Kate had never worked in her life and it appeared as if she wasn’t going to work ever. She had graduated from college five years ago and she was still not able to find a proper job. She had sent her CV to every possible company that would be willing to hire someone with her profile but that was no good. She tried both with state-owned companies and with private ones. She talked to people she hadn’t talked in years and was even so desperate with it all that she had tried to be considered for posts in several fast food chains and retail stores. None of that had worked.
She had literature and was only finding out now how difficult and competitive the world was. She never dreamt of someone hiring her just after finishing school but she had always thought people with a higher degree of education had a little more chance to be hired faster. That wasn’t her case at all. In those five years she had even decided to study a little more and left the country for a year in order to get her writing improved and to learn new things to make her skills much more interesting. But time passed and no one noticed.
Stress was really winning for most of the time. On the social networks, Kate saw how many of her friends where even getting married and she hadn’t even earned her first paycheck. Some of them bragged about their complicated lives as doctors or architects or accountants. True, their life didn’t seem extremely interesting but at least they were doing what people were expected to do at that age. People were even expected to have children before thirty and Kate was rapidly nearing that number.
Her older brother had already left home, living now with his eternal girlfriend, who would obviously turn into her wife in the years to come. He had chosen to be an engineer and was always working. He travelled a lot because of his work and seemed stressed sometimes but then he also hung out a lot with his friends and girlfriend so it all seemed ok. Besides he had his own place, or this be more exact, he paid the rent of his own place which gave him an incredible level of independence and Kate envied that.
During the last year, she had begun writing several types of pieces, but did so in her own space. She had tried selling some of the articles to magazines but apparently they were more comfortable with people they already knew. So she did all by herself and was thrilled to see that a few people, not that many but still, had begun reading her. There were not many comments, but the few that she received were good. People that read was she had to say specially liked the short stories although some others, mainly women, were very interested on her articles about beauty and related subjects. She was proud of that, as she had never thought people would read her but still no one was paying her for it.
The thing was, and most people out of college would agree, there is an urgency to do a certain amounts of things as you turn into “an adult”. First of all, just like the song says, it’s all about the money. There’s a feeling of failure when you haven’t transformed any talent that you have in physical prize for it. And, let’s face it; money is the oil of the engine that is the world. Without money there is not much that you can do in life, unless your goal is to be hippie. And people look at you weird when you are a certain age and you haven’t achieved that part of the goal, even more when people in the family have been working since they were teenagers.
And then there’s the feeling of achievement, of having gotten somewhere with what supposedly made you special. Kate had always felt, for one that she was very skilled at telling the best fantastical stories ever. One thing that she loved was visiting one of her cousins and just make stories for her right on the spot. Kate didn’t tell her about princesses or things like that but about space battles and fantastical creatures and more realistic worlds but settled in the weirdest environments. It was fun for her and her cousin loved the stories, always asking her for others or for the “sequels” of some of the ones she had told her before.
One day, Kate decided staying home was the worst she can do. She had decided to stop sending her CV everywhere and just think everything through. She felt she was aiming her bullets all over the place, without ever hitting anything or not even knowing what she was aiming for. That had to be changed urgently because she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and she didn’t want to add a clinical state to her slate of mental issued. It would be too much for her.
So Kate took a walk. She decided to go to one of those neighborhoods filled only with houses and where people rarely walk around or anything. It was located on a hill, not that far from her home, so the walk was really difficult at times but the beautiful old houses that had stood there for many decades compensated it. She saw some of them hosting cafés, some others were small libraries and some more were dancing academies or were simply abandoned. She imagined various stories for the people she saw through the windows, the signs and the names.
She finally arrived to a small park, located on the edge of a cliff overlooking the city. She had no idea that park was there and it was beautiful. The day was bright and almost cloudless so the city could be seen for kilometers in various directions. No people or cars could be seen though, only the trees, the buildings and, farther, the airport. She sat down on one of the benches and imagined so many stories she regretted not having a notepad or something to write on. She then remembered phones were more advanced now so she took it out and made small audio fragments, each one with a different idea. It was weird talking alone to a phone without anyone hearing it but she was glad the ideas wouldn’t be forever lost.
Suddenly she felt someone close and turned around in middle sentence as she saw a guy about her age feeding the pigeons. He had thrown some breadcrumbs on the small patch of grass of the park but also kept some in his hands, where the pigeons would come to feed themselves. Kate looked closely at the guy and realized he was wearing an overall. Maybe he was in construction or something related. But he didn’t have plaster or white paint stains. He rather had small stains of several colors and she even noticed he had some on his neck.
He then noticed her and smiled. Kate turned red fast and tried to turn around but the guy talked to her. She asked her that he had always loved the view from there, since he was a kid. She then asked him if he lived there and he answered that he had lived there since birth. He still lived in his parent’s home, not very far from there. He got closer and sat down next to Kate, followed by some pigeons that thought he had more breadcrumbs but soon became disappointed.
They then had a very nice chat about the view, about what each of them did and what they liked. The boy’s name happened to be Julian and he was an artist, or so he said at least. She told her he had gone to France to study but he had left the career before finishing it. He had decided that painting was not something that needed a degree and he also realized he hadn’t had any money to go on living as if his parents were not struggling to get him through college. So he came back and was very happy with his decision.
He invited Kate to his studio, to see his paintings, as she was openly skeptical that he was an actual artist. Realizing she should be a little more adventurous, she accepted the invitation. They had only walked a couple of blocks when he opened the gate of one of those old houses and let her in. They entered the house and then went down to what would be the parking area but there was no car. He turned on the lights and, effectively, there was a studio right there. Most canvases were in the ground against the walls but a couple of them were on easels and she thought they were great.
One of the paintings was a scenery, possibly the city from the hill, and the other one seemed to be a human face but it was difficult to see what kind of person that was. Anyway, she liked the drawings and asked her if she sold them. He told her that he had just sold his first in a flea market, just because he had dare to go to one and just pay for one of the spaces for a day. It was all the money he had but he recuperated it with the selling of the painting, which was a nude male.
Then, Kate’s phone began to ring. It was her mom asking her where she was, as she had promised to join her to go to the supermarket. She told her she would be there in half an hour and hung up before her mother could say anything.
Julian joined her to the gate and told her to come any time she wanted. He realized she was just as free as him and that she appreciated things like his paintings. Besides, he confessed, he had heard her talking to her phone, summing up the ideas she was having by looking to the cliff. Then, unexpectedly, he put one hand in one of her shoulders and told her not to worry about anything. Artists had to create and find themselves before bringing people into their worlds. It was just a matter of time and patience.
All the way home, Kate had a big smile on her face.