Thursday, June 30, 2005

The greatest tattoo story ever told.

Ok, probably not the greatest tattoo story ever told, but I felt like talking about my body art, after CeeRock blogged about her new nose ring, then we got to talking about piercing, and later, tattoos.

I've had my ears pierced 7 times over the last 17 years or so. Way back then, my uncle, who is only 7 years older than me, was living in our basement in Lauderdale, MN while he went to school. He went out and got his ear pierced, and I thought it was cool. My mother overheard us talking about it, and decided that that made for a good birthday present for me. This was back when I was in junior high, the heady days of 1988. I was on the Cross Country team, but had badly sprained my ankle and was on crutches. In we went, my parental consent filled out, and I came out with a pierced left ear. That spring, on the last day of school, my girlfriend and I went to a party at a friend's house. It was a blast. We had beer, stole 2 cartons of cigarettes from the grocery store, orchestrated a make-out contest and in a rather drunken haze, we decided to pierce my ear again. After icing my earlobe for a good 10 minutes, my friend K sterilized a safety pin with a cigarette lighter, and in it went. We replaced it with a faux diamond stud, and I had two earrings, a mustache, and long hair. Before I break into song, let's just say that was the summer of 89.

But this is supposed to be about tattoos, so let's get back to that- apologies if I have already told these stories before:

I got my first tattoo as a 20th birthday present from my friend A. We were both RA's in college, in different dorms. I had been thinking about doing something like that for a while, and it seemed like a good idea, so we sat down and figured out what I should get. I decided that I wanted a yin-yang tattoo. The next problem was location, and I figured close to my heart was as good a place as any, so that weekend, I drove to a friend of a friend's house in Minneapolis, and I laid down in a second-hand barber chair in some guy's basement. I was nervous at first, even a little scared, as I am more that just not a fan of needles, but there I was. About 30 minutes later, I had a tattoo on my chest. Unfortunately for me, I had volleyball practice that night, and the bandage was still on. Ouch.

Tattoo #2 came when I was about 22- I was dating a 26-year-old woman. We decided to go camping, and left in my car towards Duluth, straight up I-35. We wound up driving all night, never finding a campsite or even hotel, turned around in Duluth, and headed all the way back to my place in St. Paul. We went to bed. In the morning (well, early afternoon) we decided that we should have a picnic with all our food, so we headed to Stillwater to sit along the scenic St. Croix River. We spent a good part of the afternoon there, then went for a walk through the downtown district, when we came across Tatts by Zap. We walked in, looked around, saw some of their art, and checked the place out. On the way out the door, I grabbed a business card. We headed into a bar for a game of pool and a couple games of pinball and were talking about Zap's place. We were both very much in the mood to get a tattoo, and had liked their designs, but didn't have any cash on us. I pulled out the card. "Huh. They take Visa and Mastercard."

15 minutes later, we were back at Zap's.

Number Two
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Tattoo #3 is a solemn tattoo. It's in honor of my friend K, who died in December of 2002. His girlfriend, a very close friend of mine, wanted to get him a tattoo for his birthday, but he hadn't decided what to get. Eventually, he settled on getting the lightbulb from classic Monopoly, the one pictured on the Electric Company spot. To my knowledge, there are 4 of us who got the tattoo after he died. My friend B and I went together, getting the same tat. Hers is on her ankle, mine is just below #2 on my right arm.

Number Three
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What's next? I'm not sure. I've had a couple in my mind for a few years now, but just haven't gotten around to designing them, much less getting them done. Red and I talked about getting tats together (yes, they would have been matching), but didn't. Thankfully. I'd hate to have that reminder right now. I can't find any pictures of #1, besides, it's all faded and needs to be fixed up badly.


Blogger cynthia said...

what exactly is tattoo #2?

2:08 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Just a tribal sun with my star sign in the middle- Libra. Originally, I was going to get a moon and my moon sign in it, but haven't, and probably won't.

I've decided to cap the number of tattoos I get at 6- which is a perfect number (the next one after that is 28, then 496), but it has caused me to overthink and reedit my ideas for tattoos.

8:18 AM  
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7:56 PM  

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