Tuesday, March 6, 2012


(PS - bad filter on Marisa's camera... no way I'd let my ink get that rosy)

I'm back in the chair (AKA: on the table) on Thursday.  Sadly, I had to turn down a few open cancelations at the end of February because I was going to Puerto Rico for a well deserved vacation, but it feels good to go back to work on the back.

Heading to a tropical climate as a heavily tattooed man is never easy.  In all honesty, I feel a lot more compassion for my loving girlfriend who is both far more covered than me and - well, let's face it - a woman and, as a result, subject to a lot more scrutiny.  Regardless, you're gonna hear a lot of shit down by the pool, especially when you're both lying around in Speedos.

The winner, however, for our trip was a woman in her 80s who was shuffling about in a giant sun-hat and a bathing suit that perhaps should have covered a bit more of her thighs.  Regardless, I couldn't help but love her.

As I stood by the back-end of the pool smoking a cigarette while working on a book of Sunday NY Times crosswords, I heard a small but confident voice behind me...

"I'm sorry to bother you, but I want you to know: I think your tattoos are beautiful.  Did you do them all at once?"

I turned around to find a woman who has been collecting social security for almost as long as I've been alive, approaching the "scary" guy in a sarong down by the pool.

"Thank you very much, ma'am.  No, we've been working on my body for about a decade.  We're still not done just yet."

"Well, whoever is doing all this beautiful art is doing a great job at tying it all together.  I'm gonna go get a henna tattoo at the other pool and really freak out my friends in North Dakota once I get home."

Seriously?  I wanted to hug her.  But, that might have been creepy considering that I was wearing a very "compact" bathing suit.

She rocked.  Unlike many of my fellow hotel-guests who felt the need to speak to me for that three-day excursion...

  1. "Sick ink, Bro!"
  2. "Sweet tats!"
  3. "How long did that take?"
  4. "How much did that cost?"
All honest, but cliched questions.  I consider it my duty to help keep people informed, especially when they're not being judgmental. I'm more than happy to hear praise from a stranger when I'm displaying my pasty, half-Scottish body poolside in the Caribbean.  After all, I'm quite sure I asked a black person at one point in my pre-pubescence if I could touch their hair.

The winner for the weekend, however, was a man in a Desert Storm Vet cap and a very prominent gold tooth on his front, right bicuspid...

"Your tattoos are really nice, man.  I wish I could afford work like that, but I got kids."

"Well, I got a mortgage in Downtown Brooklyn - it's not too different."

Talk to you kids over the weekend.  We got another double on Thursday.  Wish me luck.


  1. I'm enjoying your posts. I'm currently working on half sleeves then we move to the back. For one of my wife's class assignments I was photographed in a chair. Her professor in reviewing the photo quipped, "well, there is a boat..."

    Looking great!

  2. Funny stuff Brian! Being Chinese and living in Chinatown, on days I choose to reveal my ink, I always get stares from the locals. Obviously you know how tattoos are regarded amongst Asian cultures and it is definitely more relaxed here in the US. Still it is always interesting to witness reactions and people's preconceived notions of the possessors of ink.
    FYI, I just got a note from Henning and he'll be in town at the end of March. We're going to finish up my thigh piece at Kings Avenue in Manhattan. So stoked!

  3. @Bill - Thanks for coming along for the read-ride!

    @Ricky - I just heard that Henning was going to be around soon - glad you got an appointment! I've spent most of my (un-adorned) life getting stared at for one reason or another, so the shift hasn't been too great for me. However, I definitely notice when people are staring at (judging) my girlfriend for her extensive coverage. "Oh, that scumbag biker-looking guy? Of course he has tattoos... that nice young lady, however... why did she 'ruin' her body like that?!"

    I will say, however, that the looks of children are always the most fascinating - and they cause ME to pass the most judgement about a child's personality (or perhaps about the way they've been parented). Some kids smile with wonder, others glare in disapproval, some just stare.