Sunday, February 15, 2009

Flowers for Valentine's day.


So, yesterday I got the tattoo on my left shoulder, the counterpart to the one that I got on my right shoulder for my birthday. I am sad to say that most of the elements that I love about the first one are absent in the second one. The delicate frail branchwork has been replaced by chunky, frightening driftwood. The sprawling graceful layout is instead a bunched up bundle. And the placement of the second tattoo is a solid inch further out from my spine than the first.

Observe the photographic evidence. (The colors are way off in both photos. They're also reversed, so the one on the left is my right shoulder {the first tattoo}, and the one on the right, or possibly the bottom depending on how this lays out when posted, is the left shoulder {the new tattoo}. Sorry bout that, but it's really hard to take pics of your own shoulders. Go ahead, try it. I dare you.)


What to do? Well, there isn't a whole lot that can be done. That's the thing about tattoos. Once they're done, they're done. In there. Permanent in the most serious sense. As with the first one, I'm sure I'll get to like the new one more as I live with it and it heals. But for the time being I'm not what one would call happy. Which is sad. I was so excited about getting the other half. And I paid a lot of money for the whole shebang. But a person like me, who's so damn picky about the way things look, should probably be more specific when doing something like being marked for life.

Blarg. Looking at them side by side this way, it's not that I completely dislike the new tattoo. I just dislike it in comparison to the first one. And of course it's hard not to compare since they're side by side on my shoulders, and were supposed to be "balanced". This is not my idea of balanced.

You'd think I'd have learned after the upper-arm tattoo fiasco - when I went to get the tattoo on my right arm and wanted it at the level of the one that was already on my left arm, and instead it landed a solid inch and a half higher. I see these things. Not only do I see them, but once I see them it's hard for me to see anything else. Yes, I obsess. Yes, I've been obsessing about this all morning. No, it won't do any good. It's just making me miserable. But I don't know how to stop.

I don't know. You tell me. Am I being crazy, or are they alright?


Tom said...

And here it is...another tattoo discussion. Yes, the assymetry would bother me as well, and I would probably stand in front of the mirror and go, "No one will notice. It's just you. It doesn't matter," and I'd say to me, "But it's on ME, and I want it EVEN! No!" It's the little things.

Somehow I'd eventually come to be okay with it. I agree that the first set of branches were mighty fine. Did not the same artist do the work?

Oddly and scarily, this has not put me off from thinking that a tattoo would be cool. There's a shop right in my neighborhood. I've never been in, and yet earlier this week I thought, "Maybe I'll just go in and look around." That's a new thought for me.

I want something big and huge and involved. This is always the way with me. I can't seem to do anything that is simple and straightforward. I would go in and say, "I want something I can cover if I like, nothing too fancy. No colors. Maybe just a symbol." Eighteen weeks later the artist would be halfway through something that runs from the back of my right calf, up my leg, across my back, and winds to my left arm. It would be made of animals, figures, symbols, and letters, and if I stretched the right way it would say different things (though some yoga before said stretching might be required). This is what I would do to me. This is maybe why I've not gone into the shop. I'm actually getting kind of excited thinking about it. Damn.

melissa bastian. said...

Tom, I'm still pro you getting tattooed. What you've described here is pretty much precisely what I'm going through. I'm learning to live with it. Everyone I've shown it to says it's beautiful; no one else sees what I see. But it's on me! Whatev. What's done is done. I'm still gonna get more tattoos. Probably from the same guy. He's a good artist; I'm a very specific person that didn't express myself at all specifically when describing what I wanted. I do that sometimes.

Maybe you should just come and visit me in NY, so I can peer-pressure you into your first tattoo. And then make you ride the subway.