There Was Pain Involved, Part II

OCTOBER 30 Second session. Scheduled from 1-5 and informed that it probably wouldn’t take that long because he’d just be adding in the colors and highlighting. (Are you seeing a pattern here? Yeah, I am now.)

compass finishedMy brand new skin had finally stopped peeling about three days before this,* which was convenient because you can’t get tattooed if the skin hasn’t healed. Or maybe you just wouldn’t want to. Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s the first one because that sounds completely fucking awful.

This image is after another 3.5 hours under the needle (my tattooist, during: “I keep getting ideas for more details, so I just keep shoving more things in there. I hope that’s okay?” me: “Fuck yes?”) and 23 more colors—none of them grey this time.

While my tattooist was setting up the inks, I rattled off a whole list of other things I want done and he was into all of it. He digs jellyfish, which is exciting because I would love to get at least one jellyfish** and I also mentioned wanting a hammerhead shark, at which point he said he’s only done a few sharks and never a hammerhead (me: “Would you like to?”). I can imagine spending my whole winter being his canvas and end up looking like something dragged from the bottom of the sea.***

That “all nerves firing” thing I talked about last time? About how it was too interesting to be uncomfortable? Sustained for a long time, it becomes very uncomfortable. It is wrong and nerves are not supposed to do that and the lizard brain knows it.****

After it was done, I got walked around the shop to show everyone how it had turned out. One guy pointed out that the scales match the blue in my hair (it is bright bright primary blue on the underlayer)***** and then he informed me that now I can never change my hair. I have no issues at all with this logic.

Other details: Music was a bunch of stuff I didn’t recognize and there was no reading this time. I mostly just sat in the chair and shuddered and tried to remember to breathe. By the third hour I kept saying “Stop a minute—okay, go.” To be fair, it was a huge section of my upper back. But still. It’s not like I haven’t done this before (three weeks ago in fact… oh right, that was part of the problem).

Anyway. Worth it. So. fucking. worth it.


*Protip: Don’t do this. Less than an hour in I was like “My tolerance is shit today. What the fuck is up with that?” and my tattooist casually pointed out the fact that he was working on brand new skin that was brand-new-skin-sensitive. I was like “Oh. That makes sense. Fuck.”
**Specifically, I said I want a jellyfish “in shades of absinthe and antifreeze” and I didn’t feel stupid phrasing it like that at all because that is how we talk in the tattoo shop for some reason. It’s kind of like an art gallery only sleazier (in a good way!).
****I’m almost starting to think I could curate all the different textures and contours of these different types of pain, if I was so inclined.
*****The matching is exactly what I asked for.