August 31, 2005


i keep forgetting. i got a tattoo today. maybe it seems so terribly uncharacteristic that my brain just refuses to accept it. but every time i check the mirror it's there. sometimes it hurts like a sunburn, but mostly i can forget it. so looking in the mirror isn't a suprise, exactly, no more than the fact that i actually went through with the process in the first place. it's just...odd. uncharacteristic, i think.

it was a brilliant triumph of patiently planned spontenaity. for years, i've wanted a tattoo. for months, i considered the design. for weeks, i saw myself grow old with the tattoo. for days, i thought "the next time i'm in fremont with time to kill i'll find the shop...." and finally today was the culmination. i had the time, i found the hole-in-the-wall where kaity got hers done, and i was stuck in traffic directly across from it for long enough to finally decide to pull into the parking lot. well, first i got my nails done, but then i went inside. i asked my little questions and went back to mom's work to print out my design. i hadn't had time to print it in the morning (i had anticipated the need), but fortunately, i had e-mailed it to chris and it was stored in my outbox ready to retrieve. i printed it out, warned mom, and drove off to get inked.

arrived, talked to cute artist some more (asked "are you any good") and headed off to luch while he resized and made a stensil of my design. when i was done with my crappy meatball sub, i went back. he was just finishing and the next thing i knew, i was watching him do the final setup of his tools. i pulled off my shirt, he positioned the design, and then it started. during a lull while he changed the needle (disliked the feeling of the first), i told him i liked the doors and he had that put in the cd player. i sat there, tensed, while he got down to work on my back, and smiled my amused smile, completely in awe of the moment. it was so unreal. so unlike me.

the wailing, beautiful guitar riffs, coupled with the sting of the needle (not so bad as you would expect, actually) made me thing, perhaps a little melodramatically, "exquisite pain" over and over again. it was in the music and in my tattoo. a little melodramatic, but it fit the moment just right. after a bit, i relaxed enough to chat with the artist (very cute and around my age). it was funny. he does tattoos and used to work in a bike shop (motocycles, of course), and those are my two little sub-culture obsessions. always wanted to learn the trade of tatto artist, also motocycle mechanic. i laughed and told him, but i'm not sure if he really got it, why it was funny to me. i probably sounded a bit nervous and juvenile. we talked a bit about our families, books, language. it was pleasant. and then it was all done and i left.

i'm amazed at my own composure through the entire thing. the fact that i never panicked or used the little girl nervous voice that i order restaurant food in. i acted like a decisive adult. maybe now you know why i keep saying it was all very uncharacteristic? i'm not used to just going out and doing the things i want and mean to. it was transcendant in that way. i kept marvelling that i was almost like a different person. or rather, a me that actually had balls. it was nice. i even decided at the last minute to get the tattoo between my shoulder blades, rather than on my lower back as i had always expected to. and never looked back.

of course, my parents hate the tattoo. dad resents the fact that i spent the money and thinks i'm taking advantage of the family as he bought me some tools yesterday and this seems like a waste to him. he prophesied that i'd grow to really regret this. i even handled that like areasonable person and didn't get to hurt by his sentiments. really, it's perfectly in line with his idiom to make these complaints. i'm just over it. mom thinks it's too big and black, but otherwise seems alright. not as broody as pop, but then again, she never was. in her own way, she, too, doesn't like it.

i think it's fabulous however. it is thinker and blacker than i would have liked (oh, that's actually an amusing thing to say, heehee) but it is exactly as i designed it. and it's sort of a brilliant milestone sort of thing. i will never be like diana and at the age of seventy regret never getting a tattoo. and i did something brilliantly efficient and interesting all by myself. i'm happy. and frankly, i don't really give a shit what anyone says about it. i've resolved to love it. and that's what i'm gonna do. *grins*


At 5:23 AM, Anonymous Kat said...

You bitch! I can't believe you went without me...waah. Oh well i guess you had to do the spontaneous thing, I'm sure your tattoo is RAWK and I can't wait to see it. Yeeee asia is so awesome, but I can't wait to be slothful at home again (for a bit) as opposed to the daily 20 mile treks in oppressive heat. Nyaaaa see you soon!

At 3:25 AM, Anonymous Greg said...

You got a TATOO? AAAAH! (Hey, don't tell me I have too much time on my hands. I'm waiting for my girlfriend's plane to come in.)


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