Date: January 10, 2012
Tattooing Time: 2.5 hours
Total Tattooing Time: 17 hours
"You never heal well around your armpits," Rube said. "It's all that jumpin around you do."
(Ed. Note: I don't jump around. At all. Ever. I attribute it to the toxic waste that my body secrets from my armpits)
Today was my first day getting tattooed at the Bowery location of Kings Ave, which was great for a plethora of reasons: 1) It's an utterly gorgeous shop. 2) I've been staring at the artwork in Rube's "booth" in Massapequa for close to five years now, so the change of scenery was nice. 3) It's only two subway stops away from my house (and local bar) rather than a hour on the Long Island Railroad. 4) The always hilarious - and very talented - Grez holds it down on Bowery and I had missed his consistently ridiculous banter in the shop. 5) Did I mention that I didn't have to travel out to Massapequa?
It was a packed house at the shop for this sitting, despite Rube and Grez being the only tattooists working that day. A photographer had come in to shoot Rube while he worked (and hence, take a lot of photos of me lying in what I call my "Boticelli Pose"). My lovely lady, Marisa, had come by to keep me company and I even got a visit from my friends Ian and Jess (the latter whom you might know as the shop manager on NY Ink). All in all, a lot of chatter going on in the open-layout shop combined with the whir of the machines grinding away.
We started with filling in the clouds just underneath the dragons jaw in that lovely blue-black that Rube has conjured up. It's already making the dragon "pop" beautifully. If I haven't mentioned it before, I utterly hate it when the machine runs over my spine. I feel it in my whole body. I feel like an insect that's being tacked to a board as part of some entomological display. The pain radiates from asshole to eyelids and out to my fingernails. I suppose that's to be expected when you're banging tiny needles into the home base of your central nervous system...
We then moved on to fill in the wind bars on the right side, running from armpit down to my pelvic bone. Admittedly, I was mildly terrified about this enterprise (I've been told time and time again that the ribs are one of the most painful places to be tattooed). Well, not for nothing, but it was pretty smooth sailing. Outside of when he started drilling into my pelvic bone (which happened shortly after Marisa said, "notice how I haven't asked how you're doing?") the pain was entirely localized and manageable.
We managed to log another 30 minutes on the left side, too, filling in the wind bars over my left lat, which turned the sterile sheet on the table into a crime scene photograph worthy of a Manson Family slaying.
It may not be noticeable in these photos, but I've bruised up a little bit. I attribute this to the thinness of my skin (I'm fairly lean) rather than make any comment on Rube's touch. That said, I want that black to last and stay black, so I say, "Grind it in there, man!"
We haven't scheduled the next block of sittings just yet, so this blog may lie dormant for a little bit, outside of the occasional random musing. Considering that Marisa and I are trying to get away to the Caribbean in February, this might be for the best (wait at least three weeks before putting your fresh ink in a pool or the sun, kids!).
I'd also like to thank all of you for reading the blog and commenting. Looking at the traffic, I'm kind of amazed at how many of your are following along with the transformation of my body. Admittedly, I started this blog more as a time capsule for myself but, now that I have an audience, I'll be sure to chronicle the experience as diligently as I can.