My First Tattoo
It was my junior year of college. I was living in Bronxville, NY, blissful at Concordia College, surrounded by friends who I loved. There was a girl named..well...we'll just call her "M". M had been my roommate for a half semester when I first arrived. M was very unstable. She had a severe drinking problem, a temper problem, a hitting problem and one time got so wasted that she peed on the floor of our door room because she THOUGHT she was in the bathroom. As you can imagine, it was NOT awesome. M thought we were best friends, only because I was the only stable person in her life, the only person who would tell her, "Hey, maybe you shouldn't drink a bottle of Jack Daniels before class." or "I really don't appreciate waking up to you having er, intimacy with two strange men - you need to be mindful of your safety and mine." Yes, to M I was the world and to me, M was the roommate that I couldn't wait to be free of. I cared about her the way you care about any enduring trainwreck. Try to help, but keep at arms length. While M was my roommate, she dated a boy named Matt. I couldn't for the life of me see what Matt saw in her. Matt was sweet, smart and very kind. They didn't last long, as soon as he saw what her true character was, he bolted. Matt and I had many interesting conversations when he was with M, mostly while she drank and we ate dinner. (I promise I'm getting to the tattoo..bear with me). Fast forward a year later: M is no longer my roommate as I changed roommates the first chance I got. I now had a lovely roomie named Rachel, who I adored. M and I talk about once a month, and she's still in the same crazy emotional place. I barely think about her, only to pray once in awhile that she dosen't end up in a ditch. I'm on AOL Instant Message (remember that?) one night, and Matt sends me a message. We start talking...and then eventually dating. We had a great time together, and he was a wonderful and caring boyfriend and I was very happy with him. Together we would take walks in Central Park, go see shows and take cruises around the harbor. We had been together about 3 months and I still had not told "M". I didn't feel like it was relevant. They had dated a year ago, I wasn't that close to her, and they hadn't been together long. And, truth be told, I was afraid of her reaction. To M, Matt had always been "The one that got away" even though they dated for like 5 minutes.
Cue Kim, who gave me this NOT GREAT advice: "Truth is always the best policy"
M asks me if I want to go see Chicago down in the city. I say yes, even though I avoid her on the whole, because I want to clear the air. Here is a little tidbit for all you youngun's out there: Don't tell someone bad news while they are driving. Especially if they are a psycho-path. I casually drop the "Hey, I'm dating Matt" bomb. M procedes to go crazy. And I mean crazy. She is screaming at the top of her lungs. Crying. Cursing. Calling me names that I have never heard and will never hear again. She starts driving 90 miles an hour through traffic, screaming and saying "I'm going to kill you and Matt's going to be devastated and will serve him right when you're DEAD!" I'm terrified. I'm crying and pleading with her to pull over and let me out. M then drives to Maritime - the school where Matt goes. She pulls over at Maritime and gets baseball bat out of her trunk. "I'm going to kill him!" she says and storms into the dorm, holding the baseball bat. I run for the waterfront, where I procede to sit and bawl my eyes out. Luckily, Matt's friends saw the M the psycho with the baseball bat coming and warned him. He didn't know I was there, so he hid in a friends room as she walked up and down the dorm hallways screaming. Maritime was a Navy school...so, if you can imagine that all these Navy boys hid in their dorm rooms from her, you can imagine just how terrifying she really was.
M comes back out. Here is where you are going to smack your head and go "Um, are you really stupid?" Let me preface this by saying that those were the days before cell phones. I had no idea where we were, in terms of the city. I didn't even really know where Maritime was. I had no money on me (M was paying for the show), no phone and no help. My friends were away on break, and Anthony (Who saved me many times in college), was out of town. I was totally and utterly alone in New York. So I got back in the car. I wasn't aware that Matt was inside, as M came out screaming that he was gone. So I got back in. M seemed a little less crazy - on a scale of 1 to 10, she was now an 8. I tell her to take me back to the dorms - IMMEDIATELY. She nods. I get in the car because she seems...well, not okay but not like a murderer.
The minute I'm back in the car, she goes crazy again. She drives like a race car driver again - screaming at me all the way - to this time to a tattoo shop in the middle of Brooklyn. We get out of the car and she says, "We are getting tattoos to remember this dark day" and we walk inside.
At this point, I was a wreck. Mentally, I was so upset and scared that I would have done anything to make her stop screaming and threatening to kill me. I was so shook up that I didn't think out my options. And I want to emphasize again that there was no one I could call. No one. I was at her mercy, being held hostage by a psycho. M walks right up to the tattoo artist and says, "I want to ink my pain." HE SEATS HER! What kind of artist lets someone do that? M procedes to tell him all about how I'm her best friend and I stole her man, and how if she doesn't feel some sort of pain that she will murder me with her baseball bat. He just nods and procedes to put a WEEPING EROTIC FAIRY who is having some sort of intimacy with a vine on her leg. Then it's my turn. I'm just nodding at this point, totally out of my mind and terrified. It turns out that when I'm totally afraid, I will do whatever my kidnapper tells me to do. So I sit down. The guy looks at me with the "You are so evil, stealing your friend's man" face. He asks me what I want and - in the one moment of intelligence that day - I pick a Jesus fish. One, because I know that my faith is something that will outlast any fad and any life changes. Two, because it's just a line. Three, because I am praying that I make it through the day, and I am so afraid that I reach out to God in my greatest hour of need. So he puts the Jesus fish on me.
M drives home, crying hysterically the whole way. When I leap out of the car at my dorm, she screams after me, "NOW YOU WILL ALWAYS BE MARKED FOR THE DAY YOU BETRAYED YOUR BEST FRIEND!!"
I ran inside and called my actual best friend, Anthony - totally upset and hysterical. I told Kim and Amanda and Rachel when they returned from break. They got really mad and went and yelled at M. She stayed away from me after that because Kim and Amanda were kind of scary when they want to be. Rachel just held me while I weeped. In a funny moment later, one of M's friends came up to me - a big tough girl, captain of the soccer team - and gave my a highfive and then told me I had "Balls of Solid Steel". Ah, New York.
Matt and I were never really the same after that, but that's okay because I met Ryan a few weeks later and I was like, "HELLO MY FUTURE HUSBAND!!!" (And he was.)
That's the story of my first tattoo. I know, crazy right? That kind of drama NEVER happens to me, NEVER. I have purposely tried to keep my life drama free. The most exciting things that happen to me lately are involved with Figure Skating at the Olympics.
submitted by: akaine
on: 25 Sept. 2010
in Miscellaneous Tattoos