The Mind's I

Piercing violates the integrity of the body and at the same time breaks down those barriers that isolate us from the outside world. Metal and Flesh; polar opposites brought together. In combining them we bring the outside in and make ourselves a part of the whole instead of apart from the whole. Whether for play or permanant body modification and marking, we own our bodies.
-- Mark I. Chester (thanks Keith)

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October 19, 1998
She's a bleeder!

Where to begin? Here I am on the train after I left work early to meet Dori. I found myself excited and nervous, butterflies were definitely fluttering in my stomach. I was to meet her at 23rd and Broadway, where we would get on the R train to go to Modern American Bodyarts. It is a piercing establishment owned and operated by Keith Alexander, a highly recommended regular poster of r.a.b. (the rec.arts.bodyart usenet group) and EFNet IRC's #bodyart channel. I was definitely excited about meeting Dori. So excited that when I exited the subway and started walking down the block, it took me several seconds to calculate that I was heading in the wrong direction. Walk down 23rd to Park. Hmm.. Walk further to Lexington. Hmm.. Park. Lexington. I think I'm going in the right direction. <walks down further> Wait a minute. I work right by Lexington! And Park is to the west of Lexington. Thus, I am heading east. Oops. <quickly turns around, hoping that none of the street-side vendors notices my flustered haste>

I've been pictures of Dori on her website and even then, I didn't know what to expect when I met her. None of the pictures on her site look alike to me. She also seemed like someone who would be kind of my height. Well, I was semi-shocked when I saw her. She's a hundred times better looking than any of her pictures on her website! I mean, I don't think any of the photographs capture the energy and delightfulness I found in her. She was also much taller than I expected it, but I can attribute that to her platform shoes.

We chatted on the train ride down to Keith's. She took out her lomo (wow! It was SO cute! I loved the little face on the front) and snapped a pic in the subway. The train ride supposedly was almost an hour long, but it didn't seem to take that long. Perhaps it was because of such good company. She flicked out her niobium septum retainer for me. It was so cute! One of the most surprising things I learned about her was that she's not a programmer. She's more of a human resources manager. I found this pretty amazing. I've seen her skills and I think she would do wonderfully as a web developer. She told me she played Magic, which I thought was very wild (green and black deck).

I let Dori lead me to Keith's place.
One last look at Iko's unadorned face
It was in Brooklyn. I've never been to Brooklyn. I was surprised when I got to the store. It was not what I expected, especially being previously pierced at the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet was very open and wide. It reminds me of EURO RSCG (an advertising agency) with photographs that look like professional ads of pierced sausages. There was a great deal of space at the Gauntlet and it gave me the impression of being very sterile, like a hospital. Keith's place is totally not like that. Almost the exact opposite. They both were impeccably clean, but Keith's place is small and cosy. The pictures on the walls are articles that feature Keith. That was very cool. The walls are painted a very soothing blue.

Actually meeting Keith was a very intense experience. He reminds me a lot of Jim in that they both seem like intimidating people, but there is a softness in him that I connected with. I think it was his eyes. They seemed very gentle to me. I gave him the apples I brought him that I picked yesterday. He said that he picked out the perfect piece for my face and that it was in the autoclave and he would let me see it when it was finished. I was thinking earlier to ask for a circular barbell, but a voice in my head told me to put myself into his hands and trust him and his judgment, so I went with it. Christine (Bonita80) was sitting on the bench. I recognized her from the pictures from 1000 Scars on the web. She was very cute and had a warm smile that made me feel very good. I leaned against a wall and sank down, feeling very relaxed. The lovely incense probably helped too. Of all the piercings I've had, I was definitely the most relaxed this time. I was with people I trusted and I felt a great deal of love in the room. I don't think I could have asked for better company.

The piece was finished autoclaving and Keith showed it to me. It was a 14g ring with a hematite ball. I think this was a match made in heaven. I love hematite. He asked me if I wanted to change the ball. I said a confident "nope!". I felt so ready then. It was like several pieces of the puzzle were coming together. It was a rush. It's an odd feeling being both relaxed and excited at the same time. I did some paperwork. "Which brow?" "Uhh.. left." After some prep, Keith had me sit in his piercing chair. What a gentleman! He offered me his arm to help me up onto it, but I easily hopped up (short iko). I took off my glasses and he started cleaning my left brow. Keith asked me how I wanted it to look and I mentioned that I wanted it to lie kinda flat instead of sticking straight out. No problem, he said. He took out a measuring gadget and marked it and had me look in the mirror at it (hop down). The two marks straddled my brow. It looked perfect. I nodded enthusiastically and hopped back up unto the chair. I let myself get relaxed and all nestled into the chair. It was very comfortable! Surprisingly comfortable, especially since I dislike straight backs in general. Again, it was the mood. I just was so excited and yet so relaxed. Dori took pics with my digital camera. "One last pic!"

Deflowering in the hands of a master...

Keith placed the forceps on my brow. He commented that this is probably the most uncomfortable part of the piercing and I would have to agree with him. He asked me to take deep breaths, in the nose and out the mouth. That REALLY relaxed me (if I wasn't going to get pierced, I probably would have fallen asleep quickly). I was very relaxed yet I felt like my heart was racing. I felt like a virgin just about to be deflowered by an experienced man (which is fairly accurate. This is my first non-lobe piercing and Keith is very experienced). At the Gauntlet, they tell you when you're going to get pierced. Keith didn't do that. He just told me to breathe. In and out. My second breath, he did it. Oh, it was such a rush! The pain was only a slight pinch. Someone told me that Keith had gentle hands, and they were so true. They felt very loving. He kept asking me if I felt alright and I felt fine.

Hold this...

He told me to hold something to my brow to help stop the bleeding. It took a long time to stop bleeding. I sat down and relaxed after he cleaned off the blood. Dori got a circular barbell in her septum piercing that Keith did the week before. She felt she wasn't adept enough to do it herself, so he autoclaved it for her. While we were waiting for her jewelry, I paid Keith and when I was putting my wallet away, I felt a trickle run down my cheek. "Wowah," I thought to myself. "What was that?" It took me a second or two to realize that it was blood. I said aloud, "Uhh, I think I'm bleeding." According to Dori and Keith, it was all very goth-like. Dori rushed to take a pic but Keith had me in his chair and had the blood wiped off before it could be taken. On retrospect, Keith commented that they should have taken a pic. "She's a bleeder!" exclaimed Dori. This probably explains why my lobe took a long time to heal. I held a tissue to my brow for a long time. Keith decided to keep it clotted and not clean up the blood to prevent it from reopening and bleeding again. I got it clean that evening when I got home and took a shower (at 1 in the morning, my parents probably thought I was crazy).

Dori. What a babe!

Wow. This has been a really long entry, and yet I'm not even done yet with the evening. Christine and Dori and I went down to a middle eastern restaurant down the block. The food was great and we talked about our piercings and Christine's cuttings. Christine had a bunch of pics from other munches and it was cool to see pics of Keith piercing her.
Dori and Christine. Two sexi babes!
She showed us the cuttings that Keith did. They were gorgeous. Perhaps I will do a cutting someday. I loved her pics of other people she met at munches. I haven't seen a group of such beautiful people in a long time. I was coming down from the rush of the entire evening. I felt so sleepy and I just wanted to fall asleep right there. I ate my shish-kabob just because I knew I should be eating something. Christine drove me to the E train stop after dinner and my trip home wasn't as long as I expected. I massaged Mike's back, took a shower, and then went to bed. I haven't slept so good in so long.

© Copyright 1998, Eileene Coscolluela