I just remember waking up, rolling over in my bed and writing furiously.
I was sixteen when I got my first tattoo. I didn’t live in Los Angeles at the time and knew nothing about Speakeasy Tattoo. I lived in upstate New York, in a village surrounded by mountains, with a family of immigrants where we were some of the most ethnic things that town had seen in years.
The day approached. I remember telling my mom that I was going to get a tattoo. She was not thrilled, but she knew that I was going to do it anyway so she didn’t give me all that much resistance. My dad on the other hand…well let’s just say that between the two of us, my mom and I, we decided to keep it a secret from my dad. He was super strict. An off-the-boat Greek with a very strong opinion of how the world should be and body art wasn’t a part of that equation. He eventually found out so keeping it from him was a bad plan, but no harm done. The great thing about tattoos is that they’re permanent and not being able to wash it off lead to one of the most quiet periods of my life. For over a month my dad wouldn’t speak to me. You call it, “Oh my God, how could a father do that?” I call it, “Hell yes! A month of tranquil bliss where I don’t have to listen to dad or do anything he says because he’s not saying anything!” Just a reminder here…I was sixteen and at that phase where it felt cool not to be cool with your parents.
I skipped school, hopped in the car with a couple of my friends and road an hour to get to the shop and where I got my first tattoo. I was super excited and nervous at the time, but getting this tattoo was something I had to get done. I knew it, without a doubt, because I was told about it through a dream. I had a vision, woke up, rolled over and furiously started writing every little detail that the dream spelled out. From the symbolism of the thorns to the meaning behind the colors. It told me everything that I needed to know about the placement, the reason and by the end I not only knew the meaning and image behind my tattoo, I also clearly knew what became the fundamental foundation of my greater worldview.
Where I was from and at the age I was at, telling people that you had visions like this and getting a custom tattoo was kind of taboo. For the most part people played their sports, worked their jobs and got straightforward tattoos by relying on the combination of their interests, their friend’s opinions and tattoo flash that they saw at the shop. At a time when the people I knew got art from off the wall, I got a custom tattoo. I guess it’s no surprise that I ended up here at Speakeasy where that’s all we do.
So, I got my permanent artwork, had an awesome time with my friends and felt happily complete. It wasn’t until about a week later that I was walking around the open-view, upstairs floor of my house that I got caught. I was in my bedroom, just hanging out in shorts and a sports bra when my phone rang. I got up, stepped out and picked it up. This was in the days before cell phones where you actually had to walk to the location of the telephone. It was wireless however. There was a split second in that moment between getting up off my bed and walking out the door where I thought to myself, “I should really put on a shirt,” but I was at home so who the heck cared. Well, my dad did and when I walked out the door of my bedroom, I walked fully into his sightline. Oops! LOL! The next thing I knew after returning to my room, I hear the muffled sound of my dad yelling downstairs and my mom’s shoes coming up the stairs on the hardwood floor. She wanted to see my HUGE tattoo that dad could see all the way from downstairs. Ahh hahahaha! It is not that huge! It just wraps around my side and I’m milky white so that freshly tattooed skin radiated color. It was from that day, for one month, that my father didn’t speak to me and like I said, it was one of the blissfully quietest times of my life!
Not much to report here so let’s move onto…
MEMOIRS OF A CARETAKER!!!
I know in last week’s post I said that I wasn’t going to actually write this section, but after what I had to deal with this week…GAWWW! Ladies and gentlemen…I had to teach Scott how to tattoo! I know. I know! It seems like after all these years that he should know a thing or two, but that senile attribute is really kicking in and I had to sit him down with some practice skin to show him how it’s done. He was a pretty good student. Took well to the learnings. There was a moment in there where he was a bit awkward with the machine but he’ll get it. I have faith.
Thanks for taking the time to read! I hope you enjoyed and got a little kick out of it. Until next time!…
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