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Inked

Earlier tonight my friend Carly and I were sitting watching television. We'd just finished Children of Men (which I'd seen before but she hadn't) and we were channeling surfing (as we usually do after watching a movie together, which usually finishes with us watching Sex in the City at 1:35 AM). As usual Carly was picking the shows, because if it was up to me we'd be watching the Discovery Channel or All About Eve (which always seems to be on in the early morning). We settled on LA Ink, which is okay with me, I suppose. It's a pretty standard show formula, a bunch of people and at least one famous person comes in to get their tattoo done, each telling some sort of beautiful or inspirational story and with each artist's reaction to said beautiful or inspirational story, meanwhile there is an encompassing narrative of some sort of drama or obstacle the employees at High Voltage Tattoo need to deal with and/or overcome. Pretty basic as far as that kind of show goes, but I suppose it's nice enough and the tattoos are cool.

Anyways, as we were watching this a woman got a WBC belt tattooed to her back, the lead singer of All American Rejects got his dog inside of a banana tattooed to his lower leg, one of the employees got a flower and monarch butterfly added on to an existing tattoo and a woman got a crazy barrage of symbols in her life tattooed to her back. It was somewhere between the dog in the banana and the final woman's tattoo artist's nightmare that I mentioned to Carly how I can't imagine myself getting a tattoo. I find the idea of getting a pet tattooed on kind of silly and not a good long term investment, as the pet's going to die in a few years anyways, so why tattoo what you could simply keep in picture form? The symbols of the woman I found kind of cliche. I mean, come on... how many times have flowers, hearts, birds and kanji been permanently been injected into the skin of millions?

Of course I didn't say this to Carly, who has the drama masks tattooed to her leg and some platitude on her hip. Which is all well and good for her, I mean, I feel like I'm just being condescending about people with "cliche" symbols tattooed. If there is some enduring, much used symbol that you feel the need to have forever engraved into your body then more power to you, but I'm just not that kind of person.

Of course it may be my fear of needles, or my aversion to permanence that has me dissing tattoos, but this doesn't mean I haven't thought about this before. I find tattoos cool, especially well thought out, meaningful tattoos. And I'm sure that having your pooch, or a pixie standing on top of a pile of flaming skulls which symbolizes overcoming alcoholism and a number of other personal demons are very much thought out. I mean, you're going to have them for life! If I was to get a tattoo, though, I just don't know what it would be. So what are some things that are important enough in my life to have them drawn into my skin?

My first thought is, off course, something to do with theatre and performance. NEVER, though, would I EVER consider the drama masks. I mean, puh-lease. Where will you find a more cliche and unoriginal symbol? (No offense, Carly.) And the limitations of the symbol. Happy and sad. Not for me. And, at this moment of my life, I cannot think of a symbol from my experience in performance that I would want on my body permanently. How does one convey a drag queen in a symbol? A gigantic wig? False eyelashes? A martini glass with lipstick smudges? I mean, you just can't manifest biting sarcasm, sincere bitchiness and exagerated bitterness into an image of having Divine's face inked onto your right ass cheek. Now THAT would be a story to tell the grandkids. So no, for now, no enduring symbol of my sequined sisters.

So now onto my next love, which is that of words. Of literature. Of ideas. Of scripts and novels and novellas and dialogues and et cetera. But how do I instill all of this down into one, simple, non-cliched image? It was pondering this while I was cleaning the stove later in the evening that I thought of it. One simple word that I may possibly consider having tattooed. That word is "lovely". It is a word I use often enough, usually on it's own. It can be used as a noun, "My lovely," or an adjective, "You're lovely." It can be used, as I often do, sarcastically, "Michael! The world is going to hell! Everything is polluted, the atmosphere is fucked, everyone hates one another and your milk probably went bad today!"

"Lovely."

However, thinking about it now even that seems silly. What happens when lovely is not how I feel, either sarcastically or otherwise. Maybe I should just get a tattoo that is a line and underneath the line in very small writing it says, "WORD," like a madlib and people can fill it in however they want. Or maybe, in the end, I'm just not ready or meant to have some enduring symbol or imaged permanently engraved into my body.

Sorry Kat Von D.

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Victory Rose
mypaleskin
A delicate boy in the hysterical realm

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