The rook of no return
Like a lot of us, I went through what I can call now a phase of piercings in my youth. I had my first lobe piercings on my fifth birthday, after begging my mother for months and listening to my dad tell me that my ears would turn green and fall off. My older brother cried in shock as I got them gunned in the local chemist, but I thought they were beautiful :) These were followed by 2nd lobes, nostril, and upper ear cartilage.
Anyhoo, this is the story of my rook, not all those others. I am in my mid thirties now, and it's at least eight years since I had anything pierced. In fact, I had slowly been removing more and more of my piercings to fit an adult, professional, feminine aesthetic.
I ride the train to work each day and see interesting people from all walks of life. I try my darnedest not to spend my ride as a smartphone zombie, preferring to knit and people watch. I often admire ink, piercings of some amazing extremities and shapes, and all the other ways we express ourselves through dress. I do get busted staring, but I try to smile and compliment whatever it was that caught my eye.
By chance on a crowded train I noticed a woman with a beautiful piercing inside her ear, which I had never seen before. I jumped straight onto google when I got to work to learn about its location - it was a rook. Elegant and understated, I'd never seen anything like it. I was in love.
I read everything I could. Blogs, stories on BME, piercing websites. I had to have it. I made enquiries with The Piercing Urge in Prahran, as it's regarded as one of the best places in Melbourne to get pierced. They were friendly and helpful. Now for the hard part - getting my husband's permission. Surprisingly he was fine with it, and wasn't overly interested. He seemed to understand that I wanted it badly for reasons I couldn't quite explain. He is entirely unmodified, save one scar from a teenage ear piercing, but fortunately pretty open minded.
The day of my appointment came and I drove the 45 minutes to the other side of the city. TPU is very clean, if a little run down, and the staff were friendly. I chose my jewellery (plain Anatometal titanium curved barbell, no idea which gauge, I'd guess 14-16) and they put it in the autoclave.
It was school holidays and I was surprised to see young girls there with their mums for lobe piercings. I guess the chemist doesn't cut it anymore. :P After a bit of a wait, and listening to a brave young lady of about eight vomiting after sailing through her lobes, it was my turn.
I never felt nervous or scared at all. It was just all so perfect. It was a forgone conclusion, just waiting to become a part of me.
My piercer's name was Kyle, who I quite liked. He was painfully super cool, and I am not. His ears were heavily modified and the top parts of cartilage were, well, gone. I later told my husband that he looked a bit like an old fighting dog, with chunks of his ears missing.
I couldn't really see the markings, but I could see enough to be pleased with placement. Kyle and I chatted about the hybrid blade needles they use, and how aftercare has changed over the years (my first piercings were cleaned with methylated spirits, and I was encouraged to rotate them frequently). I laid down my head, breathing deeply and slowly. No pain, just pressure. As the needle went through my body locked up and I didn't breathe for a long second that felt like a lifetime. I think Kyle thought I was scared but I was actually locked in a moment of ecstasy, a blissful surge. I exhaled slowly and literally felt my body spew endorphins into my blood stream. By then the jewellery was in and I sat up slowly, carefully to look in the mirror.
It's perfect. My ears are petite and my rook is almost hidden. I doubt anyone but me would notice it unless you were looking for it. I left grinning like a maniac, my pocket $100 lighter but oh, I felt free and light and joyous in a way I hadn't for a long time.
Naturally, I'm already planning more. Daith is high on my list, and a septum piercing (swoon!). The rook is healing beautifully and seems to respond best to the LITHA method of aftercare, the few times I've over cleaned it I've had a little bleeding. It's hard not to mess with it (New! Shiny!) but I'm trying to be good. I've shown a few friends, but it's more for me than for others.
I never spoke to the lady on the train. I like to think some keen eyed observer may one day see my rook and head down the same path. Maybe I'm having a mid-thirties crisis but I feel like I've gotten back a piece of myself that I'd let go of a long time ago.
submitted by: Phonicfrog
on: 13 July 2015
in Rook Piercing