Sunday, September 12, 2004

Ink Saga: Spine to Shoulder Blade

Friday night. Seven o'clock. I show up for my appointment with Joe Rose, tattoo artist extraordinaire.


It seems that as Joe had been booked solid on Friday, our appointment had been for Thursday night. I had missed it. Joe was busy, and couldn't fit me in. He felt bad. I felt bad. He asked if I was available on Saturday night. And I decided to make myself available.

So. Saturday night. I rush home from moving, and meeting up with Friend and Landlord, who surprised me by calling from Starbuck's in Doylestown to let me know that his world travels had landed him there, and could we meet up for coffee and conversation (Yes I could!). With lightning speed, I scrambled eggs for my father to eat for dinner, and headed down to New Hope.

The town was packed! (Damn tourists.) But I found the Last Available Spot, and headed to the Lion's Den. And there was Joe, waiting for me. Jamie was finishing up an elaborate tattoo on this kids shin. He didn't even seem to notice. (How possible?) After all of the preliminaries, we got down to it.

Joe had me sit on his new massage bench. You sit face forward, with your face in the little pad with the hole in the middle, and your shins parallel to the floor, also resting on little pads. It's really comfortable. It would be great for fucking. And I guess it worked pretty well for Joe to tattoo my back.


Maybe because Joe was in a bad mood. His bike had broken down twice on his way to work, and he ended up taking his car. Or maybe it was me.

Anyway, I was a wuss. I was really flinchy. I was feeling the pain a lot. Maybe it was because I was trying not, to, like the kid who was smiling and watching Pirates of the Carribbean (our DVD selection for the night, a really fun movie), while his shin was getting tattooed... Whatever.

But I was just a wincing, flinching wuss.

I wanted it to be over. I thought about saying, 'okay, that's all I can take tonight.' I got angry at Joe. I decided that I couldn't go through with the rest of the tattoo, all the way down to my left wrist (clavicles! elbow!).

I couldn't find my headspace. I just couldn't.

It hurt.

Finally, after the credits on Pirates were rolling, Joe was done. I got up and looked in the mirror.

Holy shit. It looks amazing. Absolutely amazing.

Then, I noticed the buzz. Adrenaline and endorphins were pumping through me. I was flying.

I put in a phone call to Big to let him know how it went. I was having trouble forming sentences.

Yup. I was flying.

So it's a journey. Like any scene. You never quite know where you're going, but you learn along the way. The next time I'm bottoming in a scene, I'll have to try to remember all this. Even if things aren't going the way I hoped, even if I'm not enjoying myself, even if I'm just not into it... just hang in there. There will be a payoff.

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