A writing experiment

Who He Is: Otis Rawlins

Occupation: Builder

Otis grew up building things with his father, so it was only natural that he would earn his living this way. He continues to have a good relationship with his dad, maybe even working with or for him today.

He’s a modern day hippie, with long hair and a laid back, casual way about him. He has a calm personality, not much riles him and he’s able to take things in stride.

Otis (29 years old) is divorced because he and his ex, Lavinia, the only daughter of town father, Robert Derfoot, married too young and for the wrong reasons. They had a shotgun wedding when he was only 18 and she was even younger (16). Lavinia had dreams, and even though she was a teenage mother, she persisted in them, finishing high school and more. She married Otis for appearance’s sake (her father insisted, but Otis was willing, wanting to do the right thing). They soon realized having a baby together did not a relationship make. They were just too different and wanted different things in life. So 5 years in, they divorced, amicably, and share custody of Tina, their 11 year old daughter, although he doesn’t get to see Tina as often as he would like. Lavinia has remarried an up and coming attorney in the area, more social and better suited to her ambitions.

Otis is still looking for “the right woman” confident she will come along one of these days. He’s not really in any hurry. Unfortunately, he’s not likely to find her hanging out with his buddies at the bar. Always a guy’s guy, Otis enjoys his friends company and hasn’t had a date in months. His parents are worried about him. They fear he’ll never settle down and give them more grandchildren, since they rarely get to spend time with Tina. Her mother and step-father, while friendly enough do not make much effort to bring Tina to see them and frequently rebuffed their requests to pick her up. They always seemed to be “busy, so sorry”, but the truth is, they were ‘city folk’ and the Rawlins family, ‘country folk’, and the two didn’t seem to mix well, in their case.

Yes, Otis still lives with his parents, sort of. After the divorce, he and his dad built a small one bedroom A-frame with a nice little kitchen, tiny bath and a surprisingly spacious loft. It even had a stacked washer/dryer unit, so he can do his own laundry. He loves living there, close to his parents, but not too close. He’s not the let- mom- do- my- laundry- and- cook- for- me- all- the- time kind of guy, either. He eats Sunday dinner with them and occasionally even has them over to his place. Seems he’s learning to cook Spanish food from his drinking buddy, Andy, a chef with dreams of opening a Spanish restaurant one day.

Boy, would Otis love to get his hands on that contract! Dancing in his head are visions of the romantic dining room, the professional kitchen and a grand, villa-like Tuscan exterior he’s itching to build. He doesn’t know exactly what Andy has in mind, design-wise, but Otis has a vision. He’s always liked residential building, rather than commercial, because of his artistic nature. Building homes allows for more creative expression, which Otis enjoys much more.

Otis would also love to build the newly talked about community center, but the competition is fierce and he’s not sure he will get that job.2017 New Year’s resolution: spend more time networking socially to increase business.