A Body Modificationand Bonding Weekend
For the longest time a friend of mine, Natalie, has been saying we should meet properly (we met on an online forum) and on a split second decision three weeks ago we set a date for a fun weekend. During those three weeks we decided we should get a tattoo to mark the occasion – just something small and a little random - a puzzle piece with rainbow colours “washing” through it. I got it all booked in with a local artist in my home town of Stamford called Adi Earl (of Earl's Tattoo Studio).
Three days before Natalie was due to come through we were laughing and joking with another of my friends, Roxy, about Charlie Sheen and the term “Winning!” and how funny it would be to get the word tattooed on us, specifically on our rear ends – so when Natalie arrived Thursday night we decided when all three of us headed down to get the puzzle pieces done we'd ask about “Winning!” as well.
Friday morning we spent lazing, relaxing and eating lots of sugary foods and drinks - we headed down town for a coffee and then off to the tattooists.
When we explained about the “Winning!” Adi was more than happy to add it in for the extra cost of only £10! Very reasonable and so....we did it!
Adi drew up three simple puzzle pieces that do fit together with each other and then laid them out for us to fight over who was getting which! I decided to have my piece on my arm, Roxy chose the middle piece and the top of her right breast while Natalie chose her left ankle for her piece.
I was first for the ink as Adi was teasing us telling us our rear ends were going to hurt so Natalie and Roxy told me I was going first!
The puzzle piece was easy to place; I didn't realise how much I had missed the experience of getting a tattoo – the process. I always feel very relaxed around the noise of a tattoo machine. My lower arm stung but nothing awful, completely bearable.
Adie had drawn up a simple “Winning!” for us, nothing fancy or over the top and I picked an area that wouldn't be to aggravated when I slept or sat – not to high and not to low. As the needle went in I played a little trick on the girls and told them it was really painful, agony. Didn't know how I was going to get through it – but after the initial shock faces they soon realised I was kidding around. In all honesty it really wasn't that bad, a little sore afterwards but generally painless to be done.
Roxy was second and Natalie was third. Adi whizzed through their tattoos and we were all done after three hours – that time included drawing time, cigarette and drink breaks and Adi cleaning and re-wrapping the tattoo bed in cling film.
Saturday is the day that myself and Roxy were most nervous about. Weeks previous we had been talking, while hyper active on excess amounts of caffeine, about getting our ear lobes scalpelled due to either of us being able to stretch further safely and relatively painlessly because of excess scarring from previous stretching attempts that had torn or damaged our lobes. The talking became a reality after talking to Dan Hayes; he had done the play piercing on myself and Natasha last year for the Cancer Research UK photo shoot.
After a quick talk about it the week before Natalie was coming through myself and Roxy decided that, yup – it's gonna happen although it was a little last minute to decide to get it done the weekend of Natalie visiting.
The bus journey was filled with random and nervous conversation and theorizing over how it would feel – obviously different to anything else we have had. The bus journey was the longest hour we have ever experienced and the walk from the bus station to Lost Time was equally as long even though it was only a short journey between the two places. By the time the four of us (another friend, Linda, had come a long for the trip) had gotten to Lost Time myself and Roxy were physically shaking.
I had already joked that Roxy was up first because I had gone first for the tattoo. In hindsight – I should have gone first.
After signing consent forms and choosing jewellery all four of us were led towards the piercing room – Roxy and myself were in the room with Dan while Natalie and Linda watched from the door way.
First, Roxie removed her current 8MM tunnels and Dan marked where he was going to cut – beginning and end. Roxie then lay down with her right ear up and Dan placed tissue around her ear to catch blood. He placed a clamp on her lobe and steadily, after making sure Roxy was OK and ready and comfortable Dan put scalpel blade to flesh and cut through her skin. She winced and said ouch but the cutting was OK. Dan lined up the steel taper and pushed it through which was when we found out Roxy had some scarring inside her stretch – Dan cut it away and the taper fit through better followed by the jewellery which he slipped in and screwed the back on easily. The bleeding hadn't been terrible but there was plenty of blood!
Slowly Roxy sat up and swapped ends of the table she was laying on ready for her left ear. I decided not to film that side so I could just watch as I was interested in exactly how and what Dan was doing. Roxy winced as the clamp was placed on her ear and then called Dan a few choice names as he pushed the blade through her ear – her left ear had much more scarring than Dan had realised and that lobe was being stubborn. As Dan cut through the scar tissue Roxy was in extreme pain and did cry. There was A LOT of blood that pooled in her ear, the steel taper was much more awkward to push through and following through with the jewellery was extremely uncomfortable for her. We ended up with Linda stood just inside the door with our bags - she didn't want to see the blood, Natalie was stood next to me with one hand on Roxy's leg and one arm around me as I was panicking about getting my own ears scalpelled and me holding both of Roxy's hands so she could squeeze them when needed.
Due to the excess blood and the lubricant on the steel taper, the back of the second tunnel was being awkward and wouldn't screw on quite as easily so there was a lot of fussing, pulling and twisting to position it right but eventually the back screwed on and I had to have a long hard think about getting mine done.
While we fed Roxy lots of sugary food and drink I talked to her and she said she wouldn't blame me for NOT getting it done, especially as I had to factor in my Fibromyalgia but after lots of tears, panicking and Cal - one of the tattooists - poking fun at me I nodded and decided to go for it anyways. I had come this far and expected to do them so going home without them really was not an option.
Linda and Natalie headed off for food as they felt a little faint after seeing all the blood and the pain Roxy had been in – neither wanted to see me go through the same so Roxy came in with me and gave me a hand to hold.
Dan marked me up in the same way he had marked up Roxy and after feeling my lobes told me that I actually didn't have as much scar tissue as I had thought so, with luck, it would go more smoothly than Roxy's had.
I lay down on the bed and somehow managed to zone out into my “happy place”. I felt the scalpel blade go through my ear but not in an excessive pain type of way. I hardly felt ANY pain from the scalpel at all – it felt like a warm pressure. The steel taper was a little sore but nothing worse than how my ears felt after a particularly awkward stretch. My left ear followed suit. A warm pressure and then just a stinging sensation when the steel taper was pushed through. Dan decided on jewellery with O-Rings for me after the problems he had screwing on the backs of Roxy's. My ears were finished, both of them, inside 8 minutes.
“Welcome to 10MM lobes.” Dan said.
After paying and thanking Dan and being told if we had any problems, questions or if we needed a jewellery change for comfort to just head back in myself and Roxy walked out the shop and the wind blew.... that was just a LITTLE cold and painful on our freshly sliced ears.
submitted by: nexizydrate
on: 04 June 2011
in Lettering Tattoos, Lobe Scalpelling and Cutting, Miscellaneous Tattoos