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my new tattoo

terday, (Tuesday), I got my third tattoo. I had been thinking about this seriously for a few months, ever since I had first seen the design. I guess what they say about tattoos being addictive is true. I had tried to go on Saturday but I didn't have the cash on me and they wouldn't take credit cards or checks. Anyway I returned to Michiana Tattoo Emporium Tuesday with my design in hand. I had chosen a really cool sticker of a sun and moon, with stars and swirls in the background. Something about the moon and stars has always captivated me. My two previous tattoos are also celestially themed. The sticker was only the size of a quarter so I enlarged it to about four inches across. There are lots of colors in the design and it is a pretty good size. RT, the tattooist, informed me that it would cost about $300, and take around three hours to complete.

I waited about an hour for him to draw up the design and make the stencil. Since I had been through the process before, I knew what to expect. While he was preparing the colors and the needles we chatted about piercing. RT is also a piercer and he commented on my rook and tragus. I told him how I got both done at the same time at Pleasurable Piercings. (I also got my eyebrow and both nipples done there, but that is another story.) We decided to do a bold outline so it would stand out more. RT was very good about sterilization. He changed his gloves several times and everything had been autoclaved.

I had decided to have it placed in the center of my lower back. I already have one on each ankle, and I wanted to be able to hide it if I had to. I am a junior in college right now, pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. The college I attend is a very conservative, Catholic university. In the past few years, I have seen more piercings and tattoos here but I still get some strange looks. Unfortunately, I realize that body modifications are not accepted everywhere, and I can't wait for the day when they are. I am saddened by the fact that I will probably have to take out my eyebrow and tongue rings when I enter the real world. They have become such a part of me. My parents aren't thrilled with my body modifications. They pretty much think it is a phase I will outgrow, but they still pay my tuition and let me live at home despite their initial threats to the contrary. My 19-year-old brother now has a tattoo of his own.

Anyway, back to my tattoo story, I sat in the chair with my back to RT and my feet on another chair. After he applied the stencil, it was time to start. I have to admit, the outlining was pretty painful. I have a high tolerance for pain though so I was able to stay pretty still. RT even commented on it. He said that no matter how good the artist is, if the canvas doesn't stay still, its hard to do a good job. After the outline was done, the filling in was much less painful. I think by this point my skin had become almost numb. I could still feel the needle but it wasn't bad at all. There are four main colors in the background, but RT also did a really good job of shading with other colors. We only took one real break, because RT felt that if we stopped, my skin would stop being numb and it would hurt more when he started again.

The 3 hours passed pretty quickly. I was kept occupied by looking at all the pictures on the wall of various tattoos and piercings RT has done. We got into a discussion about madisons. I have been interested in getting one for a long time but I am concerned about the rejection factor. RT said he had a pretty good success rate with them, so maybe that will be my next piercing. Every once in a while he would stop and get out the mirror to show me how far along he was. When he was done, he cleaned it one more time and applied some bacitracin. He gave me some to take home and told me to apply it every few hours for the first 2 days and then to just use lotion and wash with antibacterial soap. I had been told to use A&D ointment on my other tattoos and they healed really well so I stuck with that. I am sure lotion would work just as well but I wanted to stick with what I knew.

It's been 3 weeks now and my tattoo is completely healed. I usually put lotion on it every day and use sunscreen whenever I am out in the sun. I think this is really important in keeping tattoos from fading. My other two tattoos are almost 2 years old now and have not faded so I am hoping I will have good luck with this one too. Everyone I show it to thinks it is really cool but they all think it is really big too. I guess that is in the eye of the beholder. To me, it doesn't look big at all. I am incredibly pleased with how it turned out and would recommend RT at Michiana Tattoo Emporium to anyone in the area.

-Colleen cherkert@darwin.helios.nd.edu

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 May 1999
in Tattoos

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