First Time Etching
I love my Fraternity. It was something that I worked very hard for and gave me experiences that I will never forget. For these reasons I wanted to do what most fraternity boys do and get my letters tattooed on me. This is where it started.
A few months ago my neighbor started doing tattoos on a professional basis and I have been bugging him since to do my letters. He was always willing to let me sit but still wasn't sure that he would be able to do it to the level that he would feel comfortable seeing everyday. So all I would here is not yet, or soon. That is when I decided to take the anxiety of perfection away and go with an art form that not many are using, etching. When I brought the idea to him he said I was crazy and he would have to talk to his buddy about it.
He came back and told me that it shouldn't be done and that it won't stick, so I did myself a little search and came back with a few experiences and pictures from where else but BME. He thought that I was nuts to begin with and then changed his tune when I showed him not only etching but cautery, branding and skin removal. Now he knew that I was merely scratching the surface of the scarification world. After a few weeks of discussion I went up to talk to the owner of his shop who told me that it wouldn't work and that I would be an idiot to have it done. But he was willing to scalpel or brand me right then. This left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth and made me almost want to abandon the whole project. After I calmed down a bit I started thinking straight again. This guy said he's been doing tattoos for over a decade, but when was the last time he did one of these, never. I knew that if I did it deep enough for long enough and had the proper aftercare that I would be able to get a beautiful scar with distinct lines just like I wanted.
Then came a day of funk, you know the kind. Nothing was bad per say but I just didn't feel right. I knew I needed to make a change and so I called up Freddy-D and said it's on. I was stranded in a Ft. Lauderdale airport and I wanted it done soon. He told me that he would get the equipment and do it at the house so we didn't have to deal with the nay-sayers. It's almost funny that I had to convince him to destroy my leg. Finally we were ready.
Point of no return came when we were all set up, he drew on my letters with a bic and slathered on some Vaseline. He adjusted the tattoo machine so the needles came out as far as possible. We considered the idea of hooking or blunting them a bit for more trauma but decided to go easy on our first foray into the art form. Finally he layed down the first line and it burnt like a son of a bitch. This is when I decided that I wanted to quit, I was done. I didn't think how much this would hurt and I didn't think that I could not only do the whole design but let him do it over 5, 6, 7 times.
Hell with it, I went this far. We pushed on. The first pass was a bitch and he dug deeper than he ever had before. After the first pass I asked how this rated to a normal tattoo and he told me that we had already surpassed any tat he had ever done as far as trauma goes. After the first pass I was pretty numb so I didn't mind him working me over. The first touch to any new skin hurt a bit but went numb really soon.
After the first 4 or 5 passes, he really started to get into it and started digging even more until the skin there was just falling apart and he could see the tissue below, almost as if scalpeled. Then we noticed that we were wiping away eaten up skin with every cleaning. Since it went numb it didn't hurt, but I did find myself almost getting sick when I looked over and saw a puddle of blood in the middle of my chi that was jumping every time the machine hit me. It's funny that I really didn't mind him doing it but I couldn't force myself to watch because it disgusted me.
After we were all done I am quite happy with my etching, but now the hard part begins. I woke up this morning and it was all dried blood so I let it soak with water and then let hydrogen peroxide eat away a bit before I went to work with a nail brush. I personally feel that you should at least get it all to bleed every time you scrub it. Now its been about 24 hours and 2 scrubbings and it is still looking really good. Some of the spots are going to need to be reworked but I feel that with this sort of cleaning regiment I should be able to get decent marks.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 18 March 2005