(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...
- "Sick ink, Bro!"
- "Sweet tats!"
- "How long did that take?"
- "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.