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"You're looking at my tattoos, aren't you?"

hould have some pics to go with this soon. if you want me to edit it down some, let me know... I was kindof rambling.

"What are you looking at?"

I quickly glanced away, 5 years old, caught staring.  

"You're looking at my tattoos, aren't you?", my grandpa said as he pushed

out his forearm for me to get a better look, and I took the chance to look closer at it. He had tattoos on both forearms that were faded and blurred with time and age. He had probably gotten them when he was in the navy, some piece of Americana flash in a tattoo parlor 40 years earlier.

"you know what that is, don't you?" he asked.

"a motorcycle."

He laughed, the dagger with a banner with his initials, CRH across it had

faded to the point where it looked to me, when I was 5 years old, like a motorcycle. The blade of the knife the wheels, the banner the riders feet, the crosspiece of the dagger his arms, and the ball on the butt end of the knife the riders helmet. My dad raced motorcycles, and I knew about every kind of motorcycle, and it looked like grandpa had a tattoo of a motorcycle on his arm.

That was my first memory of tattoos.  There was no realization that one

day, suddenly I wanted one. I think that the desire for a tattoo was always there just waiting for the opportunity to get one. I never really pursued the idea until about a year and a half ago. I started drawing designs that I thought would make good tattoos. Searching out tattoo art on the internet to come up with my own design. I came up with a pretty good design, based on a poster I have, and a tattoo I saw, but I wasn't quite happy with it.

My wives friend Lorina, who had two small tattoos, flowers on her ankle,

and a small heart on her chest decided she was going to get another one on her back. She knew I was interested so she invited me to go meet with a local tattoo artist, Chrys (Central Coast Tattoo, Morro Bay, Ca) who she had heard good things about, and saw some good artwork by. We met Chrys and she seemed nice and the studio was clean. She talked with Lorina about what she wanted done, and also talked with me about the piece I had been working on and finally felt good about. Lorina made an appointment for the next Friday to get her new tattoo, and again asked if I would come along. Friday came and I saw how it all worked. (I am one of those people who liked to know how things are done, and how they work). And I felt comfortable with Chrys so I made an appointment for the next Monday.

Monday came quickly it seemed, and I got up, and started getting ready for

work, expecting the day to fly by, then I got a call, and it was raining, work was canceled for the day. The day took forever, or so it seemed. I made it to the studio early, and after two girls had their ears pierced somewhere other than the lobes, I was up. I explained what I wanted done, and my drawing wasn't exactly what I wanted, but the leap from the paper to my skin, I thought was easy enough to explain. This made me nervous because I wanted to make sure that she understood what I was thinking. I guess I was a bit over concerned, so she told me not to worry about it, she would make it look good. She made a pattern of my drawing, and placed it on my shoulder, and had me check it in the mirror.
It looked just like I imagined. I sat down and she went to work.

There is pain involved, but it was in no way unbearable, more irritating

than anything, and it immediately went away when she would stop. Chrys worked for about 30 minutes or so getting the pattern inked in, then she sprayed my back with some sort of antiseptic, and it felt great, like cool water on a sunburn. I let her know that she could do that more often, and she did since the pattern was there now. I would sneak a peek over my shoulder in the mirror when she would dip the ink... wow! it was looking awesome. An hour and a half after she started she said she was done. My wife asked if it hurt, I replied "only when she poked me". I looked this way and that way over my shoulder in the mirror at my new tattoo... it was exactly what I wanted. Chrys smeared a bit of antibiotic ointment over it and I was off.

It was a bit sore for a few days, and it felt tight as it started to heal,

then kind of itchy. Not so itchy that I wanted to scratch it, but I would have my wife rub her fingertips over my shoulder, through my shirt. Its two weeks later and now the spot is just a bit dry. I am putting lotion on it, and looking at it every chance I get. It has lightened up quite a bit since it was new. Chrys said "give it two weeks and it will be a different tattoo". She was right, some of the detail that I couldn't see before has shown up as it lightened.

I am glad I had it done.  It is such a powerful thing.  I told my wife

that my tattoo feels lonely and it wants another tattoo already... she says not until she gets a new dining room set...

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 May 1998
in Tattoos

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