My Second Tattoo
was time to add to my collection. After the first tattoo (a lizard on my left chest), I had a newfound appreciation for tattoos. In other words, I was hooked! I called Keith on Thursday, April 1 and got a quote for the next piece. It's another lizard. He said about $125. He said he could have his apprentice do it for half price -- but I said I would prefer if he did it. He understood and said OK. I'm also going to have some green put into the lizard tattoo on my chest. He said that would cost nothing. The appointment was set up for April 8 at 1 PM.
Finally the day arrived -- it was a Thursday - and I waited for my girlfriend who agreed to take me. We left at 12:30 PM and headed to Peter Tat2 in Lebanon Springs, NY - just a 20 minutes drive from my hometown of Pittsfield, MA. This next tattoo will be done of my right lower leg -- facing out. We arrived at the studio just before 1. There was a customer getting some sort of design on her back. By the time she was finished it was going on 1:30.
It was now going on 2 before he started prepping for the tattoo. I also told him I wanted to fill in the lizard on my chest with green. He wanted to take a look at it first. He looked it over and knew that it wasn't quite healed yet, so he wasn't going to do any work on it for another week or so. After about 10 - 15 minutes, he was ready to go with the leg tattoo. I went ahead and sat in the chair and put my leg up on a padded bar. The area of the tattoo was shaved and cleaned. He put some soap solution on my leg and then put the stencil paper over it. He lifted the paper, revealing a purple marking of the lizard. He said the placement was good and asked me to have a look in the mirror to see if I liked where it was placed. I did, and with that he went ahead and said he was going to start.
This was going to be the most painful part of the tattoo. There were more outlines to draw than the first one because there's a lightning design running down the lizard's back. Indeed there were painful areas. Some areas were even more painful than my chest, which surprised Keith. Forty-five minutes later the outline was done and he said that he was going to take a break. I got out of the chair and went to have a cigarette. After the cigarette, I got back in the chair and had Keith take a picture of the outline with his camera. I also had him take a picture of it with my digital camera. Once that was done he resumed the filling of the tattoo. The body of the lizard is blue. The lightning design could have been left open, but I decided to have it filled in with red ink. The eyes were done in a bright neon yellow. Being that the tattoo is right on muscle, there were areas that were more painful than others but overall the feeling wasn't unpleasant and it was nothing like the outline process. He continued filling in the lizard's body with blue. He finished that up by 3:30. I went ahead and got off the chair to have another cigarette and to get the blood flowing through the leg again.
After 10 minutes, it was time to fill in the lightning design with red. Now, before he even began the outlining, he had asked if I had any other tattoos with red ink. I told him the other tattoo had red eyes. Red ink, if the body is allergic to it, will expand and puff up the skin it's under -- permanently. He felt the eyes of the other lizard and couldn't tell if they were or not. To be on the safe side, I chose another color -- it's a dark magenta and almost looks red.
By 4PM he was finished with the lightning design and was filling the eyes with neon yellow. Once finished, he sprayed some cleansing solution on the tat which stung a bit. Then he put some Bacitracin on it and wrapped plastic wrap around my leg and taped it up. Tattoo number 2 was now complete. He took a picture of the completed tattoo with his camera and with my digital camera.
He cleaned up the work area with a disinfectant spray, while I went to get my wallet to pay him. The total cost was $160 ($125 for the tat and $35 for a tip). I shook his hand, said thanks and told him I was interested in getting another tat on my upper right arm. This one would be a more personal design -- not another lizard. It's going to be circular and have a lightning bolt through the middle with the moon on the right side and the sun on the left. Plus I'm going to have the lizard on my chest colored in with green (hopefully). I told him I'd give him a call in a couple weeks to set up the appointment.
It was going on 4:30 PM when we left the studio and headed back home. The area was still a bit sore from the procedure but I had an intense adrenaline rush cursing through my body. We got back in Pittsfield by 5 and went directly home, after an hour or so, I removed the plastic wrap. There was blood, plasma and some excess Bacitracin on the plastic wrap and on the skin. I went into the bathroom and washed the area with antibacterial soap before putting a thin layer of Bacitracin on it. I have to go through the whole procedure again of putting Bacitracin on the tattoo 4 times a day for 2- 3 days. Then I can start using lotion to keep the tattoo from drying out. Overall, the healing process is coming along nicely.
To those that wish to get a tattoo -- it's a very important decision. It's 100% permanent -- unless you have the thousands of dollars needed for removal stashed away somewhere -- and even that's no guarantee.
If you would like to see the new tattoo or my other lizard tattoo, e-mail me and I'll send you a pic!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 May 1999