My second touch-up appointment with my tattoo guy, Joe Rose of Lion's Den II in New Hope, PA.
Last time, Joe did the outlining from my left wrist up to my left deltoid. Today was quite the productive day, despite the distraction of the wildly hilarious seasone one of Reno 911. ("No, your style works for you, in a sort of whorish I-have-no-self-esteem way.") We made it back to my shoulderblade, over my shoulder, down over my left pec, up across my clavical, my neck and down my back over the rib cage, and finished up crossing my spine.
It was absolutely fucking excruciating agony.
Luckily, there was this other guy getting tattooed in the next chair. He was pretty stoic about the whole thing. For a while, I was thinking, "Oh sure. your bicep. Big deal." But then, when the worked moved to the underside of his arm, the games began. I have to admit, he got the better of me, remaining totally immobile, with only a glazed expression to give him away. I was clutching the cuffs of my jeans, my wrist, my ankle, whatever, with white-knuckled intensity. But I'm sorry. I'll see his underneath the upper arm, and raise him a clavical, neck, rib cage, kidneys, and spine.
Did I mention it was absolutely fucking excruciating agony?
I am so glad I'm not a bottom. How do they do that? "Oh sure! You want to stick needles through my dick! Cool!" "Oh okay! You want to whack my tender ass with a cane? Sure thing!" "What's that? Suspend me by fish hooks through my flesh? I'm game!" Today, I went through a significant amount of pain, and I have to say, I don't understand what the payoff might be. "I was flying!" is an oft heard refrain. For the record, I did not fly. Not before, during, or afterwards. I felt shakey and fragile afterwards.
But I did notice something interesting. Pain comes in flavors, subtle yet distinct in their variety. There's burning pain. There's stinging pain. There's Yo!-Something-is-wrong! pain (that would be the pain you feel when you're getting your kidneys or spine tattooed). There's sharp pain. There's enduring pain.
I did--a little, not a lot, because I kept getting distracted by the fact that it was absolutely fucking excruciating agony--do my best to do that Zen thing of noticing the pain, metaphorically rolling around on my tongue and getting the full flavor of it. (What I notice was that it was absolutely fucking excruciating agony.)
But it's done. For whatever reason, I'm thinking that the worst is over. Definitely, there are some tough spots ahead: hip bone, inner thing, kneecap, shinbone, ankle. But it's lower body, and I think that the farther you get from the head and the heart, the less evolution has wired us to "care" as much.
And now, I just wanna go to bed. Drop off into the arms of Morpheus. Sleep it off.
Tomorrow, I'm heading down to Philadelphia, helping the Baron pack up his apartment of twenty years in anticipation of an up-and-coming move. I think I might be re-living some of todays fun as I haul four years worth of Paper magazine. (The Baron is something of a soft cover publication fetishist.) The Baron's recent ordeals (evil landlord! extortion! fire!) (yes, fire!) deserves a post of its own.
And now, I'm signing off. It's been a long day.
And it was absolutely fucking excruciating agony.