I'll Wear Any Color As Long As It's Black

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Posted in / / / by Jeralyn on February 14, 2009


 


Massimo, Randy, Me.

The first time I went to get a $13 tattoo at Daredevil on Friday the 13th, there were about ten people in front of me and I hung out on the sidewalk in the nice weather for around an hour before getting a sick little dagger on my forearm. It was a fun experience, everyone was chatting and enjoying themselves, but unfortunately Massimo had lost his ID and was inexplicably afraid to use a fake he had, so he wasn’t able to get tattooed with us. So . . . fast-forward to this month when we realized there was another Friday the 13th. I planned my trip to NYC around this event and we made sure to get up early and attempted to get there when Daredevil opened (but we’re lazy and late so we got there at one, not twelve). We ended up waiting in line for six hours, outside in the horrible cold weather. I kept chanting, “Mind over matter, mind over matter,” and stomping my feet to prevent them from freezing solid and falling off. Massimo huddled against the Pink Pony, looking like a typical cracked out LES-rocker — he had forgotten to wear a sweater or bring a scarf and he was chugging from a bottle of Jack Daniels to keep warm. Eventually we made it inside and even though I said I wouldn’t get one if they all had 13s in them (who needs two tattoos with the number 13?), I broke that oath and got a cute little bow. What the fuck was I going to do after spending my entire day and evening waiting? It was a lot less fun this time around, though killing time with Massimo and Randy is always a great pleasure. As with everything cool in life, Daredevil’s $13 tattoos have become too popular and will have to be left aside from my future Friday the 13th endeavors. At least, as Massimo said, “We’ll always have the memories.” (He said this after waiting in line for three hours, when he suggested we leave and I countered that it would a be a huge waste.)

I was thinking a lot about tattoos on the ride from NYC to Boston last night. (Due to the stupid amount of time we spent waiting in line, I didn’t get on the road till about eleven so I had to think about all kinds of shit to keep myself from falling asleep at the wheel . . . driving for hours and hours on empty, dark highways is not a safe way to spend the night.) What I was thinking about is how hard it is to explain to someone who isn’t into tattoos why I or my friends are. By “in or not into tattoos,” I don’t necessarily mean someone with or without tattoos. I know plenty of people who have one or two tattoos that mean certain things to them and they would never consider getting a random stick and poke from a friend in the middle of the night or a piece of flash that they couldn’t decide upon until that day (as with the 13th tattoos). I also know people who don’t have very many tattoos, but almost all of them are done by friends and completely random and they’re always up for something like that. It’s a strange divide because I can’t figure out exactly what puts one on either side of it. How did I become the kind of person that thought it was okay ten years ago to start covering my arms with all kinds of crazy shit? I don’t even like some of my old tattoos, but it doesn’t bother me that I have them; they’re so many notes and revisions in the weird story that is my life. Which is NOT to say that I get tattoos for specific “meanings” because I am not really that kind of person. Besides a couple of tattoos (one being a song title and one being a panel from a comic that reminded me of myself, or more correctly, a person I was and didn’t want to be anymore), I pretty much just got them because they looked cool to me. But still, I can look to each one and pinpoint who I was when I allowed that symbol to be permanently etched into my body; I can recall why it seemed like a good idea and what was going on in my life at that time. I like that I can just go and get a tattoo one day and then I am a different person than I was the day before. Not completely, maybe not even really, but my body has changed because it’s no longer the same body that it was before. I find that comforting and rewarding. There’s no real way to express all of this without rambling over the same points again and again and I don’t even know if it makes any sense at all except to people who feel the exact same way. Anyone who says something like, “I don’t know if there’s anything I would want on me forever. . .” will never understand what I’m talking about.

2 Responses

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  1. Trashforce reaper said, on February 20, 2009 at 6:07 PM

    I really want to get a tattoo, and I will as soon as get a paying job instead of an internship. But I’m not really that precious about what I get. I mean, I try to live a pretty good life, relatively speaking – who cares what I do to my physical body? It’s all going to rot off someday anyway.

  2. melissa said, on June 4, 2009 at 3:36 PM

    i’ve definitely never been against tattoos, i always admired people that had sleeves and i’ve always had a soft spot for guys with neck tattoos. i personally didn’t start to get them until i was in my 20s and they were all well thought out in advance. even so, there’s still one that i’m getting a cover-up on. i LOVE the tattoo…it’s just bad placement. most of the things i have so far are music related(two joy division tattoos, man ray f-holes on my back)and some are things that no one would really get unless they were me. they’re not “deep” or anything, i just have a weird way of expressing things. i combined my love of horror movies and my mother into one tattoo..haha. at least it turned out well. yeah, i never understood people who got tattoos of the tasmanian devil and similar things…but hey, they’re the ones stuck with it. i just know that i could never be a tattoo artist…i couldn’t handle all of the tribal and chinese characters…and i’ve seen enough flower tattoos to last me a lifetime. did you ever hear about that asian tattoo artist that got so tired of preppy college girls asking for “love”, “harmony”, “family”, etc tattoos in chinese that he got revenge? he wound up writing on them “i’m a dirty slut” and various things. i have to admit, i do get a big laugh when someone gets a tattoo and the tattoo is misspelled or if they’re getting a tattoo in a language that they don’t know, so they don’t REALLY know what they’re getting.


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