By: Alex Bernstein

Barb was extremely popular in a way that I was extremely not.

There was something about Barb. The way she chewed her pens and threw them out before the ink exploded. And then I’d retrieve the pens and chew where she chewed, even if they did explode. And then I’d have blue teeth for weeks. And people would go, Eugh. He’s been chewing Barb’s pens again. Loser!

We had a special relationship, me and Barb.

She was always there for me. When I tripped in the hallway, she was there. When I spilled lunch on myself, she was there. When I got shoved into lockers, she was there. And usually helping to change the locks.

With Barb, the possibilities were limited.

On the Charlie’s Angels Scale she was a 14.

Sitting near Barb was like sitting near a shampoo commercial.

Sitting near Barb was like sitting near a Playboy centerfold except she was real and alive and didn’t have staples in her stomach. That I knew of.

Barb’s third base was in four dimensions.

Barb was chick, perfected.

Barb’s beauty was not only skin deep, but also blood, bone, muscle, nervous system, and organ deep.

With Barb, the world was not my oyster. The world was the oyster of the guys over at the next table and they were not about to share despite their rampant shellfish allergies.

Barb’s beauty was incalculable unless you had a really good Texas Instruments calculator with extra log functions. Which I had.

Barb was out of my league. Actually, she was in my league. But she was a better hitter, while I closed my eyes and swung all the time.

Barb needed no cheerleading squad and could spell out “Go Team!” by herself.

Actually, talking to Barb was inconceivable. The trick was to stand near her without melting.

Barb’s beauty was so blinding I had to look through a pinhole in a cardboard box to see her (as if looking at an eclipse) which could be especially awkward in the school hallway.

Barb solved for Pi.

Barb was never full of baloney, cereal, or other animal by-products.

When God made Barb he broke the mold. But a wandering hobo found the mold, glued it back together, and went to sell it to GE. But on the way over, he got hit by a school bus.

I would’ve worshipped the ground Barb walked on. But she walked on air. So I worshipped air.

I only wanted Barb to validate me like a parking stub at jury duty.

We would have made the perfect couple, as Barb’s grace and beauty would have offset my oafishness and malformation.

When Barb tried being a bad girl, society changed its perception of “bad” to “perfectly adorable.”

Evenings, Barb worked at the broken lighthouse, guiding ships to shore with her smile.

Barb was a classic Greek beauty without the poor credit rating.

Barb’s sweat was the universal solvent.

The sailor who gave up Brandy for the sea came back for Barb.

Barb not only conversed with woodland animals but also taught them French.

Barb didn’t know I was alive, so therefore I wasn’t.

Barb was proof that there was so much more that I could aspire to that I would never ever ever get.

Thinking back on Barb, I didn’t realize how good I had it, back when I had it really good.

Had I had more courage, I would have surely told Barb how often I thought of her and how much she meant to me.

And she would have replied, “You’re sitting on my coat.”



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