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A Prayer for Life

For several years I'd wanted a tattoo to add to my small but growing display of modifications on my body. The problem had been finding something that would have as much meaning fifty years from now as it did now. I'd hit on something years ago, during some studies of my family, and fiercly into the Rom side, a prayer that was in Slov-Romani. Of course it got shelved with the other ideas, until; four piercing, two new scars and a divorce later, I hit back upon it. I'd decided that I really didn't want to get image tattoos to start with, so instead I was going to go with script. Since that would mean that I could get more added to a script later, like scroll work or something around it. The choice wasn't hard, as I'd picked out lots of 'cool' pictures, but only had a few pieces of scripts to put on. Naturally adding a prayer that was meaningful to my heritage and beliefs seemed like the best thing to start with. 

The tattoo would go on my upper arm, as a simple script that was in a bold and curved form, easy to read, wouldn't smudge over time, hopefully, and yet possessed a certain gothic text quality to it. I set up the appointment, actually, as I was walking out of my recent piercing session, and fronted up the deposit. Lucky for me that Jay, the most experienced artist there, had an opening later that week, and quoted me about a hundred and a half to do the whole thing, which is what it worked out to in the end. 

That next Wednesday I went in at about seven, maybe half an hour earlier than my appointment was. My artist was Jay Brown, an artist who's been doing ink for 22 years, and was mentored by R.J. Rosini, as well as being a C.O.B.B and owning Gypsy Tour tattoo in Sturgis, he works here in Moscow most of the year. This guy was impressive as hell and chatted me up the whole time I was getting inked. If your every in, or near, Moscow Idaho and want to get some Ink done, call and arrange for him to do it, because he's just damn impressive.  

Now when I went in, I didn't really know what to expect, as I'd heard lots of Stories about getting tattoos, and I'd seen a few other people get tattoos, after which they cried like a bitch. So after I'd gotten my arm cleaned and prepped, then he laid on the stencil copy, and got to work, I was ready for anything from searing pain to burning discomfort. Now that was because everyones always told me that 'oh it's gonna hurt' or 'it'll sting and itch the whole time' or any half a dozen other things about how bad getting inked is going to feel, it was actually kind of nice and simple. Like getting tickled lightly. Jay did a fantastic job, and worked with speed and precision, laying on four lines of text in about an hour, with prep time in there too.  

The buzzing needle barely tickled as it put ink into the micro wounds, and I was more fascinated by the actual needle itself, as this particular tattoo gun had a quarter set into it as a plate. I talked with Jay about Sturgius and motorcycles, his former bike, my bike now, while I got my first ink. It made things a lot more memorable, because I really was relaxed and having fun while I was getting the work done, which also made it go by oh so much easier. If I'd been tense, or it was quiet, it probably wouldn't have been as great an experience.  

Afterwards I got bandaged up and paid, gave Jay a handshake for his work and headed on home. Two days later I had the bandage off and was showing it around at bars with my friends, plus it's been fun to say it out loud in Romani. I followed the advice Jay gave me, washed it three times a day, and applied non-scented skin cream. It took about two weeks to fully heal, while the excess pigment and weeping was cleared away. Makes me wonder if it's such a good idea to get a tattoo in a spot I can't quite reach to clean, like my back. But I'm sure there are ways around that. 

I love my tattoo, and every time I see it in the mirror, or glance at it, I'm reminded of the great time I had getting it, not to mention the fun I'll have over the years with something I'm sure to treasure. 

Can't wait to get my next one. Maybe a bigger piece of script, though I'd like one on my back this time. Hopefully the next one will be just as memorable and fun as the first.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 Oct. 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Jay
Studio: Falling+Moon+Tattoo+and+Piercing
Location: Moscow+ID

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