Monday, August 4, 2008

Tattoos: Thinking about my Ink (Part 1)

Okay, so in exactly three weeks, I have a 5:00 appointment at a laser tattoo removal center in Dallas.


Lets backtrack and trace to how I got to this point, shall we? Rewind to last year. Around springtime I was going through a lot of issues. My first relationship ended pretty badly. The process of ending a relational situation that made me miserable in the first place ended up being an equally taxing task. School was tough, per usual. I had tons of duties in student leadership, and like I mentioned in my last post, this was the time when I was trying to square away my research project. I seemed perfectly okay on the outside, but inside, I was screaming for something to stop the inner emotional hemorrhaging. One day during spring break, I decided to go get a navel piercing.

I don't know why I had that impulse. I wasn't necessarily in it to look cute/sexy in bikinis or those ridiculous midriff tops you wear to the club. But the adrenaline rush of the piercing felt good. I liked the atmosphere of the tattoo shops. A couple of weeks later, I had some new ear piercings. I thought to myself, "What else can I do?"

A tattoo....!

Unlike most tattoo stories that involve the words "laser removal", mine wasn't an impulse decision. No. I spent a year fascinated by tattoos. I researched the history of tattooing, and the process. I knew exactly what word I wanted, and I was determined to get it in Arabic, so I spent months reaching people who could do the translation/calligraphy for me and make sure it didn't read "dog food". The difference between the tattoo and the piercings were that the piercings were complete impulse; I didn't tell anyone what I was going to do. With the tatt, I made it public that I was going to get one, and went so far as to challenge friends/siblings with reasons why I shouldn't. I hate not finishing what I start, so I went and made an appointment at the Tattoo Factory in Chicago for June 24 with Dawn.

I was so nervous, but I wasn't backing down. I'm good at silencing that alarm in my head. I sat in the chair and had the stencil done. I looked at it in the mirror for maybe like, 2 seconds. Back to the chair. BZZZZZZ!!! Wow. It hurt. But again, it was a rush. It maybe lasted 10-15 minutes max. Its a small tatt, so it wasn't that big of a deal. Then Dawn finished, applied the disinfectant, bandaged me up and sent me on my way with some tattoo factory goodies.

But all was not well. On my way back home, I started going into minor shock, the unwelcome words creeping into my head that no one wants to think after doing such a thing....."What have I d....." I don't think it was so much instant regret as it was shock that I actually went through with something so final, so permanent, so ballsy. But yes, my mother's face ran through my head. I knew she wouldn't approve.....

(Part 2 Next!)


Cam-a-lam said...

OMG!I'm so scared of tattoos. What was it?

Karen Nicole said...

Its a small word in arabic