Dropping Anchors in San Diego
What's the longest period of time you've had between piercings? For me it was roughly 5 years.
For years, I worked as a body piercer in Massachusetts. I worked in a small shop and often, I was the only piercer there at any given time. I had little to no contact with other piercers in the industry, and frequently viewed other piercers as, at best, and at worst, the enemy; a mentality fostered in the environment I was working in. The final 2 piercings I received, I performed on myself: an 8g PA and a 6g Dermal Punched conch.
I left my job as a piercer to move cross country to Southern California. At the time I believed that the departure from piercing was a permanent one; I don't want to say that this belief had a direct effect on my choice to get pierced, but during this time, I did not receive any new piercings and I wasn't all that motivated to seek them out. The move had presented me with a whole new host of obstacles, opportunities and adventures, all of which became predominate in my field of vision.
Years later, I had formed wonderful friendships and had settled in quite nicely to SoCal. I had even joined up with a suspension team. It was about this time that my mind started to drift back to piercing. One fine evening, I was introduced to Didier Suarez of Enigma body piercing in San Diego. We enjoyed some conversation, unrelated to body modification and had a few laughs, and then the topic inevitably swung back towards mods. Didier had begun implanting Industrial Strength titanium microdermals on friends a short time previous to our introduction. He was quite willing to share information with me regarding the ones he had placed in himself and others.
We talked about the logistics of the procedure and the healing time as well as possibilities for removal. For the first time in years, I was blown away. I remember reading of (and experiencing) genital beading when I was younger, suspension, transdermal implants. All of these had seemed so radical when I first read of them, but in my day to day life and interaction with them, they had become quite common place. That night, I felt the rush of excitement talking about the Dermal Anchors with D, one I had not felt in some time.
In the future, I was able to watch Didier perform an anchor procedure. The experience was invigorating to say the least. The procedure was incredibly fast and there was minimal discomfort, something that took me by surprise. I had it in my head that I wanted some. This would be the first time I had been pierced in at least 5 years and pierced by another for probably 6 years.
A few days after Eric received his Anchors, I sent Didier an IM. I explained that, I understood that we had just met, but I was very excited about what I had seen and I was interested in having him put some anchors in my head if he was willing. He responded enthusiastically in the positive, and we began to make plans for me to have 2 anchors placed in my head and possibly one in my girlfriend Heather, in a location at the time undetermined.
We set a date to head to San Diego. Heather baked a big batch of muffins for Didier as a thank you, as we were short on funds and felt bad that we would be able to leave him a monetary tip for his services. We made the 2+ hour drive to SD, a city I had never been to before, enjoying the scenery along the way.
When we arrived at Enigma, I was struck by the appearance. I don't know what I had expected, but the exterior of the shop gave the appearance of a beach bungalow. The wood, the roof, everything about it was very warm and inviting, like the perfect summer home you would want right by the ocean. The interior did not disappoint either; a welcoming, calming environment the waiting and sales area was and I took my time looking at all the wonderful organic jewelry on display.
A short time later, Didier emerged from the piercing room. I had though that there might be a period of awkwardness, having only known each other a short time and not seen each other in a short while. This was in no way the case as we were greeted warmly and as old friends, as if it had been years and not weeks that we had been acquainted.
After chewing the fat, the occasional break to help additional clients and the presentation of baked goods, we made our way back to the piercing room. We discussed placement of the anchors briefly as well as throwing quotes back and fourth from random 80's films and Simpsons episodes. I wear hats quite regularly and had originally wanted to have them placed up in the corners of my hairline, but I was afraid there would be interference, or at least, complications with healing due to close proximity to sweat and bacteria. D determined this would not be the case and encouraged me to go with my gut on placement. I decided on 5mm flat discs for the ends.
Minutes later, after some cleaning, my head was adorned with gentian violet in geometric grid patterns. On the first try, the dots were placed in the correct place, and after parading between D and the mirror for a few more minutes, we both gave them thumbs up.
Now, at this point, I was beginning to get a little nervous. Again, this was the first time someone else was coming at me with a needle in quite some time. I was older and had experienced more in my life since my last experience, and I didn't know if that would make what I was about to undergo better, or worse. Additionally, this procedure, while similar to a normal piercing, was fundamentally something different, and that was slightly unnerving. All my fear was alleviated when I took the chair. D's bedside manner is some of the best I have ever had the pleasure of receiving. We began with deep breathing, which I continued with as he guided me through the procedure with his calming words.
I remember feeling D's hands holding the tissue firm, which might have been the most uncomfortable part of the whole thing. I felt the needle bite deep into my tissue, but then it was quickly withdrawn, as was the pain. I felt the insertion of the jewelry and to myself I though how much my skin felt like a rubber band as the skin stretched and snapped back into place around the implanted portion. The second was as easy as the first, with minimal pain experienced.
Heather sat for her anchor; she chose to have a single anchor placed on the top of her wrist. She sat quite well for the procedure and even commented on how easy it was to sit through. She, like me, had expected something quite more intense.
In the hour following the procedure, it felt as though I had a focused headache in 2 specific points in the front of my head, more of a thinking too much headache rather than a hangover headache. We discussed aftercare and what I could expect as far as healing is concerned, but before I realized, it was getting around to supper time, when Heather and I had determined we would have to start driving back up North. We regrettably said our thank-yous and Goodbyes and headed for the car to get back on the road.
Realizing that it was supper time and we were going to be on the road for a few hours, we decided to stop into In N Out Burger for a quick bite before heading North. For the 25 minutes we sat in the burger joint, people could not stop staring at my head. By the time we finished eating, the pain in my head had subsided and was replaced with an odd tightness. I drove the 2 hours home listening to the Red Sox stage an amazing comeback against Baltimore on XM Radio and quickly forgot about my implants.
In the coming days, the jewelry settled in wonderfully. No swelling, no itching, no pain, no discharge, no blood. I managed to catch the disc on my shirt while pulling it over my head, but only once, and the effects were negligible.
It's been 6+ months since I had my original 2 anchors dropped into my head. I frequently wear different ends and sometimes, no ends at all very comfortably. In the time since I've had them, I've learned a great deal more about them concerning removal and, though I don't foresee any reason to remove them, I'm confidant in their ability to be removed easily should the need arise.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 02 Feb. 2007
in Surface & Unusual Piercing