Every time I get tattooed I remember just how tough I'm not. I walk into the shop and the sound of the tattoo machines sets my teeth on edge, the butterflies in my stomach play a rousing game of musical chairs, and I suddenly think of one hundred pressing reasons to leave quickly and pretend I was never there.
Today I had a two-and-a-half-hour session coloring in the vines on my back (pictures after the next time I see someone who's got a camera I can use). It was by far the longest I've ever spent getting stabbed by needles, and the fact that I've now been tattooed nine separate times didn't stop the first fifteen minutes from seeming certain to kill me. It's a pattern by now. Dianna walks into the shop clutching her bag of lemon drops for distraction and blood sugar improvement, artist starts tattooing, Dianna says to herself ha! this is easy, Dianna's ears start ringing, artist waits and waits for Dianna to stop being green and queasy, endorphins kick in and Dianna finds that the world is suddenly entirely awesome, and then, the part I discovered today, endorphins wear off and Dianna finds that it sucks intensely to be her and it's all not over yet.
It still sucks to be me, by the way, and I'm not sure how I'm going to sleep tonight without tomato-shaped pieces of my back sticking to my sheets. But I will sleep the sleep of someone who picked the absolute best artist possible for her project. I've spent two years hearing people tell me I should leave my outlines plain and wondering if the color would even be as beautiful and lush as I wanted it, and I can finally tell you that the former people were not in possession of the facts and I had the right idea all along. The title of this entry comes from the conversation that ensued between Mike and another artist in the shop after he finished one particularly fleshy tomato. It's true. They actually look even rounder and more touchable than I'd imagined.
It's a damn good thing, too, because I've got two more of these things to go and the other two will probably be even longer. Dear posterity: do not get very large and detailed tattoo work if your tolerance for sitting under a needle is very low. And if you do, keep in mind that your work will need to be EXTREMELY DANGEROUSLY AWESOME to make it worthwhile.Posted by dianna at June 21, 2007 07:38 PM