A Child of God in Black Lipstick

By Denisse Maldonado-Luna

Originally from Indianapolis, Elise Pattison, moved with her family to Tampa when she was seventeen years old. She has three younger siblings, a boy and two girls. She kindly added that her eighteen-year-old sister is very pretty.  When asked about her high school years, she shook her head and silently smiled. “Tough times. Black lipstick,” are the words Elise used to sum up her high school experience. Like many of us, Pattison is glad those years are over.

On a more positive note, she met Takota in high school, her boyfriend for the past three years. Elise and Takota share a love for the arts making them the most romantic couple I know. He is a talented musician in St. Pete College and he paints too. Elise began her college career as an advertisement major in the University of Tampa, but a beloved professor changed her track. This anonymous professor encouraged Elise to pursue a writing career instead. “She convinced me that I’m good at it.”

Elise enjoys writing poetry and her inspiration comes from those short glimpses of “life”. Her passion for this art is hard to put into words, “I just write.” She said that sometimes you can see what life is really about and this is when the words flow and she has to write them down. She doesn’t have a specific audience instead, she either keeps her poems private or shows them to her boyfriend and waits for his helpful criticism. Just like Elise’s professor encouraged her to write, Elise encourages Takota to paint more and more often. She is aware that it is difficult to appreciate each other’s art because it’s different.”It’s hard to know that you’re actually successful.”

Elise recently went to Paris for three weeks in the summer. She confessed that she “wasn’t maturely ready for it.” Nevertheless, she enjoyed her vacation and remembers the food in France as being, “Very expensive food but awesome food!”  I asked her about her “Child of God” tattoo,  she said that she got it when she realized her true identity.  After my short time with Elise I’m certain of one thing: Elise Pattison holds a mysterious charm.

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