Thinking about Tattoos

August 16, 2011
Tattoos are popular. It is hard not to find someone without some sort of permanent artwork on the body. Some may just get a tattoo just to have a tattoo. Something picked off a wall. Most have tattoos with a meaning behind the art covering their bodies.

I love reading and tattoos have always fascinated me. I have learned Sylvia Plath was drawn to a tattoo shop and after a night of spending time, looking over Tattoos and talking with a tattooist she had a morning of writing and a desire to return to that atmosphere at a later date (Anchor Books; Part 3, Boston 1958-1959, Page 261-2; Thursday, September 18). I don’t remember how I came across the book “The Book Made of Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide” Edited by Eva Talmadge & Justin Taylor but it shows strangers tattoos of favorite works of literature. This is not a review of the book but I enjoyed seeing and learning the story behind people’s tattoos (all literary). It was everything I love to learn about tattoos.

My best friend, as one example, has 14 or more (It’s hard to keep count). Actually now that I am thinking about it most of my friends have tattoos. Some have even drawn the art themselves. What makes me different? To permanent. If I’m going to live with this, look at it everyday, I’m worried that I may grow tired of it. I can remove it now but that could leave a scar. I could cover it with another tattoo but it would have to be something I know would cover it. I could get a tattoo having to do with my first love…writing but I haven’t found anything that I would want forever. Maybe the book, “Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide” made me a little envious. All so sure of their favorite author, quote, word, poem, book, etc.

People should take tattoos more seriously. People turn 18 and they run out to get a tattoo. Most never think. I know so many people who regret their tattoo choice. I would have. When I was 19 many of my friends were getting tattoos. I was accompanying many of them. I thought I wanted a tribal gecko on my hip. I didn’t tell anyone because I was worried someone would do the same. Well, a friend got a tribal gecko on her hip. It’s hard to be original and we change. Now I would hate if I had that on me anywhere. It’s not me at all.

What about the tattoo artist? What happens if you are lead to believe he is good and he messes up? You now live with his mistake. We’ve all seen those web pages. Misspellings, crap work, crap art, etc.

Walking into a parlor think about what you liked 10 years ago. Think about what you like now. You change. It’s natural. I like hearing people say I got this and it still means something to me because it reminds me of this time and this emotion. Before you look at me with head cocked to one side and that questionable look on your face trying to figure out why I don’t have a tattoo when I love other’s tattoos so much know if I ever do get one it will be the right one.


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