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Something for everyone - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today... — LiveJournal
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
Something for everyone
I knew what I was going to get. The idea muscled its way into my brain at least a year ago and as soon it punched its way in, I pushed the damned thing onto the street like an unwanted guest. It lingered, though, watching through the window, outside in the bushes, waiting for the inevitable. Six weeks ago when that awful lightening bolt struck Bob and took him home to see his Daddy, I knew I would get it on Billy’s birthday – a gift for all three of us.

Joe guided me to the Baltimore Tattoo Museum, researching their reputation, the hours of business, and if they took walk-ins. I was jittery, anticipating the flesh-grinding pain. Joe bought two donuts and a candy bar, insisting that the surge of blood sugar would dull the pain. I’d end up eating the candy bar although I’m not certain the prescription worked. It didn’t matter, though; it was Joe’s effort that counted.

We wandered around the joint, very clean by most standards of tattoo parlors, thumbing through page after page of designs: some old school military, others of the pit bulls with machine guns blazing, graphic sketches of vaginas forever on someone’s skin. I had my design already solidified; I wanted a cross that vertically said Daddy and horizontally read Dad, the two “A”s meeting in the center, and a banner with Bob’s name.

We spotted one cross, an intersection of two bones, and I stared at it. What if I got two Milk Bones? Two Milk Bones in milk boney brown. It felt perfect, divine really, because Billy had saved up for Milk Bone memorabilia from box tops several times, scoring a red blanket with Bob Slobbers embroidered in white, a water bowl with Bob's name emblazoned on its side, and one of the many charms on his collar.

We spoke with George, one of the artists who turned out to run the place, a middle-aged guy with thinning hair and enough tattoos on his body to warrant circus status. He sketched something quickly then went about refining it until it felt right to me. He added a few flourishes, ones I hadn’t thought of, led me into the room, went about his business. He stopped to talk to anyone who happened by, a blessing because most times when he was talking, he wasn’t tattooing. Almost two hours later, the pain of the needle turning quickly into a familiar soreness on my bicep, I looked in the mirror and smiled a broad, knowing smile.

I’ve always had tattoos done when I was alone, a solo adventure, every single one of them except the stupid one on the back of my neck I got at a company Christmas party. I’ve never had company, not even during the tattoos before Billy left, but Joe proved a good companion, sitting quietly and patiently while I writhed in agony to the sound of the insistent buzz of the needle. Immediately afterward, when I stood up, admiring my new skin in the mirror, Joe was there with his camera. I’m glad he was.

The color will settle down, the anger of the wound is going to subside, the slobber from his name will be slobber-colored. Bob will always be in my heart and now he’ll be forever on my arm. I’m proud to wear his name under my sleeve.

28 comments or Leave a comment
wonderboynj From: wonderboynj Date: August 3rd, 2004 07:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I love it!
(Deleted comment)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 4th, 2004 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
How we just need to get you under the needle. Maybe a pair of lipsticked lips on your right butt cheek? Smooch?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: August 3rd, 2004 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
aww...that's really great! I love the milkbone idea.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 4th, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gosh, thanks. I was really happy when I flashed on that idea. They'll look less raw and more delicious when they heal.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: August 4th, 2004 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Truthfully I've never thought of milkbones as delicious. But they remind me of happy doggies, and that's a good thing!
zombietruckstop From: zombietruckstop Date: August 3rd, 2004 10:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay! I think that's super fab!
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 4th, 2004 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Super thanks! You still have one of the best tattoos ever!
From: irsmurfette Date: August 3rd, 2004 10:21 am (UTC) (Link)
It's beautiful.
From: inkprincess Date: August 3rd, 2004 10:31 am (UTC) (Link)
awesome! :)
fabulist From: fabulist Date: August 3rd, 2004 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)
You didn't mention the rolling eyes I got from George a couple times for being a back-seat tattooist and suggesting changes and corrections after he'd drawn the thing about fifteen times, but I was happy to throw myself in the firing line to make sure it was just right, and it is just right--a beautiful, beautiful tribute to your family, Terry.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 4th, 2004 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
You suggesting changes and using words like "gradiant"? I didn't notice.

Thank you for being there, Joe. I get giddy at night when I wash it. I can't wait for it to heal and just become part of my skin.
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: August 3rd, 2004 11:08 am (UTC) (Link)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 4th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Rob. I thought you might appreciate it.
poohbearjim From: poohbearjim Date: August 3rd, 2004 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's wonderful!
quuf From: quuf Date: August 3rd, 2004 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
From I've got you under my chin to I've got you under my skin.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 4th, 2004 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
You are a sly one, you are.
privatesector From: privatesector Date: August 3rd, 2004 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
You have given me the extra nudge to join the tat pack. Are you also responsible for my lovely gift?
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 4th, 2004 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wish I had been your benefactor but I'm afraid you have another secret admirer out there.
ladycakes From: ladycakes Date: August 3rd, 2004 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh wow. I LOVE IT. I need more tattoos like RIGHT NOW.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 4th, 2004 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
What's stopping you?
ladycakes From: ladycakes Date: August 4th, 2004 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
money and time

Maybe next week.

I'm getting a cup of coffee on my arm and eventually I'm getting a complicated one of my kid as a fairy hanging off a star and I want some moonflowers and some kind of fish and a triskelian and and and....
(Deleted comment)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 4th, 2004 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
It makes me happy every time I look at it. That's the only problem with the back tat is I can't see it unless I look at my stupid icon on here.
jawnbc From: jawnbc Date: August 3rd, 2004 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
very nice! great idea
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 4th, 2004 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you very much. I love Akbar and Jeff. Billy and I would often chuckle at how accurate their relationship was to ours, then we'd post it on the refridgerator..
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: August 3rd, 2004 09:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
interesting retelling of the event, did you find it hypnotic at all?

worse or better still did it make you feel?

I always got such an incredible charge out of getting a tattoo. Almost a sexual kind of thing. Very much a rush.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 4th, 2004 02:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really really really hate the pain part of getting a tat but the afterglow is magical.

Thanks, C.
twillhead From: twillhead Date: August 6th, 2004 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love you!
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: August 11th, 2004 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
hey what is new with you?
where you at?
what you doing?

28 comments or Leave a comment