Tattoo Girl, part 6

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Our Tattoo Girl, Jaime, is thinking about looking for a new job, after she was saved from that aborted date with co-worker Corey by her loyal cat, Mr. Mittens.  Something besides being a manager at OfficeCo.

This post is standalone, but if you’d like to read earlier installments, please see links at the end of this post.

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Tomorrow Jaime would call Tamara.  Tamara might know how to get started.

Tamara did know how to get started.  Resume . . . Indeed.com . . . cover letter . . . informational interviews . . .

This was going to be complicated.  Tamara, talking a mile a minute like usual – Jaime had forgotten about how fast Tamara talked – spouted job-seeking advice like the geyser waters of Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park.

Oh.  There was that awful memory.  She and Anton, driving cross-country on their honeymoon fifteen years before.  He was starting work for a new law firm in Houston shortly after their wedding, and she, of course, was trailing along.  What had happened to those hopes she had had of doing her art when they settled in a new city?  After living in Seattle all her life, never quite getting around to art even after studying, even after getting that two-year art degree, she had somehow thought a new city – Houston – would charge up her art appetite and that she would somehow start making projects in an as-yet undetermined studio space.  But when they arrived, after all, there was that apartment unpacking, and the little space she had thought would work, that semi-den off the living room, didn’t work.  All it did was remind her of the art she wasn’t doing.  Houston – hot in mid-July when they arrived, and humid all year around – seemed to shut down her artistic urges, rather than inspire them.  She had forced herself to go to the free art museum admissions on Thursdays for a while – but going alone (Anton was too tired after work) – only reminded her that she had left friends and family behind in Seattle.

Old Faithful.  The day they came into the park – only a half-day, Anton had reminded her, so that they could stay on schedule – they had been arguing.  He, wanting to drive straight through, she, never having been to Yellowstone, wanted to linger, see the “grand canyon” of Yellowstone, the elk, the paint pots.

They had driving straight to Old Faithful.  They had stayed long enough to see the geyser spout.  Then they had gotten back into the car.  And driven straight on into eastern Wyoming, down through Oklahoma and into Texas.

Jaime laughed, now, remembering she had seriously thought about getting out at the gas station on the east end of the park.  Hitching a ride home – or calling her parents to see if they could send her bus money.  But she’d thought it too crazy. And she had sat in that car, Anton’s Mazda RX-7, all the way to Houston.  Not saying much. – As though he’d noticed.

So now, when Tamara talked her ear off, speaking quickly into her ear, Jaime couldn’t take it.  “I’ll think about it,” she said.

“Well, if you want help, I’m here for you.  You know that,” Tamara said, her voice softening.

“I’ll think about it,” Jaime said again.  Mr. Mittens, sitting across the room in his perch on the window sill, closed his eyes in that expression of comfort that only cats can make.

It didn’t help that Tamara was related to Anton.  His sister.  But she was the nice one in the family.

Tamara said, “Listen.  I can help.  I just worked with a friend who needed to change jobs, like really fast – the place where she was working was a hellhole.  And – four weeks later – she started at Starbucks, in a management track – which she loves.  Go figure.  But anyway – I re-wrote her resume and found four or five jobs on Indeed.com, she applied for three of them, and boom!  She got the job.”

Jaime said, “Well, okay.  Yes.  That’s a good idea.”

But it didn’t seem like a website like Indeed.com would list jobs in her category.  Yet . . . what was her category?  Hmmm.

“But,” she added, “don’t make me sound like not-me.  You know.”

“Yeah,” Tamara answered.  “Yeah, I get it.  What do you have that you can send me?  Anything?”

Jaime was sure she had an old resume.  Somewhere.  As she hung up the phone, she called to Mr. Mittens.  “Well. Want to binge-watch on Netflix?  I’ll make the popcorn.”

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Tattoo – Part 1 here.|Part 2 here.|Part 3 here.| Part 4 here.|Part 5 here.

Everyone was so encouraging about Haunted Wedding Dresses, posted in several parts, that you inspired me to share more about Jaime, our girl with the tattoo and the protective cat, Mr. Mittens.  Thank you!

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Have you ever moved to a new city?  Did you have hopes for doing things you hadn’t done before?  How do you manage a feeling of loneliness or isolation, especially when you are writing or doing art?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

20 thoughts on “Tattoo Girl, part 6

  1. This was a story I could relate to so well. Sometimes you don’t want to get help from others because you don’t want to bother them, or you know someone they know and you don’t like this latter person. But I really like how Jaime doesn’t judge Tamara because of the person(s) she is associated with.

    I’m okay with loneliness. Being alone doesn’t mean that you are lonely. You can do things all by yourself and feel very content. To me, loneliness is when you want someone else there to bounce off ideas or someone to talk to. Generally I like being alone and being lost in my own thoughts – that is when I feel most creative 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Mabel! I think Jaime the Tattoo Girl may have her story continue on for a while. I appreciate that you recognized she didn’t dismiss Tamara by association with her ex, Anton. And I really like your little meditation on loneliness. I’m a person who can seem outgoing, but I need to re-charge with alone time after being out and around lots of people, like in back-to-back meetings, etc. It’s so calming to be on one’s own, and being creative while alone is even more satisfying. My poor husband, we had to have a signal system so that he didn’t interrupt me at my desk when I was on a project – when I have headphones on, I want to be alone – headphones off – okay to interrupt! 🙂

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      1. Agree that it’s so calming to be on your own – you can tell yourself anything and be the most honest with yourself. I hope your husband understands, and it sounds like the headphones does the trick and respects your creative space 🙂

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  2. Looks like you have a mini-series in the making. 🙂 Ah, new place. Settling in. Being in a wrong marriage in a new place is just like being in a new place as a newly-divorced person… Actually, it’s better to be divorced. Ha-ha! I guess you get used to it. I have gotten my fair share of moving and starting over. Once you get past the fear, it’s exciting and brings about change, most of the time for the better. 🙂

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      1. Oops, what happened to the comment I was writing? 😂 I’m with you completely. We’re just a bit slow at times in realizing that what we have is a blessing.

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  3. I’m really enjoying getting to know Jaime – and Mr. Mittens too of course! Interesting name choice for Tamara – my full name is Tamrah and my name is always mispronounced as TamArah with the extra syllable. I have no idea where my parents came up with such an odd name for me. My siblings all have standard classic names. 😀

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    1. I did not know about Tamrah, I love that name! So beautiful! In this story the name “Tamara” just popped into my head, and now I’m wondering, was it inspired by my relationship with you? I’ll feel it is even more special when I write the next installment of Jaime’s story. Thank you for your much-appreciated encouragement.

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