Saturday, March 1, 2014

I've got you under my skin.

At dinner before the tattoo appointment, my sister kept punching me in the arm randomly. "What the hell?!" I asked.

"Just preparing your arm for the appointment." She said helpfully and punched me again.

In December, I met with Bram at Rebel Waltz tattoo after my friend Andee recommended him to me. After realizing his style suited what I wanted for my tattoo, I put down a 50 dollar deposit just to prove to myself that I was going to do it. The appointment was set for January 14th.

For the next few weeks, I went from extremely excited about finally finding a design I liked to becoming extremely horrified that I was going to have something on my arm until after I started to decompose. My sister was certain I was going to chicken out. My mom was worried that it was going to look ugly. My dad was like, "Do what you want, my girl!"

I've always wanted a tattoo but I weigh the pros and cons of everything. However, I knew that the tattoo was something I wanted and I hadn't been so sure of something in a long time. The plan was going to get 5 crows going from the halfway point of my left bicep up my shoulder and onto my chest. In the days leading up to the 14th, whenever I'd get nervous, I'd lift the sleeve of my t-shirt to look at my bare arm and think about how cool Bram's work was going to look once it was on.

I was 75% ready, 25% nervous. But, as I left a deposit, I knew someone was going to get a tattoo either Bram or me.

On the day, Bram created a stencil and put it on my arm while I nervously jittered about. He started up the extremely loud and dentist-ry like tattoo machine and I held my sister's hand. My sister's eyes seem to say, "Last chance". Bram dipped the needle into the ink and the buzz started.

And I was ok. When it started, I felt relief. I was finally getting my tattoo after living in the "should I/shouldn't I" fog for a long time. And it didn't even hurt.

That was until Bram got to crow 4 at the top of my shoulder and the way he pulled on the skin and the way the needle cut, I felt like he was slitting my throat. I had told him I wasn't sure about crow 5 (the one on my chest) when he put the stencil on so when he finished 4, he asked if I wanted 5. After unclenching my teeth after the pain of 4, I said, "Nah, let's just end there".

My sister looked at it from her seat at the other side of the table I was lying on and said, "It's so nice! It almost makes me want to get one.....almost". 

I bled like a crazy person and my white tank top on the left side was spotted in blood and black ink. Bram gestured me to the huge mirror in his studio and I stood up and checked it out. Love at first sight.

*Poke* Ow! Quit it!

The days that followed were PAINFUL. I felt like I had the skin peeled back from my shoulder but not even the pain would stop me from checking out the healing progress and just marveling at the beauty of it all. I also had to dodge my sister and mom from poking me in the arm as it healed.

It's healed beautifully and the worries I had of regretting were for naught.

I can't wait for bare arm season

The tattoo is a sort of tribute to my grandma. My grandma had a pet wild crow that she fed on her deck that she tried to bring into the house one day. The crow didn't want to live in her house so it bit her. My grandma chased it off and stopped leaving bannock out for it. I felt like that crow during my childhood. I also feel that stopping at 4 was sort of meant to be and it feels like it could represent my dad, my mom, my sister and I.

It has a mishmash of meanings to me. However I decided on it because it just looked damned beautiful.

I really want to get another one but I think I'll wait until after I forget the pain of crow 4.

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