Love will be enough.
I'd been wanting to get a new tattoo for months, but when I did a consult in my hometown, the guy never called me back, so I ended up giving up on it. I went back to Indianapolis for the summer, and my best friend was going to be coming to visit me. Since she hadn't been able to come with me for my last tattoo, although she'd really wanted to, I decided I'd get my next one while she was in town.ﾠ
After looking online at various shops, I finally decided on Metamorphosis for a couple of reasons -- first, they had a decent website, and second, my mother got a tattoo there years ago. I went in and checked the place out.
When Georgia got into town, I took my design -- a very terrible drawing of a lantern with little wing-scribbles and the words "love will be enough" -- in. I'd chosen the design because love has been something that's carried me through some of the toughest times in my life, and because of a song that's inspired me recently. The lyrics behind the tattoo are less positive: "If love is not enough to put my enemies to sleep, then I'm putting out the lantern, find your own way back home." I wanted a tattoo that symbolized how the love of friends and family had helped me find my way home, that people had left the lantern burning so that I wouldn't be lost. So that was my basic design: a tiny winged lantern with the words "love will be enough" beneath it.
The guy behind the counter told me that there was opening at 7:30 that night when they could do it -- I was surprised and pleased. Metamorphosis seemed to have short wait times (previous shops I'd looked into had been booking anywhere from a month to two years in advance, previously I'd been told their waits were "a couple days", which was fine) but I was not expecting same day service. He guesstimated the price at around $150, which was pretty much perfectly in my budget.ﾠ
Matt came out and I showed him my very bad drawing and then Georgia and I wandered the neighbourhood for the two and a half hours until my appointment. We got back to the shop at 7:30 sharp and had to wait half an hour for Matt to appear. I was getting kind of annoyed with waiting by the time he finally showed up, but when he handed me the piece of paper with his drawing of my tattoo, I had completely forgotten about it. It was amazing -- this beautiful winged lantern with my words in script underneath it, much more complex and quite a bit larger than I'd expected. It was, however, one of the most amazingly gorgeous things I'd ever seen. We discussed colour -- Georgia thought it would be good in black and white, and while I agreed, I'd been picturing muted colour. Matt agreed that any colour would be understated, no fire-engine red, and we went back to do the tattoo.ﾠ
The shop was very clean and open, with lots of mirrors, and well lit. Matt got me to go to the bathroom and take my t-shirt off and take my hoodie and put it on backwards. I went back out and he got me to sit down in the chair backwards and we got started.ﾠ
I knew from the second he'd started that this was going to be much more painful than either of my previous tattoos -- because the design was on my upper back, over my spine, I could feel my bones practically vibrating with every stroke of the needle. I had to grit my teeth through the whole thing because it hurt so bad. Even worse than my bones vibrating was when he was tattooing near my neck, it made my nape piercing -- still irritated two months after the fact (I finally took it out today, because I couldn't deal with it anymore) -- vibrate in place, which was horribly uncomfortable. I was barely able to breathe, and Matt actually had to stop and get my to relax before he could continue. I forced myself to breathe and this seemed to make me relax at least enough to be tattooed. I don't know if it was the pain or some weird nerve reaction, but whenever he took the needle away, I would actually jerk violently. I managed to not do that while he was actually tattooing, which was probably a good thing.ﾠ
Georgia sat and took pictures through the whole thing. The most frustrating thing was being unable to see his progress. I'd been able to watch my first tattoo in the mirror, so I'd had some idea how close it was to being done. This time, it seemed to be going on forever, and it was incredibly painful and I couldn't even see, which made is so much worse.ﾠ
I was pretty convinced I couldn't take anymore when he stopped and handed me a mirror. I actually couldn't really believe he was done. I got up -- I was shaking pretty violently -- and went to go check it out in the mirror. It was absolutely beautiful -- so much better than anything I could have imagined. The colour was exactly as I'd imagined, muted red and yellows. He gave me an aftercare sheet that explained everything I should do to take care of my tattoo. The instructions were way more helpful and specific than those I'd received for my previous tattoos, which had left me kind of lost as to what I was supposed to do.ﾠ
A week later, my tattoo is healing nicely. The scab is just staring to come off on its own, and it looks amazing. I've noticed little details about the tattoo I didn't notice when he first showed me the sketch -- the dot on the i in the word "will" is shaped like a tiny candle flame. The tattoo wasn't what I expected; it was so much better, and the entire experience -- even the "oh my god this hurts like hell" part -- was amazing.ﾠ
It makes me sad I don't live in Indianapolis, because I seriously want to get all my tattoos done there from now on. However, since my parents live here, I'll definitely be back in the city, and I totally know where I'll be going next time I'm here and have a tattoo I want to get done.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 29 May 2008