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My Tribute to a Legend

        Let me just tell you up front that it sucks being 16 and wanting a tattoo. Just imagining how my skin would look designed with the beautiful ink from a tattoo gun and knowing that that dream can't become a reality for another two years drives me crazy. Although I've never been anywhere near to getting a tattoo, my skin is the shelters a desire that makes my skin itch with a craving that words can't justly describe. So I decided that I'd have to settle for the next best thing: scarification.

So this yearning for a tattoo had been steadily increasing until I couldn't take it anymore and knew I needed something. My mom is a grade school teacher and had recently bought little pencil sharpeners for all of her students, so I grabbed one of those, some cleaning solution suitable for what I was about to do and headed towards the bathroom. I unscrewed the razor from the sharpener and let it sit in the solution for 10 minutes. During those ten minutes I had a lot to think about such as what I going to make and where. It had just dawned on me that I wasn't going to draw the tattoo that I wanted with a simple razor, so I had to come up with a easy design. As I was sitting there contemplating in total silence I could faintly hear bits of Phish's newest and last CD...and that's when I knew. I no longer just wanted to do this, I needed to do it so that I could forever honor the 21 year old legend of Phish that would soon be departing the musical world (as of Aug. 15). My love affair with Phish began 4 years ago and if anyone out there listens to them, then they can understand where I'm coming from. I came up with a fish resembling that of the one often used to represent Jesus and Christianity, but added bubbles so as to not look like a religious fiend. From the beginning I wanted this to be a private thing, just something that only I knew about, giving whatever I created more personal meaning. After much deliberation and consideration I finally choose the bottom of my right foot, to the left to the arch, a surprisingly insensitive area. So the time had finally come and I was more than ready. I have some experience when it comes to the healing process, so I knew that to attain the desired outcome, I would need to slightly split the skin, which would cause a somewhat raised and permanent scar. I took the razor out of the solution, took a deep breath and knew that I was ready. Holding the razor steadily in my left hand, I traced the line that I had drawn, adding slow even pressure the whole time. The skin split as exp °>ÃwŒë ected and was even all the way around, making it look awesome. After that, I realize that I wouldn't be able to use the same razor for the bubbles and had to find something else. Eventually I found an x-acto(sp?) knife in my sisters room. I cleaned that in the solution as well and repeated the process. And what was I left with? A near perfect tribute to a group that has reigned over the jam band community for more than two decades.

As well as being a teacher, my mom is also a health freak, so after cleaning my fish up, I applied homeopathic antibacterial cream to kill anything that might have already begun to feaster in the wound and put on a large bandage. I changed the bandage every day just to make sure that any bacteria that was living in the bandage couldn't have too long to possibly cause any infections. It took a little longer that a usual injury to heal because of the intentional depth of the cut and also its location. Because I'm constantly moving both at work and at home, the Band-Aid would sometimes rub the bottom of my shoe, which would then in turn cause friction between the Band-Aid and the cut, causing it to open back up. Obviously it was a little uncomfortable, but the pain only lasted the first day or two and after that all I had to wait for was the scar to finally form.

The outcome is so much more than I expected. I was afraid that once it was all healed I would regret doing it, but I couldn't have been anymore wrong. It healed beautifully and without any complications, thanks to my obsession with germs and keeping the process and aftercare as sterile as possible. I'm not going to directly suggest scarification, but I'm not necessarily discouraging it either. If you're reading this experience then I can only assume that you're considering scarification and if in fact you are all I can say is be cautious. And above all mark yourself with something meaningful and close to your heart because it makes the experience that much more personal. My mark signifies something important and close to me and can also be seen as a reminder of a part of my life that will now be carried on, quite literally, by footstep.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 05 Aug. 2004
in Scarification

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Artist: me
Studio: in+my+bathroom
Location: my+house

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