right in with a new conversation. I started grinning right away. I've not seen her for awhile and it was like I had been thirsty but didn't know it. I mentioned that I liked the purple in her hair. She brightened up and we talked about purple hair with an intensity bordering on ecstasy. She likes what she likes and she likes it BIG.
She had to go off and be part of interviews for staff. A job that she does for the agency. She waved goodbye and set about heading to where she was going. I reflected on the difference between this woman, the one freely heading down a hallway to participate in the life of the organization that serves her - and the woman I saw who had engaged the force field of fear in order to keep others at bay. What a change. What an honour to see.
Later she dashed back into my office, she appeared and disappeared instantaneously. She came with a message, like she'd thought about it a while.
'You know what I like about my purple hair? No one said NO.'
The word 'NO' lingered in the air like a ghost from a past best forgotten. She, in four words, outlined why she lived happily now. She is finally the mistress of her own destiny. She will have purple hair and blue nails. She will colour her own world. She waited to be listened to - and now her voice, battle worn, speaks of a life finally at peace.