The Mind's I


"Everybody wants to see the pictures, and yet nobody wants to see them."

-- Ray Bradbury The Illustrated Man

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November 17, 1998
Flesh as Canvas
Today is a day not devoted to me, but to Christine. Today, I went to see her get inked. She's been wanting a tattoo of lizards around her arm for a long time and she decided today was the day! She invited me down to watch if I wanted. The tattoo place was the same place that I went to see Keith a week previously, the Rising Dragon (I think), right above the Gauntlet.


But first, I got off the bus a bit short of 5th Avenue to see the marchers in front of Grand Central Station (I should have just walked, dangit!). I heard them chanting on the bus, but couldn't make it out. In the past, I would have just walked right past them, but this time I decided to actually stop and see what they were protesting. After all, I left work early and I had tons of time to make it down to the tattoo parlor. It turns out that they were protesting the USA's (and other countries') trade embargo with Iraq. They proclaimed that all the government was hurting was the poor people, the needy and innocent citizens of the country, not the evil big government. There is some truth to that, I think, but largely because the government doesn't really take care of its people well. The government of Iraq is willing to sacrifice its people for its principles (and self-interests). Sounds like us, doesn't it?

I met Christine at the shop. Christine's Bare Arm She was already there, showing the artist the pictures of lizards from her books. She gave me back my Elizabeth book, which I left in her car over a week ago accidentally. She told me a bit about her trip back to Philly to pick up her car. I brought the digital camera to take tons of pictures of her tattoo (and the procedure), plus to keep her company. I told her I had to leave around 8:30 (in order to get home at the 10pm time that I quoted to Mike). Christine's Bare Arm, Part II She said that wouldn't be a problem at all. I took a few photographs of her bare arm (for posterity's sake!). Her arm was a little red from the marker that was drawn on the arm earlier. The tattoo artist (Willy, a tall black man with numerous tattoos on his arms) kept coming in and out, showing her sketches of the design for her armband. Christine told Rebekah Willy, the tattooerthat she was planning on getting the tattoo to go all around her arm (she thinks to only get it done half-way is very wimpish) and Rebekah told her that she was a "brave girl". I reassured Christine that my job was to try to distract her from the pain of it, even if I would have to bore her to death!

Willy Outlinetook her arm and applied a stencil to her arm that displayed the tattoo and its placement on her arm. The artist took his time carefully and erased and inked a pattern back on a number of times just to get it perfectly right. He had Christine stand and hold her arm down naturally, to be sure that the armband looked even. After much trial and error, both the artist (and Christine) were happy with the design.

Christine and I chatted while the artist filled little plastic wells with ink and prepared his area. He had Christine lie down on a table and had her arm lie lower on a rest. I think that really relaxed her.
Click me!
Then I started chatting. I think I talked my head off. We talked about my decision to get an industrial for the new year since I promised Mike no new holes until January. My right ear has been feeling particularly lonely and I figured that by that time, my left side would be healed enough for me to start on the other side. I don't know exactly how the industrial will be placed (exactly) but, we'll worry about that when the time comes. I talked to her about Elizabeth and what made her cool.
Lizard, Part Deux
Click me!
That led me to talk about the Claudians and why I think they are cool. I do have a penchant for politically scandallous royalty! I even pulled out my Fluxx game and explained the rules to her. <grin> I admit, however, it was tough to come up with things to really talk about. I thought I was boring her to death when I talked about the Claudians, even though she (and Willy) reacted to the amount of scandal that they brought to the Roman Empire.

I was so self-absorbed with chatting that I didn't realize that it was close to the end of the procedure and I haven't taken any photographs while the artist was working. I took photos primarily in between whenever the artist would take a break.
Lizard, Part Deux
Click me!
Luckily, the way that Christine was lying on her back on the table allowed me to reach over with the camera and take some pictures of the finishing touches to her tattoo. Watching the artist work was pretty fascinating and I was tempted to sit there in silence and watch. Thinking about Christine sitting in silence and in pain stopped me from being quiet and so I would start chatting again. It wasn't exactly what I expected, although what I should expect, I was completely clueless about.
All the way, baby!
Click me!
She said that the procedure wasn't as painful as she expected to be, which I suppose was good. She was even surprised how little it hurt when Willy was tattooing the soft part of her underarm. She said that her ankle hurt far worse. I wonder how painful a wrist tattoo would be. I'd like to hide whatever I get under a watchband.

Armband! It was done! And beautiful! I congratulated Christine on a lovely piece of art. She seemed very happy with the result. The artist told her to come back after it's healed so that he can add white spots all over it, no charge, to give some added effect to the piece. Christine and I took a cab up to Port Authority. By that time, it was quite late and we were both very hungry, so I treated her to chinese at the station.

Another new experience, although a vicarious one. Maybe in the future... ink for iko!

© Copyright 1998, Eileene Coscolluela