My second torture..err tattoo
sday, November 24, I had been thinking about getting another tattoo. It just so happened that my brother's girlfriend was in town and she reminded me that she wanted to add an 8th one to her "collection". I suggested we go after I got off of work. Sure enough, she said ok and offered to pay for mine as a b-day present. I was shaking as I walked into KingPin Studio in Greensboro, NC. I remembered the agony of my first is tattoo. But I also remind myself of how worth it the pain was everytime I see my tattoo in the mirror (it's ironic..I can not see either of my tattoos except through a reflection). I requested Shane. He'd done a few of my friends tattoos and they had turned out awesome. Debra and I walked along the length of the studio checking out flash. She was going to get an egg with a flower growing out of it done by Salvador Dali. I was going to get a tribalized sun that a friend had drawn me up. We were bullshitting with some of the boys who were apparently permanent fixtures of the shop. I came across a flash page with tribal dragons and fell in love with one of them. I instantly changed my mind. Shane came out and introduced himself to us, quoted us prices, and began the initial stages of preparing for the ink. I had decided to get the dragon on the small of my back..the majority of the tattoo would lie on my spine with the wings on either side extending onto my back. He placed it and had me sit, letting the trace dry some. I was so very very nervous. Him making me wait added to my anxiety. I almost backed out then. He set up the ink (black) and put new needles on. I started shaking when I heard the gun start. That familiar bzzzzz that I had to only endure 10 minutes with my first tattoo. He pulled me in a rolley chair under the light. I was leaning over the edge of the chair with my arms at my sides, wrapped around my belly. I was scared.
He began the outline and I immediately remembered why I swore never
ever to get another one. The pain started coursing through my back. He had started right on the edges of my spine working his way in towards the center. I began breathing heavily. That didn't help. I did just about anything I could to be distracted. I talked to Debra. I talked to Shane. I talked to the "permanent fixtures" walking in. The pain was so completely unbearable. I started sweating profusely after a few minutes. The heater in the room I thought was going to burn me up. I was grinding my teeth together hard. I was biting my lip. I bit my tongue bar a few times but thought better of it when I really started to bite (I like my teeth just fine and didn't need any broken out). Shane asked me if I was ok and I told him no, very matter of factly. I kept saying "oh this hurts...oh shit, you're killing me..oh muh god I'm gonna die". I was making funny noises. He told me that he was going to get a tape recorder and start recording the noises I was making so he could have a good laugh later. He was giggling at me because I was being so funny. Debra couldn't even look at me because she could see the agony in my face. The pain was very intense in the center of my spine, especially towards the middle of my back and closer to my buttcrack. Those were the points when I could not talk. I was gripping the chair and scratching my nails into it. I swore to Shane that it was worse than childbirth..because if child birth is that bad, I'm not doing it :) I swore it would be my last tattoo ever and I couldn't believe I did it again. After the outline he let me rest for a few minutes. He started back up again and it hurt 10 times worse than the outline. I'm still trying to figure out what this going numb stuff is people talk about. I was shaking uncontrollably at points. I was bright red and still pouring sweat. I think I had started to stress Shane out because there were points when I would scream (more a scream of repressed pain). He told me if it made me feel better then hey. He had someone come in and take a picture of me because of the crazy faces I was making (he'd never seen anyone make such odd faces). I flicked the guy off taking the picture which made him laugh (he had just endured 4 hours of this bad ass alien tattoo looking thing). I was sure I wasn't going to make it through this tattoo. Shane kept reminding me of how wonderful it would look when it was all done. He had told me to eat the chair if I had to. At one point I started swearing like I don't think I ever have before. He joined me in the swearing party and said "Yeah, that's right, swear. get it all out. Is your middle name sailor by chance?" Which of course made me laugh. He tried his damndest to help me with the pain. Finally, after 40 or so minutes, he told me only 5 more. He had 5 more minutes and he'd be done. He made me watch the clock. I told him he had 3 minutes to go right as he stopped. He smiled and told me no he didn't (there was a wall length mirror in front of me so I could see him and whoever walked in). He was done and I was relieved. He had asked me if I was ok 5 different times and each time I had told him no. He took a breather and let me stare at it before he cleaned me up. It was a huge black gooey mess. But, beneath all the extra ink, it was beautiful. He cleaned half of it up then had someone else finish cleaning me up (he had to take a call). The boy cleaning me up told me to put a paper towel in the back of my pants because the blood and stuff was leaking down my butt crack (thrilling to know he was looking down my pants, eh?) Several people had come in the room and commented on how awesome it looked as it was being done. I sat and waited for debra to get hers (only about 15 minutes). I thought I was going to pass out. I was so exhausted. Very few times have I ever been so fatigued. I was mentally, physically, and emotionally wore out. I was amazed at the intensity of my experience. It's been 6 days now and it looks like shit. But, that's only due to the skin "flaking" off (more like peeling off to me..but hey). The day after I got it done, I showed it off during my classes and everyone commented on how neat of a tattoo it is. I've gotten awesome compliments on how good and skilled the work is. One of my friends told me she was so extremely jealous of me that I had such an awesome tattoo. My brother likes to examine it for me and tell me how it's doing. I can't sleep on my back and I can't lean on chairs which sucks. After the first day, my back hurt extremely bad. I figured out he gave me razor burn! But, other than that, it only hurts now when I lean against something or accidentally hit it. It started itching like crazy today but I just slap some more lotion on there. I don't think I could be happier with a piece of art put on me. The tattoo is simply beautiful. It's everything I had hoped it would be. It's terrific. If you're ever in Greensboro, stop by KingPin on Lee St. and ask for Shane...he's terrific. In fact, I plan on going back to check out the picture of me, showing him my tattoo, and tipping him another $20 for a job so very well done.....
any comments, questions, answers?
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 Dec. 1998