I see my body as the canvas and the DIY tattoos as the paint. It’s important that they’re DIY tattoos. Why because DIY takes wealth out of the equation. Tattoos are so damn expensive—$150/hour. I used to get tattooed by apprentices, but now even the apprentices are charging. DIY looks perfectionism in the eyes and turns its back.
I want to tattoo a red triangle on my left bicep. Technically, it’s very doable. I’m right-handed. I’m not new to DIY tattoos. I’ve stick n’ poked my fingers. I’ve eBay tattoo machined my wrist, knee, thigh, foot.
A few weeks ago, Kate was out of town, and I was curled in a ball on the floor in the bedroom. I was yelling at the floor, bending and straightening my arms, lifting and lowering my body, push-up after push-up. Never felt rage like this crack open inside me, seep out. Like an egg that’s dropped on the floor, cracks open, yolk seeps out. Except that’s mild mannered and domestic. This egg is doused in gasoline. A lit match is thrown on the slime. Flames engulf the refrigerator, and the microwave, and the oven. I mention the scene and the image because I learned there is a destructive impulse deep inside me, maybe trapped in subconscious, or maybe in bone marrow. A part of me wanted to kill myself. Not like suicide. Like murder. Do you understand the difference? Murder is the alcoholic’s alter-ego. But it’s murder of the self. I guess that’s very close to suicide. But for me, it’s different. For me, there was a beast inside of me, clawing out and at me. Do you see how both are possible?
When I went to law school in Laramie, Wyoming there was a tattoo shop called Rolling Tattoo and the tattoo artist was a girl named Megan and she said I should get a series of red triangles on my neck and shoulder but I never did. Maybe now is my chance.
Things are fine, how are you? I’m on my second cup of coffee. Kate got goat’s milk from the grocery store but I didn’t bring it to the coffeeshop because all the small tupperware are in use. Leftover bacon fat in one. Leftover peanut sauce in the other. They should make a bacon peanut butter latte just to see.
I’m fine how are you. The baby and I played in the grass yesterday afternoon and I pressed record on my phone to capture the moment and not let it slip but after I was done talking about the pillowy clouds and pastel blue sky I looked at the screen and the voice memo app wasn’t working and I lost the moment oh well.
The DIY tattoos are metaphors. My writing mentor says good writing must have multiple different levels. We’re this weird ape sub species bent on collecting things and experiences. We ignore death and try try try to take shit with us, even if it means carving it on our sun scorched skin.