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I Finally Got Cut

I was visiting San Diego for the weekend and found myself, more than a bit tipsy from the effects of alcohol, at Superfly Tattoo on Broadway. The guy I was with, idiot, said "Hey, Let's go get tattoos." (Translation: "Surely you'll sleep with me if I get a tattoo because then I'll be cool.") I went in with him and helped him pick out a stupid little flash tattoo snicker (hey! he was a jerk!) having no intention myself of getting any work done there because I have a good tattoo artist at home who I trust and all my designs are at home anyway. Not to mention that I consider myself smarter than to walk into a tattoo shop and pick a design that I'll probably later regret out of a book. (Well... I am now...having made that mistake already.) I started flipping through one of the artist's portfolios on the counter and found a bunch of shots of fresh, bloody cuttings. "Who does these cuttings?" I demanded to know. I had wanted a cutting for a couple years now but the guy who does my piercings in Cleveland, where I live, told me that he couldn't/wouldn't do the cutting that I wanted. Mike, aka "MNM", at Superfly asked what it was I wanted done. I explained it to him--pretty simple design, on the lump on the back of my neck, and he said "come on back, we'll talk about it some more and see if it's doable." I sat down and he kind of squeezed around on the back of my neck and decided that he would be able to do the cutting where I wanted. He pulled out some Egyptian symbols books for me and I found the one I was looking for. I mentioned before that I was smart enough not to walk into a tattoo parlor and get ink when I was drunk, yet there I was contemplating having some guy I don't know cut into the back of my neck with a scalpel. By this time we'd been in the shop for a while and I was impressed with the fact that everyone in the shop was very friendly and very concerned with putting ~every~ customer at ease, not just a certain "type." I look for that in a shop. As we talked some more, I found out that MNM had apprenticed with/worked with? (Sorry, I forget which.) the guy that does my piercings. That was good enough for me because "my guy" has the best way of making people feel relaxed and comfortable by paying personal attention to each client and by using breathing and relaxation techniques during procedures. I could already tell in the short while that I'd been talking to him that MNM had the same manner of personal attention and one of the other guys at Superfly told me that MNM also used the breathing/relaxation techniques that my piercer does. MNM said he could not to the cutting right then anyway, which I was very glad about. Whether it was because he wanted to get out of there or if it was actually because I had been drinking doesn't matter, I'm just happy he didn't do it then because I'd have had no respect for him in the morning. We made arrangements for me to come back the next day and he suggested I not drink any more that night. When I went back the next day, once again I noticed that all the guys in the shop were very friendly and considerate to ~everyone~ that walked in. Even the bum that wandered in off the street mumbling about some horse tat he wanted on his back. And even though I was stressing way too much to be put at ease (I always spaz out before these things), they certainly tried. While I sat chain-smoking outside or twitching inside, MNM prepared my stencil, did the I.D. check and went through some general aftercare. Then it was time to go back to The Room. First things first, MNM told one of the other guys that the loud music had to go. (Thank you!) Then I lay down and he started taking me through some breathing exercises and messaging the area that he was about to cut into. It's really hard to explain the pain because I put a lot of concentration into breathing and relaxing so that I'm almost in a trance-like state by the time the knife (or needle) hits me. I definitely felt pain and sometimes I could feel him making longer incisions while at other times it felt like shorter, deeper incisions. At one point, I asked him how much longer it would take because it was really hard to determine where he was at in the design. (You know like how you can kind of tell what part of the tattoo they're inking if you concentrate on it?) Well I couldn't tell at all what part of the design he was cutting. All I know is that it seemed like it only took 5 minutes. Maybe it did only take 5 minutes.Maybe it took longer, I honestly have no idea, but it seemed a lot quicker than I thought it would. Oh yeah, then he put the alcohol on it! (Without much warning) Cripes! That hurt. He did a couple more little touch up incisions,cleaned it some more then made me 2 blood prints. After he bandaged it, I sat up and he went over more detailed aftercare instructions with me, including a warning not to drink that day, and then I was done and went on my merry little way. I did have a beer (or 2) later that day, and bled through the bandage just like MNM said I would (I had to test it, didn't I??) It basically only bled that first day and a very little bit the second day. He said not to bandage it the second day, but I did because I was going to be flying home that day (flying! ack! 1 day before ~it~ all happened) and I didn't want to have to worry about it. When I took the bandage off after the 2nd day, it had only spotted. It's 4 days old now and I don't see a whole lot of scabbing going on. I'm supposed to pick these non-existent scabs after a week... but MNM said that would hurt so I guess I'm not too upset that they're not appearing. The healing process has not been fun. It's pretty much impossible for me to keep my hair and clothing off the wound because of its placement on the back of my neck. It hurts like hell whenever I move my head either up or down or to either side because of the skin stretching. Hell, sometimes it stings when I'm just sitting here not moving at all and my hair and clothes are not touching it. And, oh boy, showers and anti-bacterial soap are NOT my friends!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 16 Sept. 2001
in Scarification

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Artist: MNM
Studio: Superfly+Tattoo
Location: San+Diego%2C+CA

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