I am tattooed. Not the ″oh, I have a butterfly on my butt cheek″ tattooed, but full blown ain’t getting a corporate job, funny looks from old ladies tattooed. Guess what? I fucking love it.
My neck tattoo was the turning point. Once I got a large piece done on my neck, the stares went from curious to intimidated. I've always been into odd hobbies and I've always been considered the ″weird one″ of my friends and family members. My choice in body modifications feels like a way of expressing who I am to anyone who looks at me. Once again, I love it.
I'm a train hopper. I travel around the country hopping on freight trains, think 40's era hobo. Yeah, that's what I do. As fun as this career choice is the income is well... let's say limited. So, seeing as I have no cash for piercings or tattoos, I have done all of mine either myself, or had a close friend do them for me. I know that right now half the body modification community is cringing, but almost all of my tattoos and piercings are well done (I have a couple that are not the greatest), and they all have a lot of sentimental value for me.
My favorite modification and the one I am writing this story about is my neck tattoo. It's one of two tattoos that I have actually gotten done with a tattoo machine, and by a tattoo artist. Once again I have never stepped foot in a tattoo shop. The tattoo I chose to be emblazoned on my neck is the Elder God Cthulhu in a stylized cartoon form. Around the cartoon is a quote from an H.P. Lovecraft book. I'm not in the mood to type a bunch of gibberish, but it roughly translates to ″In R'yleh dead Cthulhu lays dreaming″.
I had just rolled into NYC, one of the most disgusting cities I have ever stepped foot in, especially in the summer. The whole city smells of armpit and heated trash. The air is moist and clings to your body. It's hard to breathe in the stifling air. It's about mid-June and the city is sweltering. My birthday falls on the 25th of June and I happen to have a friend who does tattoos in this city.
I have multiple tattoos and piercings, but I have yet to have one done with a gun. I like stick and pokes. I like being able to see where every single dot is going and I also enjoy the way that stippling looks, the effect of the dots being used for shading has always made me happy inside. I don't know why I just love the feeling of stick and pokes. Tattoo machines seem jarring and impersonal. However they do get the job done a whole hell of a lot quicker and most my friends are more comfortable with using a machine.
So as I am hanging out in Tompkins Square Park, I run into my friend who has a machine and does tattoos. Since its my birthday and the design is very simple cartoon style work she is only going to charge me $20 bucks! This is still the only body modification I have paid for to this day. She invites me to her room at C Squat, she lives on the 181st floor (I'm sort of exaggerating), and so we make the slow, sticky, stifling stroll up an indeterminable amount of stairs to reach her humble abode.
Once we arrive at her room, we bullshit for a while. I end up talking to a kid who had just gotten a nice color wasp design on his leg. He was visiting from somewhere or another and it symbolized his trip or something....I didn't pay that much attention. Either way I made some small talk while the artist traced the design I had out of my crappy beat up notebook and onto some paper that hadn't been dragged all around the country in a crappy backpack.
After drawing the design on tracing paper she traced the back of it with a pen, lubed my neck up with clear deodorant and placed the design and asked me if I liked the placement. I picked up the piece of broken mirror and ogled my neck. It was exactly where I wanted it huge and taking up almost all the available space on the front of my neck.
Now for the actual tattooing. I lay down on the floor (sterile, eh?), and place a pillow under my neck to prop my head up and allow her to do her work. I expected this tattoo to REALLY hurt, it didn't though, probably since I am lacking an Adam's apple, either way it wasn't too painful. It felt more like a warm heat on my neck than anything else. The center of my neck was not painful at all, but the sides and the lettering was a little tender, but not bad, at least not compared to my face tatts or my chest.
Overall the worst part was the heat lamp. Her apartment was really dark so I had a silver heat lamp focused on my neck so she could see what she was doing. That was pretty unbearable. I actually had to take a break halfway through and drink some water and breathe for a few minutes. I felt like I was cooking!
All in all the tattoo only took about an hour maybe an hour and a half to complete. Once she was done I grabbed back up the broken shard of mirror to see how my Lovecraft tribute turned out.... it was fucking amazing! It was exactly what I had drawn up in my notebook. I mean exactly, the writing was even my own handwriting! It was amazing!
I amazingly managed to keep it uninfected while being a homeless punk rocker in New York City, which I am still not sure how I managed that one. I just didn't touch it, and I kept it covered with antibiotic ointment the whole time....and yes I know that's not the best aftercare but it worked and I have a fucking sweet Cthulhu neck piece. Actually writing this reminds me I need to send the artist some pictures of it healed. I think I'll do that right now...
submitted by: smutnbondage
on: 23 March 2012
in Face and Neck Tattoos, Geek Tattoos