Friend Files is a feature I’ve added to Away With Words, this being the twentieth installment. Past installments appear under the “Friend Files” tag on my blog. I will be interviewing a friend of mine and showcasing why they are a friend to me and what I like about them, and also a mini-interview (five questions) that detail what they think of me. It’s a way to acknowledge my friends out there and what they’re up to and also introduce them to my larger group of friends, acquaintances, and anyone else who might be interested in reading.

Today, I will be talking about Alicia Dutremble. Before I get into what I think of her, here is my mini-interview with Alicia (exchanged over Facebook) where she jotted down just a few thoughts:

Alicia Dutremble - Barista, Artist, Animal Lover

Alicia Dutremble – Barista, Student, Aspiring Tattoo Artist, Cat Mom

ALICIA DUTREMBLE’S FRIEND FILES INTERVIEW

ME: Give me some details about your life.

ALICIA DUTREMBLE:  I’m currently a shift supervisor at Starbucks and a full time student at the University of Southern Maine (unfortunately). I have a fat cat named Jax Xavier and my whole life revolves around him. I also have a boyfriend named Zacharia and he thinks he’s black (quite literally). In my spare time, I like to draw. I’ve had a handful of people get my drawings tattooed on them in the past year, which has given me the incentive to follow my dream of becoming a tattoo artist. After I graduate this semester, I’ll be working towards that dream.

Who I am today consists of a handful of events/time periods in my life that have heavily impacted me. I would say I’m made up of 20% the custody battle of 2007, 30% my two years at Keene State, 20% my last relationship, and 30% the last 18 months. The custody battle is not worth writing about, as it impacted me in ways that I don’t think I could verbalize properly. In my two years at Keene, I really established who I am.

I remember in my first month at Keene, I was convinced it was the first time I’d felt true happiness in my life. My last relationship was a long distance relationship that started when I was at my peak in Keene. He was my first love and boy did that relationship test the limits of love. We went through things that most couples, most people, don’t even experience. After more ups and downs than I could keep track of, we decided that love wasn’t enough. After that break up, I was in a really dark place. But after a few months of being an absolute psycho, I was drawing more, I was making new friends, and I was genuinely happy again. On the day that I realized I didn’t need anyone but myself (and my cat), I ironically met Zacharia. He was truly the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel, as cheesy as that sounds. We’re complete opposites, the ying to each other’s yang, but we balance each other out perfectly. (That was so gushy, so sorry.) My employment at Starbucks has also heavily impacted me. I was always the black sheep in my group of friends and my friends at Starbucks were all exactly what I needed at the end of my “establishing myself” journey, if you will. So yeah, I guess that’s all there is to know about me. I guess that was probably more than what you’re looking for. But I guess I just like talking about myself?

ME: How exactly did we meet?

ALICIA DUTREMBLE: We met when you transferred from Saco Starbucks to Forest Ave Starsluts! I remember in the weeks preparing for your arrival, Ariana would tell me how much I’d love working with you, but then she would follow it with, “He should probably be a psychopath but he’s not.” So there’s that. And I’m happy you’re not an actual psychopath.

ME: What is one good memory you have involving me?

ALICIA DUTREMBLE: My favorite memory with you is definitely a tie between paint bar night and your birthday night. Paint bar night was awesome because we all got to know each other outside of work really well. I think that night was the determining event where I was like, “Yep, these are good humans”.

My other favorite memory, your birthday night, is a good memory for a different reason. You’ve always gone out with Ariana and I when we wanted to and you always make it a point to make plans with us, not to mention how great of a friend you are. So when you mentioned to us that you weren’t doing anything in your birthday, we gave that a big “helllllll no”. It was so nice to go out and see you genuinely happy with the people who you deemed important enough to celebrate your birthday with and I’m thankful I was able to be there to celebrate your special night.

ME: Why exactly are we still friends?

ALICIA DUTREMBLE: We are still friends because you are one of a handful of people who can not only take my dark humor and not get uncomfortable, but also give it right back to me. Between the dark, dry humor and the dad jokes, a friendship is inevitable.

ME: Anything you want me to plug?

ALICIA DUTREMBLE: I always love new followers on my Instagram and my fat cat Jaxx would also love more followers. Yes, my cat has an Instagram and, yes, you can make fun of me, but once you start following him, you’ll take back every word you ever said about it.

**************************************************************************

Alicia is an interesting person. When I first met her, I thought she maybe didn’t like me. She seemed detached, and she seemed to regard me with a sort of suspicious curiosity. Reading her responses to my questions above – I finally figured out why. She thought I might be a psychopath! Haha

In all seriousness, it didn’t take long for me to warm up to Alicia. During a fellow co-worker’s birthday party, I asked her questions and got to know a tiny bit more about her. Then, we had our infamous “Muse Paint Bar” outing, here in Portland, Maine which I’ve detailed in other editions of Friend Files. That really opened up the gates and after then, I really felt comfortable around Alicia and my other co-workers who attended.

Of course, after that – we had my birthday party, which arguably is my favorite memory with Alicia aside from a more recent one where I hung out with her and her boyfriend for a couple hours at a local bar. Alicia is really low-key, sarcastic, and she only laughs when something genuinely strikes her as funny – so I know that when she’s laughing, she really means it.

Alicia is pretty new to the company I work for, but she has proven herself a very competent shift manager, and on top of that she’s been a pretty loyal friend in the work setting, and lately – outside of it as well. I am glad I was able to get to know her, and I look forward to getting to understand her even more in the future.

And now, without further ado – I will showcase some images of Alicia that highlight my friendship with her, as well as some other images which represent her character as a person so y’all can have some idea of how cool she is.

Me in the middle with the beard. Alicia is to my right. This was a barista Hocus Pocus movie party. It was super fun.

Me in the middle with the beard. Alicia is to my right. This was a barista Hocus Pocus movie party. It was super fun.

My birthday party crew. Alicia is on the right.

My birthday party crew. Alicia is on the right.

Alicia on my left and Ariana on my right during my birthday party.

Alicia on my left and Ariana on my right during my birthday party.

A cake Alicia got me for my birthday at work.

A cake Alicia got me for my birthday at work.

Alicia with her cat, Jaxx.

Alicia with her cat, Jaxx.

Alicia at the Muse Paint Bar night.

Alicia at the Muse Paint Bar night.

Alicia with her boyfriend, Zacharia.

Alicia with her boyfriend, Zacharia – who is also a cool guy.

A sample of Alicia's art.

A sample of Alicia’s art.

Alicia in her natural state.

Alicia in her natural state.

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Graduated from Saint Joseph's College Of Maine with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts - Creative Writing as well as Stonecoast, a low-residency MFA program through University of Southern Maine. Has several screenplays, a novel, graphic novel and a memoir all in development.

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