This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My New Tattoo: Session 11, 12 and 13

So I'm a little behind in my tattoo tales. Well, actually, I've been slacking on the ole' blog posts. I blame Facebook, as I have been glued to that evil networking site for a couple of weeks. Let's see if I can start getting my priorities straight...

Session 11 occurred April 11th. This particular session was to put the finishing touches on the work that had been done up to then. There were parts that needed to be retouched and connecting the dragon to parts of the clouds and lava rock. This was particularly cool in the sense that what I _had_ was complete.

Session 12 (April 25th) was adding new stuff. The new stuff would be the cover-up of my existing dragon: my first "real" tattoo. Katherine drew on me for about half an hour. I think I've mentioned before that this feels great. My back is her canvas with sharpies as her artist's tool of choice. It's also awesome, in every sense of that word -- that someone could just 'randomly' draw what they are visioning.

After the sharpies, she wipes is off and starts with the ink. This 12th session consisted entirely of outlines, which typically is the most painful. And indeed it was. The first needle she used was the mack-daddy and I would say intolerable, but I did tolerate it. I akin it to the feeling of sticking a phillips head into your skin and just dragging it around. She switched to another needle, which probably would have been just as painful had I not endured the phillips head pain.

The outlines hit my upper right shoulder and now, there is no hiding this tattoo from everyday clothing. Of course, to the non-tattoo-appreciator, it looks like a bunch of heavy black lines. They have no vision and thus, I care little for their words.

But it's pretty cool to just kind of look across my shoulder and see this thing.

Session 13 was yesterday (May 7th). And as I have said to a few people, I do not anticipate these sessions as much as I used to. It's not that I am done with the tattoo, but the time I devote to these sessions interferes with the rest of my day. And most of all, I am not looking forward to the pain. Over the past (almost) year, the pain threshold is decreasing. Most of my time is spent concentrating on Yoga breathing, to deal with the extreme, burning, stabbing sensation or rating the particular pain at the moment: "that's not bad" to "holy fucking shit, i'm going to freak out". The latter is most common. The other tactic is to count to four...but it's more like ONETWOTHREEFOURONETWOTHREEFOURONETWOTHREEFOUR in my head. Screaming and shouting, as though the numbers were one word. Hey, all three of these tactics work within seconds of each other. It's how I make it to the 13th session.

But believe it or not, there are moments where the pain is very tolerable and I actually zone into day-dreaming mode -- which I can quickly be jarred from by one of those "holy shit" moments. And other times? I actually feel like I will fall asleep.

But yesterday's session left me a little bummed. Yesterday was actually shading in the outlines and the beginning of the cover-up on my beloved, faded, first dragon...the inspiration for _this_ dragon. Apparently, the first dragon does not want to go away. Katherine was beating herself up about it but her take was that I may have to get some of the original dragon lasered off. This dragon has green in it and the green is still showing through the black. But she also does not want to create a big black blob...her artistry, of course, needs not be flawed.

So she mentioned a place in Fayetteville that does laser and it was fairly cheap. She mentioned that Nathan, Rachael and William (the other tattoo artist at her place) had gone there to have their tattoos lasered.

And as a sidenote, I found it ironic that I would laser a tattoo to put a tattoo on top. It is exactly what the three above people have done. They want something different, so they endure the laser treatment to add MORE ink to their bodies.

We will wait to see how this session heals and how much of the old comes through. I asked Rachael about her laser work and she showed me a faded bluish band around her lower arm, in which she plans to cover up. I asked her if it was painful and she said OH YES. IT'S THE WORST PAIN I'VE EVER HAD. This coming from a girl who is pretty covered with tattoos, especially her left arm that is painted black.

Great, I think. More pain. Especially, as Rachael described, pain that is like snapping a rubber band against your skin, while pouring hot bacon grease on it that's full of hatred.

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