A wierd way to start.
I made the mistake of joining a fraternity in college. I hadn't done anything of note in high school, and yet I somehow ended up joining the crazy frat who seemed more like a criminal organization. While I don't really think that was the best choice I ever made, I did end up with one positive thing. I love my brand.
I had wanted it for a while. A few of the brothers had them, all of whom were older. It was not a common practice, just something for the crazies. I wasn't one of them, so I understand that no one took me seriously. In an effort to call what they thought was my bluff, it was arranged one night. The materials were brought to the fraternity house, and everyone was surprised to see me take off my shirt and put a chair in the kitchen. Since no one thought I meant it, no one had been in the mood to actually brand me. The lack of people willing to brand combined with issues in heating the metal meant it didn't happen that night.
A week passed before I finally had the chance to get it done. The brother(who was about to graduate med school) who had branded most of my brothers was in town for a function and willing to do it to me. That Friday, word went around the fraternity enough that most any brother near Richmond, VA that night showed up to see me get branded on my upper left arm. It had not been done in a while, and I understand it's a spectacle for them. Everything was set up around a crowd of about thirty of us. For some whatever reason, the girls in the house were asked to leave. I guess someone knew they wouldn't come back if they saw it.
My fraternity doesn't do this in a very safe or clean manner. I have to emphasize that this isn't a healthy way to do this. Two coat hangers were clipped and bent with pliers. A large "P" was made for the greek letter rho. A shorter one, measuring about an inch and a half, was made to make the two lines that form a "t" for triton, which is greek for "third." I was sat in a chair and told to take my shirt off and grab the seat of the chair. I was told to pull up on the seat during the burn so my arm wouldn't move from side to side. During all the hype and commotion, my brothers couldn't get the stove to work. So, in a moment of idiot genius, another one of my brothers walked the block to his apartment down the road and returned with a blow torch. It was a long ten minutes of sitting and waiting. It was way too long to sit and wonder why the hell I was doing it. He came back with it, and they started to heat the metal. Another one of my brothers, an Airborne Ranger, was told to hold me down during the burn. Finally, they told me to shut up and sit still. I took a look at the red hot P and looked away, completely zoning out.
It was very strange. I remember the sizzling and the awful smell. It's weird when you hear something sizzling like a restaurant fajita and you realize it's your arm. I remember when I had my ears stretched a few years later and hearing the noise of my skin being stretched. It's strange. The P part of the brand actually felt cold at first. But, it was pushed in hard and deep and held until the metal was no longer red. After the P part, I was in lala land. The two smaller burns to make the T were quick and easy. As they finished, my Ranger brother asked if I wanted to take my mind off of it. I nodded, and the crazy son of a bitch punched me in the face. The next morning, I had a fat lip to go with my new brand. But, I remember after the brand, I was instructed to drink a large plastic cup full of bourbon, which knocked me the hell out. It was a strange night.
I had it done in the spring. It was nice weather the next day, and I remember how I felt like I was freezing. It took a few days for my body to get back to normal. It took forever for it to heal. It was a very deep burn, and it looked so nice, thin, and black at first. Then, the puss and all the other nasty stuff kicked in. I went through a lot of neosporin. I think it finally healed and didn't itch any more about six months after I got it. My brand is considered the best in the fraternity. For whatever reason, it turned out well. It didn't turn into a big blob like some, or certain parts didn't heal and disappear. The only drawback to it was when I went to boot camp. Having a "PT" on your arm makes you a target for Drill Sergeants' sense of humor. But, even though I can't stand my frat, I love my brand. It's got it's own meaning for me.
It opened a door. First I had my ears pierced at a mall. A year later, I started having them stretched to what would be 1/2" at their peak. I started getting tattoos and having a lot of fun with my body. I had my labret pierced. I wouldn't have really done that if I didn't have my brand. I'm glad I got it because it put me in the right direction.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 18 March 2005