Tattoo You

So… I ran the hell out of myself this month. I’m about 25 hours into a new tattoo, been working on it every Sunday for over a month. I always underestimate the suffering that will occur with these kinds of events – tattooing hurts a little, but whatever, it’s not dentistry or childbirth. Still, the accumulative effects of weeks of being constantly sore, greasy, itchy and reactive to foreign substances do make the ass drag a bit.

Then my dear friend Jyrki arrived in town with his band the 69 Eyes for a listening party for their fabulous new album “Back in Blood”, so that entailed two days of solid drinking and raising of devil horns, culminating in a very surreal 5 am scene in Masayo’s messy apartment that included falling into piles of clothing and a drunken call to Bam Margera.

So–tattoo-ravaged system, excess alcohol, not much sleep = UTI. I won’t get into that too much because this is a public blog, but any woman will tell you that the UTI is one of the worst of the mundanities of being female. Suffering, suffering, suffering. And THEN, gum surgery, which I unrealistically thought would keep me down for a couple of hours, but instead pretty much destroyed the remnants of my remaining health, filled my mouth with bloody stitches, and puffed out one side of my face most unattractively. I wanted to stay in bed forever.

And just to add a little spice to the mix, I have the dubious fortune of working with crazy people who love to scream about absolutely everything and thus made it even more incredibly unattractive to drag my suffering ass into the office. Luckily it seemed to sort itself out by the end of the week and I remain hopeful that my affection for homosexuals will not finally kill me one day. Every once in a while I shout, “It’s fashion, people, not brain surgery!” And they all just look back at me, confused and stunned, as if I were rolling around on the ground and garbling nonsense in tongues.

But time and medicine have prevailed and I am on the comeback trail. Unfortunately Michael Jackson is not, and so my first foray back into the gym today after a two week hiatus included a solid hour of tedious MJ smoothies generously provided by my favorite Chisel teacher Carl who must have whipped together the CD just in time for class. One older woman behind me kept whining, “This song makes me cry!”, while I grumbled, “This song makes me want to fling a weight at your bony ass!” But instead, I channeled the violence into buttlifts. Onward and upward, namaste, be nice and fucking polite Mary.

So what do I want to talk about today, I dunno? Maybe tattoos? This latest venture has (understandably) been making me think about them quite a bit.

Tattoos are SUCH a boring subject at this point. Everyone’s got them and it seems more rebellious to stay completely clean if you are young. I’m always telling non-tattooed 20-somethings to hold off. But I am not as young and got tattooed a very long time ago for what I believe were legitimate and valuable reasons, and I have been wanting to balance out my arms for a while. It felt halfway to have one arm covered while the other was blank.

Over the last couple of years I’ve gone to a few different people, and though all expressed interest in my ideas, no one followed through and I put it on the back burner, figuring it was not meant to be or the right person would come to me eventually. She did, practically knocking on my door. And when we talked about what I thought might be cool she told me she really wanted to do it, and within two weeks it was underway. WWW.WENDIKOONTZ.COM. Get her now because at the moment she has no idea how incredibly talented she is and I predict her career is going to kick into overdrive fairly quickly.

The only remarkable thing about getting tattooed at this point in my life is all the varying opinions I have over the course of days or hours. One minute I’m content that it’s happening, the next I’m thinking, “Omg, what have I done??” One minute I think it looks great, the next I’m panicking over the creative decisions that have been made. It feels absolutely corny to say it, but getting a large tattoo is life-altering because you are altering yourself, your self-perception, the perception others have of you. Someone in the gym called me “Miss Tattoo” today, and I thought, “Ugh. Is this who I’ve become to strangers?”

But everyone I love is covered in old and new ink, and it is a part of my cherished rock and roll culture. When I began it meant something deep to me, even though I approached it like the proverbial drunken sailor and paid for the first one with quaaludes. It really is only skin deep but it’s still a rite of passage of sorts and I do know that even today it still makes a statement of separatism from the over-privileged preppy contingent that roams our urban landscape so freely these days. And that suits me fine. And it hasn’t escaped me that the arm that started 20 years ago is covered in hard, defensive looking angles, while the one now is much softer in energy and line. It does appear that tattoos are more permanent than opinions.

So that’s it for today. I’m back under the gun tomorrow and will be back in action socially next week for Ali’s birthday celebration and Mike’s annual July 4 BBQ. I’m sure a new blog will come out of that, he’s way too nice and alwaysinvites someone awful, which sucks at the moment but provides quality writing fodder. Life is good.

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