From: Greg K.
As a startlingly tenatious misanthrope [one would hope to get over the annoyance prompted by social interaction but, as I say, tenatious] I have never been able to deal with the trust associatied with tattooing; "They have never slipped before so I WILL be the first". This mistrust has prompted many a session spent pooring over TATTOO magazine trying to figure a way to do bodyart to myself, by myself. Let me tell you, MIRRORS DONT WORK WELL FOR THIS. Via this path I came to branding; I can design it, plan it and DO it myself! My concept was snake vertebrae, winding around my arm; beginning at the distal end of the bicept and winding once, clockwise, passing threw the shallow at the proximal bicep, incorporating the shoulder muscle and ending 5 inches above the left nipple. OK, taking pen in hand I drew it on and it looked PERFECT! Drawing it on is a little shy of burning it in.......
The idea fermented for many months, occationaly resulting in more
drawings and subsequent explinations - no hardware, no metal work.
The most recent issue of SECRET brought the matter to the forefront though as it included a very nice artical on, wonder of wonders BRANDING. It is, at this point, winter in Boston - I love it; nobody on the streets and the city WONDERFULLY empty. On one of these blustery days [thank you pooh] I found myself on the way home and exceptionaly excited, for no descernable reason. In my bedroom I saw a bose speaker bracket on the floor and the thought occured deep in my brain "that seems to be the gauge of steel mentioned as being optimal for branding in that SECRET article" [PS. I really do talk to myself like that, possibly it was the ritalin when I was a kid...]. Lo and behold it was - and my metal shears were in the room also! Jump forward throught the metalwork and aloe aquisition. I stand before the stove, burner cranked, TERROR FABULIOUS in the background at +-85 db with visegrips clenched on my interpretation of a snake vertebra - open C shaped and two inches long. As the bathroom is 4 steps from the stove I have access to a mirror and very good lighting with little cooling time inbetween, and I begin.
A susurant hiss and my body lights up with stimulation; I can stop this I control this I did this I am doing this - I WONT stop! And my nerves sing as they dump "fight or flight" hormones into my blood - when the heat is bearable the job is done - 30 more to go. The individual sensations merge when I am working behind my arm on the tricept and the brand flows around my arm almost by itself, 3/4 inch at a time. Rising over my shoulder the pain workes its way back to being accute and I realize that neurophysiology is begining to assert itself - YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF DOPAMINE it is saying. Art is the point and self realization - not torture, so; the brand is done and I put away my impliments go to the couch and watch HUDSON HAWK for the 5th time. I do admit to shamelesly admiring my handywork every two seconds or so.
Today is +- a year later and the healing has been over for a while - they are not even vaguely even in intensity, but shape and form are exactly as I wanted - it is individual! There are at least two more that I contemplate and will accomplish when the time is right - the metal is there as is the vasegrip, they are patient, they have nowhere to be.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Jan. 1997