I can't believe I actually did it.
wanted a tattoo for many years, but I was too afraid of the pain. I also didn't want to get one until I had settled on a design and was happy with the idea of it for several months. That was a nice plan, but I kept changing my mind. I knew I wanted a kanji but I didn't know what I wanted it to say. I had many ideas, but most of them were too much for my first tat. I decided to go small so if I didn't like the experience I could suffer until it was over and not go back.
Once I finally got another job I decided that it was time, so I finally chose my design (the Japanese kanji for "poison") and placement (on my lower back, left side), made the appointment and put down my deposit and gave Lance my design.
The Sacramento area has a lot of shops, and I've heard a lot of good things about most of them, but I chose California Tattoo because it's a small, clean shop with nice artists. Two of my friends had been tatted there and were very satisfied.
The day of my appointment I was kinda nervous all day. My friend Penny, who also works with me, was going along and getting three large tattoos compared to my small one. She was worried I'd chicken out but I didn't want to forfeit my deposit. I'm so sensible.
I made sure that I was going first, because hers were going to take several hours and I knew I couldn't deal with sitting listening to the gun and watching her before I got mine.
I'd been with several friends to get tattoos before, so I knew what was going on. I watched to make sure he had new needles and new ink and everything was sterilised. It was. I didn't really like the choice of music, but since he was the one with the gun, I figured it would be better if he was happy. ;)
Lance did all that good cleaning stuff and then put on the stencil. He had me stand up and check the placement. I was very nervous at this point so I said it was fine and sat down on the table. He had me lean forward and hug a pillow and then he started.
I don't have a very high tolerance for pain, so I immediately teared up and started to hyperventilate. It was the most painful experience of my life. Only one person had ever been honest with me about the pain, she said it felt like hot knives scraping across your skin. She was right, but I told myself that I could handle it. I got nauseated and told Lance. He had me lay down on my stomach and went back to work. I made him stop one more time for a break, thus turning a 5 minute tat into a 15 minute one.
He told me when I was about halfway through that this was one of the more painful areas. I suppose he could have told me that sooner, but I guess this means my next one won't hurt as bad.
He let me get up and take a look before he bandaged it, I was very pleased. The area was sore for several days afterward, which no one warned me about, but it healed in a week, and it hardly scabbed up. It's a little higher than I wanted it, but if I had gotten it lower then the waistband of my pants would have irritated it. The entire rest of the night I just sat there and said to myself "I can't believe I actually did it." Everyone I knew (and even some people I didn't know) got very tired of seeing it. I was pretty diligent with the aftercare. I know every place has a different way of doing it, Lance had me put Neosporin on it for three days, and then lotion for ten days. It's been a two months and it's absolutely perfect, unlike Penny's, because she didn't take care of them. I still can't understand why she spent so much money on excellent work like that and not take care of it. Mine still looks brand new and hers look like they're several years old. Sun fucks up a tattoo really badly. Cover up your art people! Anyway, even though it was really painful to me, I love my tattoo and I'm very proud of it. I think the pain was worth it, now I've got a beautiful piece on my back that will remind me of what I've gone through. And yes, they're very addicting. I've got plans for several more. Most likely I'll be going back to California Tattoo, Lance is an excellent artist who made me feel at ease and was very friendly. And I'm getting my nipple pierced this Friday. :)
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 24 Sept. 1999