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An Investment

Since I became enthralled in the body modification community, I've never really been interested in tattoos. I've seen so many that I felt they were almost outdated, a pussy's way of feigning individuality and strength. I focused my interest to scarification, the real man's method of expression. Oh you had a needle going into your skin? Damn... I had my skin peeled off without the use of any anesthetic.

With time came some maturity. This isn't about who can stand more pain, this isn't a game of thresholds, this is you. This is me. Body modifications are used for good, to help us reinforce ourselves as people, as humans, as individuals. I got over my rejection of tattoos.

I had my first one done a while ago. I have all my tattoos planned out so far, and I have yet to decide if I'll ever get any besides what is on the map. I'm becoming Salome. If you're curious, go look up "Salome Dancing" by Gustav Moreau. I found that painting in Dada and Surrealism by Robert Short. I'm obsessed with Dada. I've done so much research on the subject and that book just topped any other source I've ever found. But through that book I discovered the concept of Salome. A real princess in her time, over time, through the Bible and all that hullabaloo, she became more than a woman. She became more than a person. She evolved into this mythic representation of female prowess and strength. She seduces and she conquers. She asks for the head of John the Baptist. I love the entire spiel. How something was made out of nothing through words and time. How she went from being a woman to being a symbol, an icon. I love it.

In the painting I mentioned, Moreau seems to have drawn all over her in these strange designs. The symbols have some Greek, some Egyptian, and some Biblical significance. He drew her jewelry, a crown, a scepter, a shawl, all jeweled and sprinkled with nymph-like faces, with symbolic animals, with eyes and waves and wind. He painted her nude, in the throne room but drew on her power, her symbols of authority. It's amazing to see.

I want that. I had the bracelet on her left arm tattooed on my left arm. It's simple; rows of circles, petal designs, circles with flowers in them. I'm so happy to have it done and I can't wait to get the rest.

As for my experience with Wesley, he's kind of a dick. That's only to be expected when the guy works four days a week and he's booked for months. I've known him for a while through coincidence, so he treated me like a friend, not as a customer. I hated it. My first appointment was cut short after a couple hours so he could go have sex with his girlfriend. My second appointment was cut short because by the time we were 90% done, it was 2:30 AM and he was about to die. This was only because he decided to do some guy's name on his shoulder before me. I got there on time for my appointment and waited an hour for him to finish. He kept assuming that because we were already acquainted I would understand if he just blew me off for something else.

At times he's less mature than I am, seriously. It was all jokes and fun, giggles and ridiculousness. He made it very difficult to stay still for him. He's your guy if you want a laugh. But when I'd mention something sad, something serious, he went right into Father Mode. [he's got two little girls.] But he knows things. He went to art school and knows all about art history, about Dada, about Duchamp and "The Fountain." So if you want intellectual goodness, go to him. I really didn't get any good vibes from the other artists at A1. Maybe because Wesley had already claimed me, but maybe because they're not as interesting or as fun.

He claims that the tattoo would be $200 normally. He said he'd give me a friend discount, only make it $100. I was cool with that. But all the delays, the dicking around, the stupidity, I was promised more of a discount. He cut it down to $80 and I had convinced myself beforehand that I wouldn't tip. But the time came and he was such a trooper that I thought I could make it an even $100.

Oh but get this, I had to give him a ride home because his car broke down and I'm assuming that his ride bailed on him. That was his fucking tip.

I'm not a patient person. I'm trying to figure out if I'd ever go to him again. Once I return for my last appointment to get little dots on the last row of petals, I'll make a decision about my next tattoos. Kansas City has plenty of tattoo shops, I can always find another


submitted by: Salome
on: 26 March 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Wesley
Studio: A1+Tattoo
Location: Kansas+City%2C+Missouri

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