I want a tattoo.
I’ve been turning this idea over and over in my head since my late teens but to date, nothing’s come to fruition (unless fruition means watching a Miami Ink marathon on TLC and spending entirely too much time poring over Contrariwise).
Three issues factor into the lack of indelible ink:
1. I’m like, 86% certain my mom would straight-up murder me. I asked my sister for her opinion and got the following:
Me: I want a tattoo
My Sister: No you don’t
Me: Yes, I think I do
My Sister: Have fun never seeing Mom again
Me: Mom couldn’t be that mad about it. Not if she wants to see grandbabies
My Sister: Can’t have some if you’re dead
Me: Good point
You know what, though? Murder is illegal in these here United States and I’m almost 30 (oh dear God…). So, I’m thinking maybe this one doesn’t hold up as well as it did when I was 19. Maybe. (I love you, Mom. Please don’t break my legs at the kneecaps)
Also, this exchange exemplifies why my sister is the favorite child and I am the first pancake. The one who turned out a little squibbly that invariably gets fed to the dog.
2. A fear of needles and dislike of pain in general, but in the words of Buttercup’s beloved Wesley — Life is pain, princess. Anyone who says different is selling something.
3. Indecision. What would I get? How big? Where? Do I really want this permanent addition to my body?
That last question made me realize something. After twenty seven years, I’ve got more than a few permanent additions on my body that I never really wanted — the scars on my right elbow (fell off a wall when I was seven, face-planted onto asphalt this past summer), the scar on my left knee (slashed open by leg while exiting a car when I was 19), my misshapen right ankle (fractured it when I was 17 while meeting Everclear) and that weird thing on my forehead from when I smashed into a wall (once at seven and again at nine).
When it comes to scars and other disfiguring oddities, I’m smothered-and-covered like Waffle House hashbrowns. These marks all tell a story, so why not write my own instead of smashing into it?
Which leads us to the bigger question of, “Alright. You want to get one…but what the hell do you want to get?”
If I was a man, I know exactly what I would get — a bluebird on my chest in honor of Charles Bukowski.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t translate over if you’re a broad with a bit of a va-va-voomy figure. Why? Because boob tattoos are trashy. Like mayonnaise and potato chip sandwiches trashy.
If I was remotely close to being a bad-ass, independently wealthy and tattoos were licked on by kittens, I know exactly what I’d get — the last words of The Great Gatsby.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning —
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
I’ve mentioned this to a few people and the first comment I usually hear is about what a huge hunk of text this is. Valid point. Especially when you consider that scientifically, I’m classified as puny.
I still keep chasing it around, though. These words knock me on my ass every single time I read them. They get tangled up in my head and make more sense than scripture, hymn, passage and verse. These are the words I turn to when I’m in need of solace or just a sense of security. Of home.
And that’s why I want them indelibly inked onto me. Because you can lose books and papers and pictures in frames. You can lose memories as well, but a tattoo? It’ll be there when everything else is gone.
Thus, we arrive at an impasse. I know what I want. I just don’t know where I want to get it or what I want it to look like.
And so we beat on….