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Everyday Life Hopes and Dreams Reflections Reflections on The Past

The Girl Draggin’ The Tattoos

theglueisdrying October 19, 2015
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I walked into the crowded coffee shop in all my early 90’s glory, thigh high suede boots, black tights, stone-washed cut-offs (recently full-length jeans), black turtle neck and distressed leather aviator jacket. I scanned the room looking for the man behind the voice. I knew him only by telephone through work. Cautiously I walked up to a man sitting alone, nerves pulsating through my body. “Are you Tom”? He replied, “No, I’m not”. Giggling with embarrassment I wanted to disappear but just as I was turning to walk away, he said “Yes, I’m Tom”. We laughed and I could barely look at him. Sparks flew! About an hour later, Tom asked me what I felt like doing. My response “I want to get a tattoo”. His response “Ok, let’s go”. That’s how it all began.

I can’t remember why I wanted a tattoo. I don’t think I knew anyone with tattoos at that time. There were no sleeves, tramp stamps or even barbed wire tats around anyone’s upper arm that I knew of. I ended up getting a small rose on the back of my hip as Tom sat and watched on our first date. Although we didn’t stay together, Tom is still very much in my life.

My second tattoo was a cup of coffee. Not the Starbuck’s type of cup, a classic diner cup and saucer with steam coming from the top. Why? Because if you like it you better put a tattoo on it.

After going Chock Full O’ Nuts, the next tat was a vine going down my spine. To connect me to life like the vine that grows from a tree…People, there were about 3 major tattoo shops in a 10 mile radius at the time. We had Sailor Jerry traditional tats and not like the ink of today. I met a really nice guy while getting that one. Too bad he had just been released from prison and I didn’t see the possibility of an LTR.

Baxter came next. I woke up in my clothes on a labor day morning having overindulged to drown out the unbearable pain of putting my little 5 yr. old Pug to sleep the day before. He had suffered a severe stroke. Broken hearted, I searched through the yellow pages to find a shop that was open on the holiday.(For younger readers, the yellow pages was a ginormous book we used to find phone numbers) Heartbroken, I knew that morning, I had to have a tattoo of Baxter.

Fast forward, two really bad tats from a so-called artist with whom I had a crush, Bettie Page down my rib cage during my biker phase because she was a force, to finally covering my disparate tattooed back with one huge traditional back piece.

Here I am now, close to 52 years old, not quite the younger version of myself and certainly not the same person who would make the same choices again. I now understand why I got them. I didn’t know how to express myself artistically until the past few years so I put art on my body. If I could have them removed would I? No, they are part of my journey in this weird life. I will always appreciate the art of ink, my art and yours. I consider myself some what of a Pioneer, Trail Blazer who will pave the way for aging with ink!

I thought for a moment if I were to get any more tattoos they would be the words “Faith” and “Love” but I don’t need those words in ink. I just need to live by them  every day while I am the girl draggin’ the tattoos every day while I am the girl draggin’ the tattoos.

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