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Tattoos and their good and bad effects: a double edged sword

got my first legitimate tattoo on my arm just after I turned 19. I was living in Boston, and due to the fact that I just had to have the design I came up with then and there I got it done by a friend of a friend who had a machine, since owning a studio was and still is illegal in Massachusetts. It wasn't the scary experience I thought it to be. One day I just took the bus to this guy's house that I didn't know and got my arm drilled for about 30 minutes for about 80 bucks. Though it was a simple black and white design, it could have been a better job, but after having healed, I found myself admiring it in reflections, car windows as I walked by. Due to the fact that it is an outline of a figure of a man with a broadsword about to stab a silouette of a demon with a pitchfork about to stab the guy and they were both wrestling, some people got it in their heads that I was a racist cause the guy with the sword was "white" and the devil was "black". To the retards who thought this: you are all really smart people. I guess thats what you can expect from whiny art students these days.

It's visible in short sleeves, being on my lower right bicep. I

remember after I got it, it took a while before my subconscious began to accept it as part of my body. What I mean by this is when I stopped noticing that my right arm was inked and my left one wasn't, even when I wasn't looking. It was like walking around with a string tied around my arm. It felt asymetrical. This soon passed though and I found myself itching for another tattoo. Though the first tattoo was a mere physical alteration of my appearance, this next one is still the one I "feel" on my skin even after my sixth one. I saved a bit of money and went, this time to a studio, and got the word "Honor" in old english on my chest. It's not big, probably the width of a hand, with two bluebirds underneath.

I can't go a day without looking in the mirror and knowing I don't

always live up to my tattoo. Some get the word "Strength" or "Luck" or their name, but those serve to be more as a charm. "Honor" is a word I have been enlightened on exponentially ever since I got it done. Now I'm not saying I'm a god damn knight of the round table and shit but if there is one thing I respect it's a man who lives with good intentions. I believe this to be honorable. And good intentions is only a small part of such an all encompasing virtue as "Honor".

My mom though I was a wingnut. My stepfather cracked endless jokes

about me joining the marines (this comming from a guy who would only get the Polo logo real small on his chest where they have it on the shirt if he were to ever get a tattoo, he said). Friends poked fun all the time too ("Hey look I'm robbing an old lady...what are you gonna do, honor boy?"). Though I did not get it as a way of saying "I am honorable" I got it because it's something I hold dear. It also had kept me from doing things I might have later regretted, and provoked me to offer benevolence in a time when I might not have thought to do so. At the same time I'd like to rip it off of my chest when I want to beat the hell out of someone or swindle someone. It's there to stay though, and it serves as the angel of my conscience that would be on my shoulder. I thought about covering it and I'm not going to. One of these days when I have enough money I'll touch it up, possibly add ornate stuff and detail to it when I get money.

These days I'm working on covering my right arm. I design all my

tattoos completely, so it's a pain in the ass when I have to figure out how to fit a design between two others that are already there on a surface that isn't completely flat. I'm 20 and already have six fairly large pieces, four on my right arm, one on my chest and one on my leg. I suppose my arm will be done soon. I'm saving my left arm because I want to remember what one of my arms looks like without ink in it. When I'm older ill cover it though probably.

 I like having tattoos. I enjoy people comming up to me and asking me

about them. My friends are all getting them now too. I'd have to say the best people I like showing my ink to would be little kids. They get all dumbfounded and want to touch it to see if my skin had texture or something. Then the parents give me the "Thanks a lot now my kids never gonna run the family buisness, you've corrupted him/her" look and pull them away. Some adults get just as dumbfounded as the kids do though. Showing off your work to other people who have work is fun too, yanking up your shirt/pants to show it off in bars and other places. Maybe I'll get my ass tattood so I can moon people when that happens.

The charm has a reverse effect though. Sometimes my tattoos scare

people. I get seated in the back of resteraunts. It's hard to find a girlfriend who isn't a whacko. When I try to have an eye to eye conversation with someone they stare like I've got a pair of tits growing off my arm. I can't tell you how sick I am of hearing dumb questions like "Did that hurt?" or "You know those are permanent, right?". It's a pain in the ass to get a job that dosent involve me working in some stock room away from the public eye. That may be ok anyway cause I'm not that much of a people person anyhow.

If there's one thing I'd love to learn how to do, it's learn how to

tattoo. I did some research on how to tattoo, and also how get an apprenticeship, and to my suprise, it's like I have to know some secret god damn handshake or something. I'm not really forthcomming enough to ask every shop in NYC if they need an apprentice, so if there are any artists reading this anywhere who would like an aprentice, I'm poor but a hard worker, I'm good at taking verbal abuse, and usually have a lot of time on my hands. That and I am really good at drawing (so I've meen told, I dont mean to toot my own horn). My web site is here:

http://soho.pratt.edu/~sabet

Anyhow not to digress but the moral of the story is: No matter how

much you ponder your tattoo design there will always be more good effects and more bad effects than you can possibly forsee, so be ready, especially when you get something with a really specific non-ambiguous meaning like a word tattoo.

I'll try to scan a picture when possible. thanks, Amman Sabet

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 May 1999
in Tattoos

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