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Tattoo for Elliott

My dear readers, today I lost my tattoo virginity.

I've had the design in mind for some months now; a heart-shaped section of the stripes from the front of Elliott Smith's album, Figure 8. I had always known I wanted to have tattoos, but being only wee and fickle of mind, it's only recently I came to settle on something meant something to me, and that I felt happy about having on my body for the rest of my life. For the past few years, one of the most influencial things in my life has been Elliott Smith. Although I started listening to Elliott when I was 13, I think I've developed a particular understanding and affinity with him and his music over the past few years, and I feel that I'm the better for it. This, I realised, was the thing I wanted to commend in the form of my first tattoo.

I was shitting bricks when I finally got to Eddie's, after walking around near the sea front for a bit. I sat there for a bit after filler out a disclaimer, until Eddie's daughter Bev led me into her little room, which appeared to be, being that the studio is converted from a terraced house, a former kitchen; long and skinny, cabinets still running around the top of the room. Although now it looked more like a girl's bedroom, with posters and photos all along the walls and shelves, and a lit mirror opposite the big dentist's chair looking seat.

She asked me where I wanted it and told me to lay on my back on the chair, and put my hands behind my head (I had to put my feet on a plastic box 'cause I was too short for the chair). I was fairly calm about it, because I knew this was something I really wanted to do, and I was prepared for some serious pain in order to get it done. The worst part to me was feeling self-concious about laying infront of someone with my pants undone and my porky little stomach on display lol. However I must admit, when she said that the stomach was one of the more painful places to get tattooed, I started to doubt the things people'd told me about it, and had a wee bit of an internal panic. But I was ready to tough it out.

The high-pitched buzz of the gun starting up was a little unnerving, but it felt kinda nice when she put it to my skin. I lay there, tensed up, waiting for the needle to go in. After a minute I looked down, to find she was already tattooing.

I spent the next twenty minutes waiting for the pain to kick in, and it never did. Now I'm not just saying this to sound tough, or to contradict people, and bare in mind I'm a bit of a wuss, and I don't mind admitting it, but it really, really did not hurt. Alot of the time I couldn't even feel any pain at all, just the vibration of the gun. The outlining occasionally felt like a really mild scratch when she changed direction, but that was about it. The only thing I can say was even close to pain, was when the gun went over my hip bone, and I wouldn't even really describe that as pain, more discomfort. Imagine biting an electric toothbrush, how you can feel the bones in your head vibrating, and that's how it felt; like your bone is hollow and it's vibrating angrily. That part made my leg muscles tense up a bit, but it wasn't really what I would call pain. The most uncomfortable part of the tattoo, yes, but even then I was quite able to lay there listening to Colin and Edith on the radio and not fidget or squirm.

Once she was done she taped some dressing to me and sent me on my way. I walked home from Horden, and even now, after I've undressed it and washed it, it still doesn't hurt. I'm expecting it to sting a bit tomorrow like, but hell that's fine with me. My parents were quite dismayed that it hurt so little, I think they were hoping the pain would deter me from getting another one. But the staff at the studio said I'd be back for another before I knew it. And I think they were right.

(By the way, it did sting a bit the next day, kind of like sunburn!)

So now I have a tattoo, and more importantly, my own wee tribute to Mr. Elliott Smith; an acknowledgement and a thank you for the positive impact his music has had on me, and, to quote Elliott himself, "a fond farewell to a friend".

I've since had other tattoos done, my only issue is finding space for more.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 24 April 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Bev+Hardyman
Studio: Eddie%27s+Tattoos
Location: Horden%2C+UK

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