Friday, July 11, 2014

Tattoo-woman & Menno-girl

Continued from Feeling LOW German

My last two weeks at work went by really fast.  I met Bree, who would occasionally go out for lunch with George, a.k.a. the tattoo man. She also had lots of tattoos and a nose ring.  She was really beautiful with very short black hair and she always dressed in black.  She didn’t sit with us.

She had her own group to sit with and they always played cards during break time.  She had a really serious face and she never smiled. But, then again, most people didn’t smile. It was like they were in pain all day but, as soon as the end of the shift bell rang, everybody suddenly got happy.

I was sad when the bell rang because I didn’t have any friends.  Felicity, the woman who called me a shmuck felt a bit sorry for me and that was why she invited me to sit with George and her. It was really awkward because, every time George said the F word, I turned red like a tomato and didn’t know where to turn my face. 

For the most part, I enjoyed observing everyone. Every person in the room was so different from what I was used to, in the way they dressed and interacted with each other.  I really admired the way some of them didn’t care what others thought of them.

One day I was in the bathroom at work when Bree came in. She had never said anything to me before.  She looked at me and said, “You are friends with George, right?”

“Ahhh, I sit at his table at lunch,” I answered.

“You want to see what I got yesterday?” She asked and before I could say anything, she lifted her t-shirt and showed me that she had gotten her nipples pierced.  Again, my face turned red like a tomato and felt like it was about to burst into flames. 

I said, “Oookaaay,” and left the bathroom as fast as I could.  I heard her laughing after the door closed behind me. She knew that it would embarrass the heck out of me and she loved it.

The next day, I had to show Bree how to do my job. She had never sewn a thing in her life and she was going to do my job after I left.  I turned the sewing machine on and off, took a seat cover and sewed it, and then looked at her and said, “Okay?” I did not have enough English words to describe my job to her.

She was really frustrated. She rolled her eyes and left. I was thinking, “Yup, I feel your pain” Not the pain she was probably having from the piercings, though. The situation was very frustrating but it wasn’t just that.  I felt like she had some problem with me. So, our supervisor decided to teach her how to do my job.

About a month later, I ran into her at a coffee shop. She looked at me, and I thought I had to say something to her and the words just flowed out of my mouth, “How is work?” I asked.

She rolled her eyes and said, “Seriously, you are asking me how it is to work in a factory, sitting at a sewing machine in one spot for eight f#cking hours a day, day after day? Ahhh, somebody please kill me now!” 

“Ahhh, yes?” I answered and explained to her that it was better than being stuck like I was. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t even pay for a coffee and I hadn’t talked to a person in a month. Now that was killing me, and I wished many times that it just would.  When she heard me say that, her face lit up and she smiled at me for the first time.

She said, “Anna, would you let me buy you a coffee? If you have time right now, we can sit and chat for a bit.” I almost blew up with excitement.

If I had the time? “Ahhh, okay.” I was floored.  Time? That was all I had. I hid my excitement from her because I was afraid she would roll her eyes at me and leave again, but she didn’t.  We sat and chatted for a while about George and that they used to “sort of date.”

I thought  “Waut de schissjat! (What the heck)!” does “sort of dating” mean?  I knew what dating meant and thought, "Is this why she has had such a bad attitude toward me about sitting at George’s table?" 

I just sat there and smiled. Finally, someone wanted to talk to me and she bought me a coffee. I was thrilled.

I thought because she was so beautiful she must have many options to choose who she wanted to date and marry. Not the other way around, like it was for us Mennonite girls in Mexico.  

She suddenly changed the subject, I got the feeling that she didn’t want to talk about George anymore. We talked about how miserable we both were, how we both felt that we would be better off dead.

Tattoos for women on shoulder quote
She felt that it was okay for her to think that way but she told me that I was too young to die and that I should join this group that offered help with writing resumes, practicing interviews, and searching for jobs. She explained to me where it was and told me to go there first thing in the morning the next day.

I brought home a newspaper from the coffee shop and tried to read it but I just ended up getting so frustrated and ripped it to pieces and went to sleep. Since I was going to this group early the next morning, I thought I needed a good night’s sleep but I just had nightmares about a newspaper story that read: TATOO-WOMAN AND MENNO-GIRL JUMP OFF THE BRIDGE.

It was so strange. I was dead but I could hear and see everything people were saying and doing.  This was all happening in Mexico, in my colony, and everyone around us was asking what I was doing with a woman like that.

They were saying that they knew something bad was going to happen to Anna. Her parents should have never let her go to Canada. She was lost and now she has ended up just like her grandfather. Click here to continue reading my story.


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