MY FIRST TATOO

I HAD MADE THE DECISION AND THERE WAS NO TURNING BACK. AS WE PULLED INTO THE PARKING LOT, I REALIZED HOW INSIGNFICANT THE BUILDING WAS IN COMPARISON TO THE PAIN IT HELD INSIDE. AND YET, I HAD DETERMINED MY FATE WHEN I GOT INTO THE CAR TO COME HERE. “LIVING ARTS,” WHAT A WONDERFUL AND INTRIGUING NAME FOR AN ESTABLISHMENT WHOSE SOLE PURPOSE IS TO CAUSE ITS PATRONS INVITED PAIN. WITH A DEEP BREATH AND SOME ENCOURAGING WORDS OF MORAL SUPPORT FROM MY COMPANIONS, I ENTERED THE FRONT DOORS OF THE TATOO PARLOR.


ONCE MY EYES ADJUSTED TO THE DIM LIGHTING, I STOOD FIXED IN THE DOOR WITH AMAZEMENT. I WAS IN A WAITING AREA THAT WAS OBIVOUSLY DESIGNED BY REJECTS FROM INTERIOR DESIGN SCHOOLS NATIONWIDE. THE “FURNITURE” APPEARED TO BE REFUGEES FROM THE 1970’S SELECTION OF THE LANDFILL. I COULDN’T HELP BUT TO THINK THAT THESE MUTATED FORMS OF ONCE VITAL LIVING ROOM SUITES WOULD BE BETTER OFF IF THEY HAD REMAINED BURIED. ONCE I REGAINED MY SENSES, I SLOWLY SCANNED THE CHEAPLY PANELED ROOM IN HOPES TO LOCATE ANY FAMILIAR ITEM FROM THE PRESENT DECADE. WHAT I FOUND WAS TWO WALLS LINED WITH POSTER SIZED FLIP FOLDERS. I WALKED OVER TO THE FIRST ROW OF FOLDERS AND STARTED TO THUMB THROUGH THEM. MY EYES GLAZED OVER AS WHIRS OF MULTI-COLORED CREATIONS SWEPT PAST THEM IN INDISTINGUISHABLE BLURS. THEN, LIKE A SHOT IN THE DARK, A TINY YELLOW FORM CAUGHT MY ATTENTION. I BLINKED TWICE TO PULL MY EYES INTO FOCUS AND THERE IT WAS– MY FIRST TATOO. IT WAS THE MOST PERFECT SUNFLOWER I HAD EVER SEEN.

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I HURRIED TO THE COUNTER TO TELL MY “SKIN ARTIST” WHAT MY PERMANENT FLESH PAINTING WOULD BE. WHEN HE WENT INTO THE BACK TO FIND MY TREASURED DESIGN, I GLANCED INTO THE PRINT COVERED GLASS CASE I WAS PROPED UP ON. INSIDE THE BLUE TINTED CASE WERE TWO SHELVES LITTERED WITH TINY SILVER HOOPS OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES. THERE WAS A SIGN IN THE RIGHT CORNER THAT READ “IF YOU HAVE IT WE WILL PIERCE IT”. MY ONLY THOUGHT WAS NOT ME!
MY TORTURE PROFESSIONAL RETURNED AND SAID IT WAS TIME TO GET STARTED. I SUDDENLY FELT WEAK, AND THROUGH SOME UNKNOWN FORCE OF WILL, I FOLLOWED HIM INTO HIS STUDIO.
I WAS BLINDED BY THE NEON GLOW OF THE OVERPOWERING FLORESCENT FIXTURES. AFTER BEING IN THE DUSK LIT WAITING ROOM, MY EYES HAD FORGOTTEN REAL LIGHT. THE SNAP OF RUBBER GLOVE BROUGHT ME OUT OF MY TRANCE AND THE ARTIST POINTED TO HIS CHAIR. WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT I DROPPED MY PANTS AND SLID INTO A BARBER TYPE CHAIR WITH WORN ARMRESTS.

I WATCHED THE FINGERS OF THE ARTIST AS HE SKILLFULLY ASSEMBLED HIS TATOO GUN AND CHECKED THE CURRENT FROM THE BATTERIES. WITH A LIMBER MOVEMENT HE FILLED TINY POTS WITH HIS MIXTURES OF PAINT AND ALCHOL. I SLIPPED INTO A DREAM STATE AS THE GUN WAS BROUGHT DOWN TO MY LEG. IT WAS AS IF I COULD SEE THE TINY NEEDLE PIERCING MY FLESH OVER AND OVER, LIKE A TINY SWORD TEARING THROUGH MY EXPOSED NERVES. I FELT AN INTENSE FREEZE IN MY MUSCLES AS THEY FOUGHT TO RELIEVE THE SCORCHING FLESH THAT ENCASED THEM. AND AS THE HEAT ENGULFED MY UPPER LEG, MY EARS PICKED UP ON THE SINSTER DUET OF THE HUMMING LIGHT FIXTURE AND THE CLOD BUZZ OF THE TATOO GUN. MY LIP AND BROW WERE COATED WITH A THIN SHEAN OF SWEAT. RIGHT WHEN I THOUGHT THAT I WOULD DIE IF HE WNT ON, THE BUZZING STOPPED.

I SLOWLY LOOK DOWN TO MY LEG AND SAW A BRIGHTLY COLORED PAINTING WHERE THE PAIN HAD BEEN. AS THE FLESH COOLED, I NOTICED A CLEAR LIQUID BEGAN TO RISE UP FROM THE WOUNDED MEAT. I FELT THE COLOR RUSH TO MY FACE ALONG WITH A SENSE OF SATISFACTION. AS MY COMPANIONS PRAISED MY FOR MY NEWEST TRIUMPH IN PERMANT STUPIDITY, I THOUGHT TO MYSELF HOW GLAD I WAS THAT IT AWS OVER. IN FACT, I REALIZED THE PAIN WAS NOT TOO ENTIRELY BAD. AT LEAST IT WASN’T INTENSE ENOUGH TO STOP ME FROM GETTING TWO MORE TATOOS.