Bridge piercing and ABBA
I got my first ‘real’ piercing when I was fourteen- a 16g CBR in my right nostril. My earlobes were done at an age I can barely remember, in a hair salon, with a piercing gun- something I firmly and knowledgeably advocate against now. All I remember from the ear piercing situation is extreme pain and tender, pussy earlobes for months afterward (seven year olds can’t keep up a proper cleaning regime, and butterfly backs are not conducive to a bacteria free zone). And what I remember from my nostril is the amount of attitude my mother and I got from the staff at the professional piercing shop, and the pain of the piercing and the aftercare convincing me I never wanted another piercing again in my life. (That changed quickly, with the advent of my eyebrow piercing a few months later, at the same, bitchy shop.)
I recall the staff of the shop being rude and short with us. I can understand needing to inform your clients of possible risks, and the fact that shops need to cover their asses asking for ID’s and making sure everything is kosher. Totally understand. I would never go to a shop that didn't ask for my ID, or make sure I had parental consent under a certain age, or that didn't care about my well-being and their own. That does not mean looking down on clients without piercings/tattoos, giving them attitude, being patronizing, rude, and overall pretentious, clique-y dinks. Going to that shop as an un-pierced person was like going into grade eight gym class being the girl who wasn’t allowed to shave yet. It was unpleasant and uncomfortable. The only good memento from that day was the piercing itself, which I still have, six years later. I remember filling out the aftercare sheets, that moment when before being asked to take a breath where I asked myself
“What the fuck am I doing?” (which I still do before every piercing…), how faint I felt afterward, the formality of the experience.
Since then , I have filled out that form 24 times, and sat through various play piercing sessions, pierced my own ears multiple times (in a professional, sterile setting), stretched my ears up to 1”, been tattooed, and had a scarification piece done. Today I went to get lucky number thirteen (not including retired piercings) with a piercer who has done several of my piercings and been the facilitator for the guest spot which resulted in my scarification. I’ve hung out at his shop many a rainy (or sunshine-y) day, bring him treats every time I go in, and in general enjoy chatting with him. I was passed the form almost as a formality.
“I know the drill,” I said. I could fill this form out in my sleep. Not pregnant (sure hope not!), not (currently…) drunk or on drugs, no medical conditions, D.O.B, John Hancock, here you go! I went to pull my ID out of my wallet to be met with a head-shake. He's seen my mug shot four or five times by now and didn't want any more photo-copies of me having a bad eyebrow day.
“Need any aftercare sheets?” he asked me, not even opening the drawer where they were kept.
“Nope. Don’t waste paper.”
We chatted briefly about my boy toy, a mutual friend’s, overseas adventures while the room was prepared.
We went back into the room and I took my familiar seat (laying down in the piercing chair always feels like being at some kind of therapists and in a way, I guess it is. Piercing adrenaline is something else, indeed, and the way I perceive myself after a new piercing is always more positive.) We chatted while he marked up my face about home (he does a guest spot once a week in the city I go to school in), about asshole kids complaining about not being able to get pierced at fourteen and about how fifty dollars is apparently too much for a piercing. We talked about how much he probably spends on gloves in a year and how creepy the black latex piercing gloves are. The fact that he was wearing a facemask, black latex gloves and holding a needle made me feel like I was in a dom’s dungeon. We talked about how our mods from the guest spot were healing up, and how his ear pointing clients were doing with their new ears.
Happy with the placement of the dots for the piercing (a bridge to be) after much deliberation, I lay down, got clamped, and got ready. I don't even need to mention that the needle came out of a sterile package, he regularly changed his gloves, everything came out of the autoclave packages, and he even wore a face-mask. The moment of anticipation is always worse than the piercing, but also more delicious. I did have that brief moment of forgetting every other piercing I have sat through before, of thinking, “Oh shit, son, what have I gotten myself into!?” and then being told,
“Deep breath in.” I used to need to be counted in with the "1-2-3 breathe", but done are the days where my stomach churned pre-piercing and I thought I might chuck my cookies on the black leather chair. . The warning’s all I need. Before I closed my eyes I briefly saw the lubed up needle in front of my eyes and promptly closed them. Then a feeling followed which hurt less than pooping after hungover McDonald’s. Brief pinch- jewelry in. Ta-da! Post-piercing adrenaline followed and getting onto the subway to go to school, my body was pleasantly buzzing.
He perfunctorily asked me if I needed after care (no. My personal stock of H20cean rivals most shops), and we said our goodbyes as I went on my way. Soon I felt the pressure of the barbell in my bridge as my face said its typical ‘Fuck you!’ and swelled like a balloon (luckily, my piercer knows my face and its tendency to do so, and thus gave me a longer barbell) and knowing that the grandma across the aisleway was staring at the blood on my nose and laughing because stereotypes are funny, and despite my faceful of metal and my Industrial boots, I was listening to ABBA and Haddaway on my iPod, and spent the night before watching The Notebook.
The whole way to school, the thing that made me happiest about the morning was the fact that my piercer knew I knew the drill, and aftercare sheets were unnecessary. Sometimes the body modification world can seem quite clique-y to those outside of it. Sometimes it IS quite clique-y (even within the world). Being a part of the ‘club’, an acknowledged member of a society, and being close to people because of common interests is definitely a booster for my day.
Thus far my glasses have not interfered with it, but I am a vicious eye-rubber, especially post-shower (mmm, scrubbing my lookin' balls with terry cloth just can't be beat), and I have learned the hard way that H20cean DIRECTLY in the eyeball SUCKS.
submitted by: huxley
on: 25 Oct. 2011
in Bridge Piercings