I don’t have a tattoo. It’s entirely too permanent.
My friend in high school got a tattoo on his shoulder of a big rainbow. Little did he know 10 years later the gay community would make rainbows a battle cry. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
A young family member who is 19 years old got the word “one” printed on her right wrist, and “love” written on her left, an ode to her boyfriend with which she can extend her hands and show the world her feelings. It also happens to be a sell line for a fast food chicken restaurant called, “Raising Cane’s.”
“Raising Cane’s, One Love,” It’s on all the television commercials and radio jingles. What the hell was she thinking? He broke up with her about three months later, the act of love not being good enough, but it was good enough to earn free chicken dinners for life from the owner of Raising Cane’s.
Here’s another. I went on a business trip with a librarian who was one of the sweetest people you ever want to meet, very nice and enthusiastic about her job and would say things bright and cheery such as, “Hey Larry, it is so very nice to see you again. I’m so glad you’re with us. How are you today?”
She came off as such a good girl, and very friendly, the kind you wouldn’t mind spending a six-hour flight with. You know the type, bubbly.
At dinner, sitting in a booth, she, across the table from me, I noticed in a mirror her shirtsleeve gathered haphazardly up her arm and in the reflection, a tattoo of a naked lady in a provocative pose. The lady’s arm was behind her head lounging back, with her legs open. When I saw it, I blinked real hard and it didn’t go away. So I blinked again. It was still there and I thought, “Oh, you naughty librarian, you.”
I read a study on tattoos that said the shock value is waning and that people with four or more tattoos are more likely to do drugs. I tend to agree only with the shock value of the study and not the drug analyses. I do remember when a man piercing just one ear put the neighborhood on edge.
The increase of women with the lower back butterflies, abstract art, and words written right above “the goods” tend to make me ask, “What were they thinking?” I would think, they only expected a few intimate men or possibly the people on the beach to admire and ogle the top part of their ass, and imagine, as Opra put it, “the Va-J-J.” But, the thing that always comes back is the fact that the tattoo is not coming off without substantial work.
What reminds me of life, when looking in the mirror, are scars, the one on my lip when at a bachelor party I got drunk and fell into the bumper of a car. The one on my knee when I crawled under a fence to get to a cigarette machine a twelve year old boy should not have tried to get to, my eyebrow that as a first grader slipped on a cowboy shirt that my mother told me moments before to pick up and clean my room, and those were just the physical.
Next time you look deeply in a mirror, notice the tattoos of time, they’re there, staring back with all the colors of the rainbow and all the colors of life, which is basically black and blue. Look into that black and blue, see the permanent pictures, the pictures that life has tattooed on you.