My BME Tattoo
ince meeting Mel last spring at the Newport Munch, I knew that I wanted her to tattoo me. Not only was I incredibly impressed with her portfolio, but she and I had a great rapport. At the Boston Boobcon, she and I discussed BME tattoos. There is a Photoshop-altered image of Shannon that I love, but my boyfriend felt weird about having me get another man's portrait on my body. (The great thing about not getting a tattoo now is that I can always get it later if I'm so inclined, so I decided to choose another image.) Mel and I have gone to Philly for a munch, as well as to Carrot Top together. It is very important that I have a strong relationship with my artist. This has held up throughout trials and tribulations, and I was therefore very comfortable having her work on me. We chose Sunday, November 21st, as the date for my appointment. Driving from Connecticut to Rhode Island, I had very mixed emotions. On the one hand, I was excited to be getting inked for the first time in seven months, especially after working counter on Saturday at Tattoo International and hearing the buzz of machines all day. On the other hand, I was very sad because a dear friend had a stroke the week before, a neighbor had died a few days before, and I also just got the news that that one of my closest friends from junior high school just got sentenced for selling drugs. I hoped that the tattoo would distract me, as I felt like curling up in bed with my cat and crying. With all this going through my mind, and after finding a seventies and eighties station when "my" radio station went out of range, the two hour drive went quickly. I arrived at Mel's just as I finished my cigarette. Mel greeted me with open arms. We went inside, she and showed me what she'd been doing. She had taken the BME hockey jersey logo but had removed the hockey sticks, and printed two sizes. We decided on the larger of the two. Then we typed out www.bmezine.com and settled on the font Electroharmonix, which looks like the font on the BME Boy shirts. It's more interesting than Arial, but not too too busy like Olde English, and looks great on the area that's only the size of my hand. Mel laid out the text and hand-drew the stencil. She applied it to my left calf. The placement was perfect the first time. She let the stencil dry and then washed it off. We had decided to go with an all-white tattoo. I had originally wanted her to scar me with the machine instead of using ink, but this was painful enough, thank you. I am usually a wuss with a tattoo, and this hurt more. Part of it was because it was the outside of my calf, which has never been inked before. The rest of it was that she really had to drill in the white.
Gloving more times than I could count (!), Mel first did the tattoo with a three, then went over it with a five (needle bar). She worked for WELL over two hours, closer to three, so we had a long time to talk. We talked about Star, my boyfriend, and how he thinks I don't get tattooed for the right reasons. I tried to tell his mother what Ray (the tattoo insurance man) says, that tattoos are the "stained glass window to the soul." Star says that, if that's the case, then how is the Official Tattoo Brand tattoo a window to my soul? I wish that he understood that not all of them are literal windows. He's been in my bedroom enough times and has seen the huge mishmash of stuff, no two things alike and all reflections of me. I think that the fault is mine, not his, because obviously I'm not expressing myself properly. Star wears no ornamentation except a watch; not even his ears are pierced. That was so long ago for me... I wonder, if i was a child and saw myself as a modified adult, would I the Child also not get it? Also, Mel and I talked about Connecticut. Connecticut has NO tattoo legislation except for the age limitation. Artists aren't even required to wear gloves! All that is changing in the very near future, and she and I had a productive discussion about that. So three hours passed, and Mel only had to say once, "Rebekah, do I have to tell Shannon that you were a wussie?" Look. It hurt She drilled in white, then went over it. Even though I like the end result, I don't like pain. Mel highlighted the white one last time, then went to get her digital camera. In the minute it took her to walk back, my open skin had soaked up half that ink! She took a few pictures; then she and I agreed on rubbing the ink left in the caps into the open tattoo. She did so, and the pink of my tattoo soaked up all the ink around it. I take color VERY well (I seldom go out in the sun, and stopped tanning after I discovered that glynase and sun don't mix), and I had rubbed in a little lotion fresh from the shower to make my skin more pliable (it tends to get dry in this weather). I'm hoping that the tattoo will heal incredibly white. I'd brought Mel a package of the new Duracel Ultra batteries for digicams, and she shot 32 pictures for me, which she'll be sending to BME. After she cleaned me up and before she bandaged me, her (pretty!) mom stopped by. She couldn't find the tattoo at first because she was admiring my "brand" - the tattoo had swollen and pinked nicely. It's four hours later now. I won't unwrap for a while, but Mel is ICQing the pictures to me as I type. My leg is warm - feels like sunburn - and I smell deliciously like green soap. ~ Rebekah Sue Harris November 21, 1999
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 25 Nov. 1999