2/11/11

Fresh Ink

A million years ago or more, back when God laid an egg, back when dirt was clean, back when Superman rode a dinosaur, the mid to late 90s happened and I lived in Atlanta. Oh, a hell of a time was had. The tall buildings! The bright lights! The 24 hour gay sports bars!

I was in my early twenties and getting my ya-yas out at a rapid clip. For the most part - despite the alcohol, the strippers, the gunfire - I came away unscarred and unburdened with anything but a knapsack of stories and a handful of tattoos.

Like my interest in a septum ring (which I got at 21 and still gleefully wear, lo, these 14 years later), I'd wanted body art since I first knew it existed. As a kid, what did I associate tattoos with? Pirates. Strong men. Artists. Bikers. Freedom. As I got out of high school and actually started making friends, I fell in with the heavily decorated crowd. And so, no surprise, when I had the cash I got the ink. Most of which I still love today. And yet...

And yet, being the mid 90s and me being a bit of a fool, I got kanji on my forearms. Not big pieces, mind you, just one per arm. My only non-custom tattoos, and the only ones that show when I have my regular clothes and long pants on. In other words, what should have been my show pieces have been outdated, clich├ęd, plain, black crap.

For years - at least a decade - I've talked about getting them covered. Took a while to figure out what would hide them and still look good. Someone suggested old school roses, but that ain't my style. I briefly considered Scottish clan badges, but that seemed too... specific? I guess is the word I'm looking for here. Finally, it struck me. What tool do I love, collect, and use more than any other? Typewriters.

This year, mama got me a gift certificate to Sistine Skin for Christmas. So I put that together with a few bucks of my own and went and saw my friend Fronkie and she did me up right. Five hours in the chair, five different shades of grey and black, and one of those late 90s worth-nothing tats is gone, Daddy, gone. I walked out of that little wood frame house where she runs her business happy and hopped up on endorphins. That picture up there doesn't do it justice, by the way - it's fresh, shaved, and puffy. But I love it and it looks amazing.

All of a sudden, I'm one of the obviously tattooed. And it feels great. Remember folks, nothing else you can buy with be will you forever. Consider your ink well, pick your artist carefully, but if you want it in your heart, get it on your skin.

Thank you, Fronkie. Thank you, Mama.

19 comments:

B.E. Earl said...

That's a great idea for a tattoo, and it looks really spectacular. Congrats on covering up the so-so stuff with something really great!

downtown guy said...

Thanks! Wish you could see it in person, it's actually much better than it appears there.

Steph(anie) said...

Holy Shit! Love it.

Still want to see that Sharpie... damn I'm a nag, I'm just so curious.

downtown guy said...

I never sent you that? Shit. I'll do that tonight. Send me an email to remind me. drunkonpabst at gmail dot com.

Ms. Moon said...

I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE IT! And I have to say that sitting in the presence of Fronkie for five hours must have taken away a bit of the pain, at least.

downtown guy said...

I can honestly say I did not get bored.

May said...

I think it is be-yu-ti-ful! It is my new favorite tattoo of all time.

Radish King said...

Oh my heck it is a stunner. My son has been thinking of the same idea for a tat now he will has to think of a new one :OO

Bethany said...

Oh Wow! Ace!
Loved your telling of it too.

Jon said...

Very nice. Great cover up job. I worked with a guy in 1998 who had a row of Asian letters, and when I asked what they meant, he said "It means I was drunk when I got it". Great

A said...

Wow!

Jo said...

I love your tattoo and I love that you got it from a friend called Fronkie.

Lois said...

I like it too, especially the fact that your dear Mama gave it to you! I have a couple of old typewriters in my garage that belonged to my parents when they were students at FSU back in the 1940's. I need to get them out and see what kind of condition they are in.

downtown guy said...

May: Thanks! I think it may be my favorite, too.

RK: Hey, nothing new under the sun.

Bethany: Thank you!

Jon: mine were the traditional first character in some Japanese folk tales and the other meant printing block. So I'm keeping the meaning, but not the form.

A: !

Jo: Fronkie is an awesome chick. She's a musical artist as well.

Lois: if you get them out and don't want them, please get up with me and I'll take them off your hands.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Cool. I love it. Makes perfect sense for you to have selected the typewriter.

I love you. Happy Valentine's Day! You are one of my Valentine's.

SB

Magnum said...

looks good; shading is awesome.

downtown guy said...

Right now it's in the gross, scabby stage and I have to keep my hands off it.

Love ya, SB!

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Wow! That is an amazing tattoo!

Love your blog. I love your Mum too, I read her every day xx

downtown guy said...

Welcome! Isn't her blog great?