a Story of my Strength

a Story of my Strength
because i can do more than fail.

I have tattoos. Surprise!

In fact, I have been "under the needle" every summer for the past three years, except I only have two tattoos. How is this? Well, I recently had my very first tattoo covered up. When people asked why I wanted to cover it up, I would respond by making known my hatred and disgust towards it. Of course, they would then want to see it. I would oblige by lifting the corner of my shirt up to display my awful hip ornamentation, which was usually met with replies of "I like it." or something equally uncommitted. My next response always went like this:

"It looks like someone took an Exacto knife to my side and then rubbed charcoal into the wound."

That usually shut people up.

Anyways, that's not what this tale is about. I want to share with you the series of events that occurred whilst having said charcoal-wound covered with something more pretty rad. The new more awesomer design is a take on the Russian firebird, a sort of phoenix. I say "a take on" because Russian firebirds tend to look like peacocks on fire, and what I have etched onto my body is more hawk-like in appearance. Personal preference and all that.

So my artist, henceforth known as Emily, also did tattoo work for two friends of mine, as well as the husband of one of those friends. Suffice to say she's highly recommended, as was evident when I had to book my appointment more than two months in advance.

Emily tweaked my design a little to turn the rad firebird into a mad rad tattoo, which she then printed out onto this strange mystical paper to transfer the design to my body. It's like carbon paper for skin, except that it uses purple ink. The sheer awesometasticness of the tattoo was not diminished by the colour, though. That's how great it was. As I said before, mad rad.

Remember that this was a cover up, so the design had to be played with even further once it had been applied in purple ink to ensure that the aberration would be gone forever. This was achieved by erasing bits of the design and then redrawing them on my with a purple marker. Yes, Emily the tattoo artist was using a purple marker to colour on my body before picking up the tattoo gun thing. My confidence was soaring.

Let's skip ahead now, to about twenty minutes into the tattooing. The area being tattooed had been shaved and sanitized, and the sanitizer reeks. Like, my biggest dilemma at that point was whether to breath through my nose or mouth. Through the nose and I'd smell it, through the mouth and I'd taste it. Both options were bad. And to think this was my biggest concern while Emily was using a series of needles vibrating at a gajillion times per second to penetrate the first couple layers of my skin so that black ink could seep in and live there for eternity. Yah, that's how bad the smell/taste was.

Until she got to my ribs.

My fight or flight instinct wanted to kick in so badly right then, but I was completely petrified. I couldn't move, I was the proverbial deer-in-headlights (except my left eye was twitching). Over and over I kept asking myself why the expletive I was allowing this woman to put me through this - again. My silent tirade was broken, though, when she asked me a question:

"You holding up alright?"


"Yes," I somewhat maybe just a little bit quasi-lied. I mean, I wasn't gonna ask her to stop after a scant fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes of Russian firebird would just look stupid, and then I'd have to explain it to people all the time. "What's that on your hip?" "Oh, just the beginning of a tattoo I sort-of didn't get when I was in university." "Ah." Lame sauce.

Her response puzzled me, and probably will for the rest of my mortal life.

"Yah, I can tell. You're really good at sitting."

Ladies and gentlemen, I have found my calling in life: sitting. I am good at it, nay, really good at sitting. I think I just might be the best sitter out there (but not the sitter who sits babies, I'm bad at that). If there were an Olympic event consisting of sitting, I would be at the top of the podium, sitting. I'm that awesome.

And three hours later I had a new mad rad Russian firebird (non-peacock-set-aflame variety) tattoo, one less ugly flesh wound, and a renewed sense of purpose thanks to my superior sitting capabilities.

The End

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