Thursday, April 08, 2010

Why a White Tattoo?

If you follow me on Twitter you've probably noticed I'm covering a limited scope of subjects these past few days: all the television shows I'm watching and my new tattoo.

I never, ever thought I wanted a tattoo. I went through a stage in high school when I was into piercings (lots of earring holes and a nose ring), but was okay with that, because I knew it would be temporary - tattoos never interested me because of their permanence, but also because I believe that to get a tattoo - to permanently brand your body - you must have a compelling reason to do so. I never felt I had one.

About a year ago I was introduced to a friend who had a white tattoo on the inside of her wrist - a subtle mark; initials of someone close to her who'd passed away. Immediately, I loved it. The white tattoo is so different from a normal one. It's much more subtle - it makes the art more personal, in my opinion. It's a tattoo just for you. I liked that idea.

So it's been a while I've been thinking about getting this tattoo; my mother's initials - PWCS - on the inside of my left wrist, just above where I wear my watch.

Last weekend my roommate made plans to consult with a tattoo artist and I thought - why not? So DiTonto kindly brought me with her - on an experience during which I felt very much the little sister - and the tattoo artist was a friendly guy, excited to do the work. It was all so easy!

Next thing I know it's Saturday, and an hour before our appointment I had a sort of epiphany: what if I did the tattoo in my mom's actual handwriting? My mother had very bizarre handwriting. Some letters would be lowercase, others all capital - with no rhyme or reason. Letters had odd shapes and placement. It's one of the most distinct fonts I've seen. (And that's what I made it, a font - but in the form of a white tattoo... )

I found an old address book that belonged to my mother, and all the letters I needed were in an address for someone from Ipswich, Massachusetts. And just like that I had it - the perfect tattoo, pwcs (all lowercase) in my mother's own handwriting.

The entire tattoo experience was fun in a sort of rare exhilarating way. There's a weird adrenaline rush that comes with the whole moment - a sort of light-headed buzz that heightens everything. I had four friends with me, including DiTonto, who's tattoo was much bigger and more complicated than mine, and also, really, the main event! I was like the pre-show, the warm-up act. In fact, mine maybe took all of 15 minutes to do. And just like that, I was handed a beer and it was over. It was done!

*DiTonto, by the way, is a fucking champ for handling what was clearly a painful experience. I guess the ribs qualify as the "least fun" as far as pain level goes, and she took it like a rockstar. The wrist wasn't great, but as another friend pointed out, going to the dentist is worse.

I love my tattoo. And I'm going to post a picture. Soon. However right now it's still healing so it's kinda ugly. Like scabby and a little red and partially healed but raised and in some spots sort of weird-looking. So I'll post that pic when I want to show off the final masterpiece. Obv.

Until then I am just going to do my very best to ignore the fact that I am at that stage of the healing process where I want to scratch the shit out of this thing...

1 comment:

SamArtDog said...