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Friends forever

I was 21, and my best friend, Val, was only a year older. At this point, we both had two tattoos, and longed for more - preferably getting them together at Wingnut, which we considered 'our' studio. However - Val was moving across the country soon and then shortly after that, I would moving across the country, too - and nowhere near the same part of the country as her. We needed to do something to keep us 'connected': like a tattoo. But what?

We actually only ended up discussing it over the course of a few days - it was so perfect, it didn't need to be dwelled on any longer than that. At first we vaguely discussed getting lilies, which both of us wanted. However, that was soon dismissed in favor of a better idea: the infinity symbol. How perfect! We'd be friends forever, right?

So, the next weekend that we were both free, we drove down to St. Cloud (roughly an hours drive for us) and pulled into Wingnut, excited as hell. We hadn't actually had a design or anything, but we figured, hey, it's an easy symbol. Nor did we have an appointment, but meh. The tattoos wouldn't take long.

When we got there, we told the counter girl (sadly, I forget her name, but she was awesome) what we wanted and where. And then the bad news: we couldn't get the tattoos where we wanted. We were told it would fade incredibly quickly.

Plan B, then. "Where would you recommend?" I asked. She pointed to different spots on the ankle and foot (as that's the area we wanted). Val settled for a spot on top her right foot, near her little toe. Not wanting to feel like there were razor blades slicing into me, I chose the inside of my ankle.

Ironically, while we were waiting for Benny to finish the client before us, Val's phone rang: it was her mother-in-law saying that she knew it was Val's birthday and all, but don't do anything stupid. Like, say, get pierced or tattooed.

Val kind of weaseled out of the conversation, not outright lying, but not telling her, either, that we were doing anything. We were just in St. Cloud, enjoying ourselves.

Oh, how our families hate modification.

We talked to Benny, our tattooist this time, while he set up. Turns out he was younger than us, which made us feel old and weird. He's certainly talented, though!

We explained what we wanted, where, and then shaved us (I had forgotten to shave my legs that today, so that was just a little embarassing. At least he didn't say anything.)

Val went first this time.

She was... not okay. She did admirably, but she was in tears and I thought for sure she was going to scream at a couple parts. Luckily the infinity symbol is pretty tiny, about two inches by one inch.

Once she hopped off the chair and everything was cleaned, it was my turn.

I stuck out my ankle and awaited the buzzing and the pain. And yet - no pain came. I knew he was working on me, I could see it, but I felt nothing. It was so bizarre, yet really comforting.

I chatted with Val, and before I knew it, mine was finished. The same size as hers, it took almost no time whatsoever.

Thankfully, they were cheap, as they were so simple and quickly done. I think we only paid about $60 for each.

For some reason, of all my tattoos (at the time of writing, five) this one scabbed the worst and just looked the most disgusting and gross as it healed. It was bumpy the third or fourth week, and I was terrified I was going to have a raised tattoo, though I was positive Benny wouldn't make a mistake like that.

I was also getting really desperate to take a bath. I missed bubble baths so bad, but I didn't want to do anything that could harm my wonderful tattoo.

Eventually, however, it did heal, and while not beautiful (I don't know if you can call a simple symbol beautiful) it was just what I wanted.

It has now been two years, and while there might be a teeny tiny touch-up needed, I'm not going to bother. It's not worth finding someone here to do it, and I'm certainly not going to hunt Benny down, not since he's still in Minnesota and I'm way out in Oregon.

And now, even though Val and I haven't seen each other for over a year, we're still best friends. And someday, even if we're not - I will still always look down at my ankle and smile, remembering all the wonderful times I have spent with her.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 May 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Benny
Studio: Wingnut
Location: St.+Cloud%2C+MN

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