Little Lisa has been one of my best friends for at least a decade. We used to hang out in pubs now closed, with people now passed on, drinking beer together, fancying the same girls and disappearing out the back for a spliff every now and again. She slept usually on a mutual friend’s floor. A few years ago she finally got a council flat. It took a while for her to get used to sleeping in a bed of her own.
Lisa had spend a lot of her adult life effectively homeless. She came here to Galway and found a new surrogate family here: people who accepted her for who she was. We had our ups and downs as friends, for sure, but mostly up. Being in her company was so cool. So brilliant. Sure, she would break my heart, but friends do that sometimes.
She was found dead at home last week. I’ve only just heard about it. I don’t know what to say, think, or feel.
She used to give me the most brilliant hugs. Real and heartfelt. She was small but strong and could really lift you up in more ways than one, if you let her.
It’s hard to sit here at the computer and think about those amazing hugs, that friendship, that wonderful smile, that fantastic unique person who is now gone from us. There will never be another like her.
Never again will I walk down the street and have to turn around because some shortarsed Dublin girl shouted out “Howiyeh, yeh fuckin bollix”. Never again will I get picked up by a hug from one of the best people I have ever known. Like I say we had our ups and downs as friends but we last talked at Christmas, promising we would meet up soon for a hot brandy and port.
Hot brandy and port will never taste the same. There will be many hugs and kisses from fine people, but I will always compare them to the ones I got from you, little Lisa.
Years are too short for friends so true. I hope you’re happy where you are now darling. More than anything, I hope you’ve finally found peace at last.