A to Z: I is for Ink

When I think of ink, I think one of two things. Ink from pens, printers, et cetera or I think about tattoos. Both hold meaning for me.

I love the written word, which if you read my blog (B is for Books is a good start on the subject), you already know this. I read a lot, I write some. There’s nothing better than the smell of a new book except maybe an old one. Books have gotten me through a lot, and I think I’ve learned a lot from them.

I have three tattoos. Each holds meaning for me, though one was more an act of rebellion and I would like to have it covered over. The first tat I got was the day I turned eighteen. My friend Jessica and I went and she got one first so I could see how it was done. I picked out a design that meant something to me (and still does), three interlocking peace signs. It is on my hip and about the size of a half-dollar. I’ve always been a hippie at heart, so it was perfect for me. My parents HATE tattoos. I had mine for over a year before they found out about it. I was living with them at the time and mom came home in the middle of the day and I had gotten out of the shower with a towel around my waist, she saw the tattoo peeking out and that was that for hiding it. She and my dad both expressed their dislike of it, though there was nothing much could be done. Mom made some comment along the lines of not hiding things from her.

So the second tattoo I got shortly after that. A tribal band around the front of my left arm. I immediately woke her up after getting it and told her that I have a new tattoo. I’m such a smart ass some times. The guy that did the second one was not very good. He held my arm funny and went a little too deep, it is still raised (like a welt) after nearly 19 years. The lines aren’t as crisp as they could be and it’s beginning to fade, but that’s normal. He refused to go around my arm all the way because I have a scar on the backside of my arm from a childhood burn. I’d like to have this one covered, but have yet to find a suitable design I like that would cover it or would incorporate around it.

My third tattoo I got on a whim. The local tat shop where I lived at the time was doing a charity event. Donate a toy or money to Toys for Tots and get a free tattoo. It was supposed to be a small tat or the equivalent of $50. I was the last client that evening, and I had talked to my artist for a good chunk of the evening, so I got a little extra. (Tip: get to know your artist, he will treat you right and you may need his services again if it’s a large piece or may need retouched.) He asked what I wanted. I said I wanted scorpion on my arm (right arm). I didn’t have a design in mind though, so I told him to just have free reign. Like a kid in a candy store he drew something out for me and I liked it so he started in. He only did the outline, but it goes from my elbow up my arm and the pincers wrap around my shoulder. It is huge. Unfortunately, about two weeks later, I got a call from the guy and he got a job doing tattoos on the boardwalk in Atlantic City and he moved before I could get more done on it. I’ve had several artist tell me they won’t finish someone else’s work (which I respect) and I haven’t really got a good idea of exactly what I want done with it, so it remains unfinished. Maybe someday…

At least that one is too big to hide from my mom.


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