So, I got a tattoo.
It's been years since I wanted to get some body art done, but money has always been an issue. This year for my birthday Tess decided to help me out; we wound up splitting it about 50/50 (courtesy some birthday money from my mother). I hope all of you people on my reading list (most of whom are experienced hands at this) won't laugh too much at how big a deal this was to me.
Call it corny, but I've wanted to get a tattoo of Mothra for years. Not a butterfly, not "inspired by Mothra", but actually Mothra. Blame an upbringing light on traditional sources of religious mythology and heavy on Kaiju films, and five or so years spent as a Chaos Mage (the sum of which philosophy can be accurately rendered as: "what you revere doesn't matter; the effects it produces do"), but this is as close as I get to tattooing religious iconography all over my pasty atheist self. I even copied her god-symbol from some of the early films. There are plans to get her dark counterpart Battra as well, when money looks favorable again.
Being the first tattoo, I wanted to be able to look at it -- especially since I want it there as a reminder of things that are fairly important to me. After some thinking, I decided to place it above my right breast -- accessible, not entirely difficult to show without exposing myself but not visible to casual inspection either. Battra will go on the left eventually.
However, getting it was something of an adventure...
Tess, Marion (who at this point seems to have progressed to "new girlfriend" status; more on that later) and myself piled into the car during the peak of a tremendous thunderstorm. When I say "peak", well,conjure up images of sidewalks covered in water some places, and an average visibility of about two carlengths ahead at the best of times. It's a shitty time to drive, but ultimately what got us wasn't another motorist, but an inexplicably-uncovered manhole into which we drove. BAM. It was a close call -- flat tire, but no broke axle and no serious damage to anybody. We had half an hour to get to the studio, so I called to let them know we might be late or absent. Marion and I took up position behind the car to ward traffic away from Tess as she worked. Not fifteen minutes later, the tire was fine and we were away. Tess, incidentally, scored some serious "awesome lifepartner" points -- we got there three minutes *early*, before the tattoo artist.
After that there was some figuring out of details; Jake *nailed* the design, and although there was a problem with the symbol (if you'll pardon my fanspeak: the Heisei-era design which I'd picked has a circle that's difficult to render given the limits we had, but I picked the Showa version and solved it) it was soon resolved without even compromising the design. Jake went to go resize things while Marion and I tried to warm up a thoroughly-soaked Tess (who made an appointment to get her ears gauged up a few sizes).
Tattoo happened. The nervousness had long since given way to frazzled endorphin rush with a nice post-adrenaline twister. It was quite painful (especially in the places near my collarbone), but it was a rite of passage, and those often are. Using breath control, distracting conversations and selective use of breaks, I got through the entire outline (and will be going back to have it colored in two weeks from now). The afterglow was fierce!
We stayed to get Tess's ears pierced, and Verno (the owner at Holy Mackerel) offered to do it for free if she could figure out what was going on with his computer. After the piercing, she played around with it while me, Marion, Verno and the receptionist chatted for a while. Tess fixed the problem, and Verno gave her not only the piercing but the jewelry for free!
Well, afterward we piled back into Riku (who was doing fine despite the spare tire's awkwardness) and got brownie mix to celebrate. Given the late hour, we invited Marion to stay the night. Then there was a long, lovely happy relaxed morning on Saturday as we simply recuperated from it all.
The downside: Now I can't wear a bra until this thing stops bugging me. And it just reached the itchy stage of healing.