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Jul '09

Tattoo Stupid

I never intended to get a tattoo. The idea of having something permanently inked on my body just did not fit my personality. Over the years there were discussions of “what if . . . . ?”, but I never seriously considered myself a candidate. For my forty-first birthday I did, with a push from ex #2, do a little body modification that would embarrass my family were I to discuss it in detail here – it is a little too intimate. I will say, however, this modification is but one of the reasons I have not flown fearing setting off alarms and having to strip down to explain the reason, but the tattoo . . . . . stupid.

I had the brilliant idea while visiting friends in Nacogdoches during the Christmas 2004 holiday season. It was the perfect storm – Pat, a tattoo artist and friend, was available, alcohol was freely flowing, as it always seems to do in Nacogdoches, and ex #2’s birthday was looming. It was a spur of the moment decision, not a lot of thought behind it, just a blind pursuit to prove my love, permanently. In hindsight, I suppose my thought was I would be with this man for the rest of my life so what would be the harm in PERMANENTLY inking his name on my right hip. Never say never or forever and ever.

Tattoo Modification 001

What man in his right mind would not love to be honored in this fashion? This was my declaration of undying love, but thinking back on the actually “unveiling” there was a lack of enthusiasm. Where I thought there would be applause and cheers, this small piece of ink art was coolly received. And since there was no pre-planning involved, I had a lot of ink transfer to my white panties – warning: if you are planning a tattoo stupid, wear loose clothing and be prepared to go naked for at least twelve hours after if the art is in an area where clothing will rub and irritate.

As I have continued to emotionally process the divorce – the move to The Flat, photographs for the last fifteen years, the memory boxes, and on and on and on – the last item to deal with was the tattoo. The tattoo was draining my energy. It had an “ownership” attached to it. Duh. It was time, well past time, to proactively address the ink and potential possibilities for modifying.

I started talking to tatted friends and acquaintances and Axis Tattoo in downtown Corpus Christi received the most thumbs up and last Wednesday evening, my neighbor, Richard, acting as my body guard, took me downtown to discuss the possibilities for tattoo stupid. I met with Joseph, a tall drink of water tattoo artist that seemed cool, confident, and had a pretty laid back attitude about the whole affair. After staring at my ass for twenty minutes, he made several suggestions and we made arrangements to meet again at 5:00 o’clock Saturday, July 4th. This would be my personal Independence Day.

OUCH!Tattoo Modification 003

It took Joseph less than thirty minutes to modify the original tattoo. And it hurt like hell. It truly felt like he was cutting the damn thing off of my skin, and it also felt like it was going to be twice the size of the original. Funny how our imagination runs away when we are in the dark. I could feel him drawing on my skin and when he finally offered me the mirror to approve the changes, I felt let down. Not because it was less than I expected, but because it felt like more when I could not see it. Seeing the changes in the mirror made me realize how simple this process would be. I nodded my head and said, “go for it.” Then I felt the first stab of pain, started panting like I was in labor, and wondered where I could get some lidocaine. I told Joseph I did not remember it hurting so badly when I initially got the tattoo – oh, yeah, I was stinking drunk, which obviously dulled the pain, and he tells me this area of the body is very delicate. No shit!

Last night while attending a 4th of July bar-be-que I went commando. It took me a while to find something to wear that did not irritate the area and this morning it is still a little tender and I have my shorts rolled down so nothing touches it. It was worth the pain, though. It is my tattoo now – there will always be the memory of it origin and the reason behind it, but now it belongs to me. And I thank Joseph for his understanding and talent. He took a tattoo stupid and gave me a piece of body art I do not have to explain should I get caught in the future with my pants down. Independence Day 2009!

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