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No Offense

Absit Invidia-Let envy be absent or No offense or No ill will intended. Or most literally Without envy

Envy is a so called mortal sin. Envy is one of the squirming things Pandora lets out of the box in Greek mythology. Envy is a word Josh (scar artist) cut into some girls nice flat stomach a few months ago in fancy script.Invidia is the latin word for envy. ABSIT INVIDIA is my 6th cut.

At first I was just going to have Invidia done as a standard cutting. We came within minutes of it one night and then for some complicated reasons didn't.

I am very glad because as I worked thru the issue I decided it was too negative a thing for me these days. But when I came across the phrase above I just felt it was right.But instead of calligraphy I wanted block type lettering. (see the ANOMALY cut by Lucas Zpira) Not that I was copying it exactly. This has more letters so it is curved like a collar across my chest to fit them. I knew it was a stretch to try to mimic a cut by a master such as this but from what I've seen Josh do I felt it would work out. He thought so to.

I went down on Sunday at 11:00am. I was due into work at 1:00. I knew I would be late and warned people as such. I like to let Josh take his time with things. I think we hung out talking, with him drawing and redrawing for about 2 hours. Then another hour discussing the design with local tattoo artists to spot any flaws. He always does this and it always works in my favor as to the final results.

We didn't get started till about three. We ended up at a shop he used to work out of as it has the cleanest and best set up. One of the piercers there wanted to watch. This made me a bit nervous as I wasn't sure how I was going to take this one. I have had skin removal once before and it was fairly intense. Josh doesn't use anything for pain these days. His last word on it was "I get it done and don't use anything so that how I usually do it". Then he added "I like the way it feels." Maybe he was kidding but knowing him I think not. The guy with the ANOMALY cut(iambizarroboy) mentions a numbing agent in his experience story. Many people seem to. But not all...

This time I wanted to explore. Could I take it? Could I like it?

We were about to find out. 12 Letters.

Cutting the outline was quick and easy. Ofcourse. Then he picked up the clamps. I said "Maybe we should leave it like this" I wanted him to say no and he did. He said it would be okay. Then started sawing. I found it helpful to squeeze my fist along with the movement of the blade. For awhile.

He said "How are you doing?"

I said "Okay. It hurts."

He said "Yeah. I figured you'd thought about that when you asked for peelouts on the chest, right?"

This exchange took place while he was flicking bits of bloody skin off the hemastat onto the tray. There were already many bits there. And of course I had thought of it.

When he was somewhere in the middle it changed. I never wanted to know the exact letter because I was afraid if it was an early letter I would freak out but ofcourse I knew about where he was. When he was just under my chin for some reason it started to feel like piercings. Like 97 of them. I see no evidence of having been stabbed repeatedly so I don't know what was up with that.

We were in the downstairs room which looks like a doctor's office a bit. Or an interrogation chamber maybe. I was in a chair with a sort of flexible back. I could lean back but only so far. Poor Josh was killing his back trying to always be at the right angle. As things progressed I started having trouble controlling my hands. Like yours would if you had a bee stinging you, they wanted to fly up and stop it. Automatic pilot kind of reaction. This emphasized the dichotomy of human nature to me. I had to use one part of my brain to control the other as to the cues it was giving the body. My higher mind wanted this. My more primal side wanted to stop it immediately. I sat on my hands.

Towards the end I could not be quiet any more.My UmHmms in response to his are you doing alrights became long and drawn out MMMMMMMMMMMMMs. I always try to be quiet and sit still. I am a very compliant client. If he says look left I do. Head up, leg down you get the idea.He's done cuts and various piercings for me and never a problem. I say this to try to explain both of our surprise at the following scene.

Ofcourse it involves paper towels. I always complain some about the paper towels and he always says how they spread the cuts in addition to mopping up the mess etc etc etc. No big deal though usually. This time it degenerated into a physical struggle fueled by mortal dread.

He had gone upstairs a minute to ask some one to come down and see and take pictures. While he was gone I talked to the girl piercer who had observed. All fine. Josh came back and got the bottle of green soap and some paper towels. I watched him do this and wasn't alarmed. He sprayed the liquid on my chest and lit me on fire. Then started to wipe it with the paper towels. I flinched away and skidded the chair back into the wall. Whichever part of me had signed on for the peeling had apparently not signed on for this. Touching and rubbing where there was no skin. Awful. This was just awful.

He said "I know you don't like this. It'll be very quick." Then he tried to do it again. I held my arms up in front of me to block him. I don't think either of us realized how serious I was about this not happening. I don't know what Banger ( observer ) thought of this since I never looked at her. She had no paper towels and as such was no immediate threat. I heard foot steps on the stairs but didn't take my eyes off Josh who kept trying to dart in and take swipes at the blood. There was a lot but it was well contained as my bra was full of dental bibs.

As Carlos (tattoo artist) came in Josh was standing over me saying "I have to do this " and I was holding him back with one hand on his chest and the other on the arm that was attached to the hand that had the paper towels. I was saying "You have to stop it right now!"

Everyone just stopped. Josh stepped back and gave me a minute to compose myself. Then he said "Suzanne, put your arms down". To prove I had returned to my senses I did. And he very very very carefully cleaned things up.

The pictures show that awesome red color. The lettering is perfectly peeled out. Well defined and even. Skin removal is really his element. I am again impressed.

He made sure I was feeling okay. Asked about my blood sugar and all then led me upstairs. The shop had literally filled while we were down there. It is a small narrow place as it is. While walking up stairs my shirt had slipped down in the front a little exposing the layer of blood under the plastic wrap. The people closest fell back and collectively went OOOHhhhhhh. He pulled me into the empty piercing station and rearranged things. Then he walked me outside shook my hand and said "That one was fun." I smiled and nodded.

I did not get to work until 6:00. I am on good terms with my supervisor. He knew what was going on. He was just afraid something had gone wrong. When I got to my desk this guy Brian looks up and says "OH No! You didn't! How many letters peeled? Not all of them..."

I said "All of them."

Then I sat still for a few hours just smelling the soap, the blood, the gloves. Someone I like alot came and sang to me.

So the next day. I thought I was prepared for the first shower. Nothing could prepare me I suppose. Not even all my other 1st showers. It was 'give me morphine because my legs are shaking' bad. It took me a day or two to start getting comfortable with this one. Now I am doing some light careful irritation and keeping it clean and covered in plastic wrap.

It was one hell of an experiment. I wonder what's next...

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 Aug. 2007
in Scarification

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Artist: Josh
Studio: Several+Shops+%28wierd+I+know%29
Location: NYC+West+Village

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