Have I mentioned my love of tattoos? I probably have, I mean it is a huge part of who I am. I don't know how I could have left that part out. Seriously, though I dislike getting them, but I really love the end result. I don't have one tattoo that I don't adore. I couldn't possibly get a tattoo that I didn't feel I would love 40 or 50 years from now. Each is special and unique and perfect for me.
I do have one that needs a ton of work. It was the first one I got when I was 20 and it has not weathered the years very well. Its the only one that has any color, and to be honest it was a pretty poor piece of flash out of a book on a trip to Dallas, Georgia. I got sick, immediately. I have serious anxiety issues and what I didn't know about getting tattoos is that sometimes your body will take over and anxiety will drop you like a stone.
I thought it was just hypoglycemia, but really it was anxiety, so I waited another 4 years to get another. That of course went just like the first, except it was bigger and more involved and it took so.fucking.long. Seriously it took forever, and I talked the entire time, loud and annoying and what I assume to be fast. So here I am sweating, and sick, and talking a mile a minute. I must have been a pain in the ass.
I think it was 4 or 5 years ago when a friend decided he was getting these tattoos he had been yammering about for years. Okay that's probably not fair, but seriously I had heard about these damn tattoos for nigh on 10 years and I was glad to see him get on with the get on. I came to provide moral support, but trust and believe he didn't need it. See there are a couple types of tattoo people. There are folks like me that hate everything about the experience except the tattoo covered dudes who work in the shop and the end result, and then there are folks who actually enjoy the tattoo process.
My buddy got two gi-normous tattoos across his upper arms/biceps that took at least 3 hours a piece. He did them both in one sitting, with a one hour break in between. He never even flinched and frankly I was both shocked, amazed and horrified (both is two yes I am aware) that for such a skinny guy he could sit and take all that buzzing and digging and I couldn't even get one without trying to regurgitate.
His behavior convinced me I could actually get another tattoo. So I loaded up on all sorts of soda and candy and food, convincing myself it was a hypoglycemic attack I was attempting to stop. I sat down and 3 minutes in, I got sick again. Sheesh you would think I could learn, but no I just had to keep pushing it. That one hurt too, it was in the worst possible place and it felt like someone was digging into my spine with a hot knife. Why couldn't I be calm like that guy getting the huge Koi tattoo on his back as he snored. Re-fuckin-diculous!
The thing about tattoos is, if you get one its almost impossible to stop. Something about getting ink is so addictive. It becomes something you need to do, not so much want to do. For me its being able to have something so completely different and special that no one really knows about. Sure people who know me, know how much I love them, and know that I have them. I don't tell other people, cause there is a whole lot of non-judgemental judging that goes on when you tell someone you have even one.
If they have some preconceived notions about them, suddenly it becomes one of those things where they have to pretend to be cool with it. Or they have to try hard not ask you insulting questions about it. Its a big mess really, and I have yet to hear anyone formulate a good enough answer other than "I wanted to" and you know that never clears up a damn thing to the un-inked.
The other thing about tattoos (I am ashamed to admit) is that I love tattooed men. A man almost always gets extra points if I think he is attractive and then I find out he has tattoos. I love tattoo artists, I love tattoo apprentices, I just love tattoo culture. Sheesh its hard to explain but I just had this discussion with a friend of mine and she agreed 100%.
I guess I am lucky, I don't catch any heat for my ink, my mother thinks the tattoos I have are beautiful and secretly wishes she were brave enough to get her own 15 year old butterfly re-touched. My son loves them and plans for the day when he can get his own, my boyfriend is covered in them, and my closest friends have them and find them as wonderful as I do. Yes, I am very lucky indeed. My inner circle finds no fault with my choices, and I love them for that.
So I find myself healing new ink. It is by all accounts the most intricate and beautiful piece I have. Its also the one I am most proud of, because not only does it mean so much to me personally, but its the very first tattoo I've gotten where I didn't get sick. I cant stop looking at it and its inspired several people to go back and work on their own canvas. Its a work in progress and the first tattoo that I am not sure will ever truly be complete. I have plans for it, and its not even a full week old.
Can I say that I am finished? Hell no, I will keep getting tattoos for as long as I have enough skin and hiding places. The day it bores me, the day it becomes an afterthought and not a way to beautify my personal canvas, the day I cant wear a tank top and shorts without folks having a complete tizzy, then I will stop. Not that I would ever wear shorts, come on people I am crazy not stupid. I love what I have done to my body, and with every new piece I feel a little more settled.