November 4, 2011

I only have two tattoos.

Some people have a problem believing that I have one in the first place. Others don’t understand how I stopped at two.

I’ll give you a hint. I stopped because of money. There are more tattoos to come.

Now, I have no problem telling people about my tattoos. One’s for a dead friend. The other is for a dead grandfather.

I know it’s a bit morbid, but that’s how it goes.

And that’s the beauty of tattoos (other than the art itself.) Everyone has a reason behind their ink.

Mine are tributes. Others are inspirations. Others are the favorite movies of the tattoo owner.

Still others are drug- or alcohol-fueled nightmare spirals of ink and poor judgement.

Regardless, 1 in 4 Americans have tattoos, which means some of you reading this have at least one. I know who you are.

I don’t really know what it is about tattoos that is so addicting. Lisa’s been under the needle about a dozen times (counting touch-ups and add-ons.) I’ve been in an out of shops at least once a month for the last year and a half.

Hell, I’m going with a friend on the 16th when she gets her first tattoo.

It’s the strangest thing. The buzz of the machines. The slight smell of burnt flesh. The twinge of pain that remains after the needle is lifted and the spare ink is washed away.

Maybe it’s some odd mix of all of it, but getting a tattoo is actually fun.

The healing process is NOT fun, mind you. It burns and itches, like some horrible venereal disease on your arm or ankle, except you paid a lot of money for it and it’ll never go away.

On second thought, it’s exactly like a venereal disease.

But… a pretty one, you know?

Whether it’s an expensive back piece at one of those shops on TV, the shaky scrawling of a loved one’s name by a drunken kitchen wizard, a pirate with a skull under his hat from a prison machine made of guitar strings, lamp switches and the bones on the dead, or a single needle on a stick held by a 100-year-old Japanese man, tattoos are all around us. They seep into all parts of society and history, becoming entwined into the DNA of our culture.

Seriously. People always say that we live in a Christian nation or a nation full of Capitalist Pigs. Honestly, we are a tattooed society. The United States is a nation of ink, needles and razor stubble.

Think about it. How many times have you seen someone with a tattoo? At least once a day? More?

How many times have you talk to or hit on someone with a tattoo?

How many times have you used a question or statement about a tattoo as a pick up line?

How many times have you played “Guess Where My Tattoos Are” just to flirt?

See? Tattoos are part of everything, even getting laid.





This is not included in the 500 word limit.

Thanks, Diane Petraitis, for that challenge. I’m sure some of this will ring very true for you. I remember talking about our tattoos at camp, and I really wanted to weave a bit of that into the piece as a small wink to those conversations.

Otherwise, I think this one lacked a lot of focus. It’s been a weird week.

It’s a shame that the tattoo post had to become the ‘throw away’ for the week.


Truly ghjr


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