about a week after my 18th birthday when I decided to finally go for it and get a tattoo. I had been planning on getting one for a couple of years, and now I finally had the chance without doing the illegal thing. I had been working on my design ideas for a couple of weeks before my birthday (yeah, I know, a long time on one design, but it was my first) and I finally knew what I wanted. I wanted to go with a star-moon design. So I went and picked up my friend Amy (have to have the moral support, you know) and we went driving. She knew this place that was supposed to be really good. Only we never actually got to that place. Truth be told, we kind of got lost on the way. After deciding that we had missed the SkinArt Gallery, we decided to stop and ask directions at this other tattoo studio we found. Fate or coincidence, who knows? So we stepped inside and I started looking around at the flash and the portfolios. The work there was really great. Some of them even looked a bit like what I had in mind for my tat. And it didn't give off any kind of 'bad vibe' that some of the other places I had been in before did. It didn't feel like they were all looking at me, thinking 'What's that normal kid doing here?' So I ended up talking with Molly. I showed her the truly pathetic drawings I had made of my idea (I have no real artistic skills) and she worked out a design that I loved. We got the design arranged on my ankle (she had one of those carbon paper things that left the outline on my skin) and we were ready to go. So I'm sitting in the chair while she's setting everything up. "I've got three things I need you to do," she told me. "Keep breathing, don't move and don't kick me." Now I'm definitely getting nervous. I'm about to make a permenant change on my body. And from all accounts I've heard, it's going to hurt like a bitch. I had been talking with several of my friends who had gotten tats before. They had likened it to anything from cigarette burns to "It hurt like a f*ing bitch!" That and the fact that I was getting it on a place that was supposed to be extremely painful (my ankle) had me in a less than calm state. But to my credit, I didn't freak out or anything. I just sat there and waited for it to start. She started on the outline and I blinked. "That's all," I said. It barely hurt at all. It was more annoying than anything else. Considering that I was getting a needle stabbed into me over and over again, I was really suprised. I couldn't believe that a biker guy once kicked her during this. The entire time, I got to sit there and watch her work out this design on my skin, making a permenant change on me. We talked through out the whole thing. I kept marveling over how much it did not hurt. In fact, as we went on, I kind of started to like it (um..not like that, but you know what I mean). The whole process took about 30 minutes (it wasn't a very big tat). It was a very Zen experience. When we were through, I had a beautiful crescent moon/star design on my ankle that I am extremely pleased with to this day. The coloring came out even better than I had planned. The moon is shaded blue and the star is pretty much flesh tone. I had wanted to go with some kind of silver, but it turns out they didn't have anything like that. Since I am definitely not a yellow person and I'm pretty pale to begin with, we just left the star blank-white. Afterwards, it stung a little and bled just a bit. I took the bandage off after about 2 hours and it was just... "Woah. I have a tattoo." As I said, very Zen. Truth be told, it kind of got me thinking alot about the future and permenance and the choices we make in our lives. But that's sort of another story. Of course, now I want another one, but considering my money supply is pretty limited, I think I'll have to use piercing to satisy my body modification addiction. I do have plans for my next tattoo and as soon as I have the money and feel that I'm ready for it, I'm going back in. My next time around, I'm going for a big dreamcatcher on my upper back with a couple of blue feathers and (er... maybe) a spork. Don't ask about the spork though. It's probably best not to know.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 Dec. 1999