Goddess of Speed
Over the years, I’ve often thought about getting a tattoo, and have occasionally toyed with images I thought I could wear permanently on my body. I’ve sorted through images in magazines, checked out Google and, of course, perused BME for ideas. I considered flames, tribal and straightforward images, but just couldn’t commit to a specific tattoo. Three years ago, I came very close to a tribal, but didn’t go through with it because travel requirements meant I wouldn’t be able to give it proper aftercare. In the meantime, I also became enamored with male genital piercings, especially the Prince Albert.
For some reason, I quickly—if you consider 7 years quick—got my PA, and immediately started stretching it to a very large size. Unfortunately, after a year and a half, I had to remove it it when my urethral opening ripped, making it impossible to wear metal through that hole. So while waiting for things to heal and the hole to close up (I’m still waiting on that…), I spent several months with no metal in my body, save for a screw in fusing a toe.
During that downtime, I visited the 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance, one of the best vintage automobile and race car shows in the world. I was fascinated by the breadth, as well as the depth, of the show, and by many of the incredible machines on display. As usual, the Packards stood out, and given that I love those cars, I spent a fair amount of time appreciating their style and beauty. That’s when I was struck with the thought that I the tattoo I’ve always wanted should be one of the radiator caps from a vintage Packard.
Back at home, I read up on the history of Packard radiator caps and hood ornaments, and thought about the one that would make the best impression on my flesh. I settled on the late 1920s-early 1930s Goddess of Speed. She’s fairly simple, horizontal and has breasts (what more could I want?), and would fit into the spot where I’ve always wanted the tattoo—the lower left-hand side of my abdomen.
Next, it was time to locate and download a variety of images from the Internet to determine which specific radiator cap appealed to me the most. Then, what angle should I go with, or just a side shot. I liked a slight angle that gave her the impression of movement, and seemed to fit the space better. I printed a couple of angle shots, as well as some side views that showed the details of the statuette that the piercer would need to do a drawing. (To be sure, I really had no idea what was needed because I’d never looked into doing anything like this in my life.) Anyway, I packed everything away and visited the tattoo shop associated with my piercing shop.
At the shop, the patient woman behind the desk referred me to one artist, who declined the job because it simply wasn’t his style, for which I am grateful. He recommended another artist in the shop who works more in straight images than in the more fantastical images. The other artist took a look at what I’d brought and said he could do it. However, his schedule wasn’t open for months, so I had to wait a while before the work could be done, raising my anxiety level some.
Anyway, the day of the appointment, I showed up, explaining to the woman at the desk that I was there for the Goddess of Speed. It turns out the artist had lost the images, but found some immediately—including the one with the perfect angle—when searching on the Internet. He set to work and not long after presented me with the image he proposed. To tell you the truth, it didn’t look like much, but it is smaller than the real thing.
In his room I went, sliding my pants down to give him access to my belly, and waited for the stinging pain I’d heard happened with tattooing. It never happened! I felt some buzzing and occasional—very occasional—discomfort but no pain in the 45 minutes he took to complete his work. Those sensations were far less than I’d expected, and were almost disappointing. As it was, the experience was almost boring, but I never peeked until the work was complete.
I like what he did very much. It’s got the detail I wanted and looks like the real thing, only in ink on flesh. It’s mostly black with some white to give it that 3-dimensional look. I just keep looking at it to admire the image. Before starting, the artist asked if I had any other tattoos. I said no, and he responded that they can be addicting. Since I’ve already discovered that about piercing, I wasn’t surprised, but I am thinking about more ink!
submitted by: Henry Joy
on: 21 July 2014
in Miscellaneous Tattoos