Friday, August 21, 2015

Typhoon Ink

In 2002 I was invited to the birthday party of a friend of a friend.  We went to a restaurant in downtown Orlando and drank a whole bunch of grey goose martinis.  Later that night we all decided it would be a good idea to get tattoos and/or piercings -- this has happened to me more than once.  I tattooed the bar code from my tattoo artist's pack of Marlboro Lights on my back.

I was skinny when I got that tattoo, and now I'm fat.  A year ago I was even fatter.  Over the years I've bounced between 170 and 230 lbs and I've learned that is really bad for tattoos.  Three years ago I covered up a donkey tattoo that had turned into a goat/giraffe hybrid.  And last month I decided to cover up the barcode tattoo I got after the previously mentioned birthday party. The lines on the bar code weren't looking so great, had migrated about an inch to the right, and for some reason were crooked.  It looked like my artist had been drunk, and not me.

I've gotten my last four tattoos on Saipan and have come to like being able to say that I got all my ink back home, so during last month's visit I decided to cover up the barcode with a cross.  Deryielle is somewhat of a local celebrity back home and has been doing tattoos for a couple of years now.  I contacted her on Facebook, told her what I wanted, offered a price, and we scheduled a session on the last day of my vacation.

We started the process at about 6 PM as Typhoon Chan Hom churned to the east.  I have two other relatively big tattoos, so I estimated this one would take anywhere between 2-4 hours.

This tattoo hurt.  We spent a whole afternoon at Forbidden Island a few days before and I had just the slightest hint of a sunburn.  It didn't hurt on its own, but stab it with a needle a hundred times per second and it was torture.  It also didn't help that the tattoo was right on top of my spine.  Ouch!

Chan Hom was nothing compared to Souledor, but the lights did flicker and few times and I thought the power might go out.  It didn't.

The whole thing took about six hours and we didn't finish up until after midnight.  As she wiped the bloody ink off my neck Deryielle complained that her hand was cramped and sore.

After it was done it looked a lot bigger than I thought it would.  Eight inches is pretty big.  I think this will probably be my last tattoo for a while.

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