hpim2101.JPGMy first tattoo!  Siamese crocodiles – the West African adinkra for tribal unity and democracy.  My search for the perfect design was many years long and after weeks of waiting for my December appointment I got in on a cancellation.  A, D & Z wanted to be part of the experience so they met me at the studio for good luck.  They were all adorable huddled together loving me as only they do.  They went down the street for burritos while I took the ink.

I never got used to the buzzing of needles.  True: the pain is hard to describe.  Each fine line brought a new sensation.  Most sensitive were the areas close to my hand and the curve of my arm.  I worked to remain focused, reminding myself to breath.  As predicted the endorphins did eventually kick in and make the pain more bearable.  Three occupants were lying on tables next to me: a man having his entire stomach recolored, a woman finishing her sleeves, and a guy with the outline of a sea monster wrapped around his check, neck and back.  My mark was undoubtedly innocent and tiny, but when it was done I couldn’t help but cry out, “I did it!  Someone take a picture!”  They laughed with the same comradery of…  coke buddies.  Me: no longer a virgin, bright pink bandage secured over fresh ink, “Care and Feeding of Your New Tattoo” in hand.  They would be there all night, getting up intermittently to stretch their fingers and backs, and in the end they would each schedule their next session, and the next, and the next, until the work was someday complete.  It was a cheerful goodbye.  

They said I’d be back.                     


5 responses to “Tattoo

  1. BRAVO! “Like a Virgin” inked for the very first time! You will be back! One is never enough! You need to post a picture of the tat!

    love love and more love

  2. Congratulations! I’m so glad the girls and I were able to be part of the experience. It looks beautiful. I just wish I could have seen the whole process. We love you.

  3. I, too, am thrilled for you.

    My next one is at the 5 year mark…perhaps a road trip to the cool studio in Seattle…start planning now! (Unless, of course, you get the itch sooner than that.)

    PS The blogsphere is already richer from your presence.

  4. Yay!!! I am so happy to hear you finally found the right symbol and took the leap! Can’t wait to see it. And you’ve inspired me! I want to get another tattoo right NOW. So, I went looking for quotes on tattoos and came across these – thought you’d like ’em. Lots of love, Jen

    Tattooing is about personalizing the body, making it a true home and fit temple for the spirit that dwells inside it…. Tattooing therefore, is a way of keeping the spiritual and material needs of my body in balance. ~Michelle Delio

    When the designs are chosen with care, tattoos have a power and magic all their own. They decorate the body but they also enhance the soul. ~Michelle Delio

    A genuine tattoo…. tells a story. I like stories and tattoos, no matter how well done, and if they don’t tell a story that involves you emotionally, then they’re just there for decoration, then they’re not a valid tattoo. There has to be some emotional appeal or they’re not, to my way of thinking, a real tattoo. It tells people what you are and what you believe in, so there’s no mistakes. ~Leo, tattooist, 1993, quoted in Margo DeMello, Bodies of Inscription, 2000

    The world is divided into two kinds of people: those who have tattoos, and those who are afraid of people with tattoos. ~Author Unknown

  5. You will be back.
    My first tattoo was a memorable experience. Done at Lyle Tuttle’s(the king of tattoos) studio in SF. He did not do my tattoo, but he came in while it was being done and saw me in my underwear. Big green ones. (this was before I bought cute Gap underwear.)

    I have been tattooed three times since. Each one at a different place in my life. I refrain from getting more at this time. One can cross a line from good taste to “who will hire me now?”

    My tatoos kind of tell a story for me of my journey through life as an adult. The journey is not over, so I imagine I may add another one at some point.

    I personally love the experience. It is somewhat painful, but you know that you are doing something that is so personal. It’s all about you and the artist. You are putting so much trust into this person to not screw up. I have walked out of studios because I did not feel good about the artist. You gotta trust this person wholeheartedly.

    I think your tattoo is cool and it is so you, and I know in your head you are allready planning your next one……….


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