Birth of Barb
May 20, 2010, 3:45 pm
Filed under: REBECCA

Barb was amorphously born in the palimpsest-y lyrics of a Sheryl Crow song at Camp Thunderbird for Girls; Bemidji, MN circa 1999. Walking through the lodge, I scoured old camp photos hanging at uneven angles for pretty girls to ape. I settle upon one from 1970. Flaxen haired and downward-gazing. Modesty was goodness then! I brought with me her likeness and imagined person while sneaking up over weeds, splintered wood bridges and moss to the old, unused campfire circle where Cat and I went to commune with the spirit of… Marie. Damn it! We named her Marie–not Barb–after the Sheryl Crow song! “Oh, Marie, what about me, Marie?” (“Oh Marie”, Sheryl Crow; 1996). It was Marie’s spirit, reaped from Sheryl Crow’s lyrics, imbued in the old wood and long-forgotten former campfire ring hidden in the woods behind the JL cabins, disfigured dais and barely-emerging rows of seating space that looked like sinking-into-the-grass headstones! So if it was Marie, not Barb, where did Barb come from?

I called all the girls at camp Barb and in high school, too (well, only two or so girls, I think; my friends) and Andy called me Barb. In college, Sarah, Brienne and Jessica mostly were Barbs. I tried with other people but it didn’t feel right.

Barb! Illegitimately born, wherefrom? (Barb was the dress she wore that year!)(Acid green and caked with blood!)(Barb was the name that knows no fear!)(But where did she come from, I drum!)(The tip of the tongue taking a trip of one SPLAT)(BARB)

I know that I know where Barb comes from. It’s somewhere; I just don’t remember. Barb: ___. Sob.


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