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Is This Going to Hurt?

my very first Tattoo yesterday, something I've been wanting to do since I was five and saw my first real-live green-haired punk rocker walking around my small beach town. I've had the tattoo I wanted in mind for about three years: the kanji for "Angel". I figured that if I had wanted that same thing for three years, I was probably not going to change my mind the second after I had it done. I also figured that this was a good time to do it, since I could always remember that it was done in the year 2000, in my last year as a teenager, and my first year out on my own. My friend picked me up yesterday and we went down to Pacific Beach, where there are a consentrated number of tattoo parlors on one street. I walked up and down the street for about forty-five minutes under the excuse of having to check out every single place before I made a decision about which one I felt most comfortable at, which was actually half the case, but the other half was that I was so nervous that I was afraid I would drop dead on the floor if anyone talked to me. I finaly found this place called Inkspot (plug for you guys) that seemed really comfortable. It was bigger than the other places, had a pool table, a couple of video games (they have the old Tron game! I haven't seen that in ages), and a huge albino python. Well, I like snakes, and video games, and the woman at the counter was really nice, so I figured this was the place. I showed the drawing that I had done of what I wanted to the woman at the counter, and she went and got one of the artists to look at it. He came back and told me that he wouldn't be able to make it look like brushstrokes like I wanted at the small size I had drawn, but maybe another artist could. So he went and got another artist (this whole time I'm standing there taking deep breaths and trying not to pass out, my friend hovering around behind me to make sure I didn't try to run for it). The other artist came out, introduced himself as Nate, and asked if I would mind if he went and got lunch before he did my tattoo. Of course I said ok, I didn't want this done by some guy who's starving (or mad, or bored, for that matter) and I had to find an ATM and get some cash anyway. After I filled out the forms (which I read completly before I signed) handed over my money (this cost $80), and had my drivers license copied, I stood around looking at the flash on the walls for about half an hour. When he was done eating and making the transfer of my tattoo, he brought me into a back room that was full of his artwork, and had a great purple couch. Here's where I thank Nate multple times (thank you, thank you, thank you), his patience with me was astounding. I asked him all kinds of stupid questions, made him show me exactly how the tattoo gun worked, and tell me everything he was going to do before he did it. I got the tattoo on the very base of my spine, right above my butt, so it wouldn't be visible unless I wanted it to be. I was worried about it hurting more because of this. So, down to it. He sat me down on this stool that had a stand in front of it for me to lean on, and shaved off whatever little peices of hair I had, and applied the transfer. I wanted it lower down than he put it, so he replaced it, and started inking the needles. I was terrified. I kept expecting him to touch me with it without ink to see if I could handle it, and when I saw him inking the needles (which, incidentally are scarier looking than they feel) I asked him about it, and he said that I would be able to handle it, and he was just going to start, so I should relax. It didn't hurt at all. I was worked up all morning for nothing. The best I can compare it too is having a really bad bruise and having someone poke it repeatedly. It doesn't really hurt, but is as annoying as hell. The only thing was that once in a while he would hit a nerve and my leg would twitch, but that didn't hurt. It wasn't even sore when he was finished (and it took less than fifteen minutes), just a little red. He told me how to take care of it, and sent me on my way with phone numbers to the two places where he works. Today it is just a tad sore, and a little swollen, but not red anymore. It's no more sever than the tiny bit of swelling you get when you get a bad bump on furniture. I just want to advise anyone who's hesitant to get a tatto because of the pain to go for it. You couldn't be wimpier that me, and I had no problem at all.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 09 Feb. 2000
in Tattoos

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Artist: Nate
Studio: Inkspot
Location: Pacific+Beach+in+San+Diego

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