Tattoo me

Timothy - Paradise, California
Entered on April 20, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50

Tattoo Me…

I believe that there is a pain you can obtain, the sweet burst of tasty adrenalin. I am often asked if my tattoo’s represent anything specific, any hidden meanings, memories of the past. Yes, my tattoos represent something personal, but by the road map configuration on my arms and legs you wouldn’t know that it really meant anything at all. You might even judge me as just another tattooed felon, maybe even someone that you can’t trust. The truth is each tattoo represents one week of self confined torture, pain and suffering. The pain of detoxing off of a heavy addiction to methamphetamines, pills, and alcohol. The pain I put my family and friends through all those years, and more importantly the pain of being in prison; instead of being at home watching my two year old son grow with life experiences. My sons name is the first tattoo to emerge from the steady hand of my tattoo artist into something alive, something real. Right across the base of my left wrist, etched in solid black is my little mans name “Gauge.” It had come to the point that I had to find something to ease my troubled soul. People find things to do while locked up in any prison system here in the states, and most other countries. Some people use drugs; while others choose to drink alcohol. Some people read, while others work out. As for me, the feeling of a needle, penetrating my skin and the nerves underneath, so rapid and precise, sewing a permanent piece of history just below the surface of my waiting flesh. Black Cat ink, the same ink used in calligraphy pens, forced into your body by a guitar string makeshift lance, and put to rest, and the low pitched hum of the tattoo gun, sure to put an insomniac to sleep. I quickly discovered that the pain I always wondered about could in fact be just as addictive as cocaine. I found my new drug. I had two and a half years of incarceration, to deal with the pain, and to learn how to deal with the pain long after my tattoos are complete. Tattoos are used by tribes of old to serve as decoration, and rank within their clans. For some, the very act of tattooing is thought to be the same principle as acupuncture. Releasing a chemical into the body and creating a sense of bliss. It took about twelve weekends a year for two and a half years to complete my human canvas. Each time I went in I would be built up with a week’s worth of stress, frustration and pain, and the minute the sharp, thin needle enters my anxious skin, all my cares and worries dissipate, if only for a little while. My original plan, was to get my arms fully sleeved then call it good. I paroled with sleeved arms and legs. An inmate by the name of Kurt Nolan did all of my art work for one-hundred dollars, money well invested. Kurt was convicted of residential burglary and received his third strike for stealing a chain saw from someone’s garage, he was sentenced to life. The free hand art that was applied by Kurt will be a reminder of just how quickly things can go wrong and how poor choices can change your very life. People say that you regret the tattoos you get as you grow up to elder. I’m thirty years old and I know that I will never regret the artwork I display in a tank top and shorts on a warm summer day. I was discharged from Parole thirteen months after my release from prison, no dirty drug test, no police contact, no new case. I did this with the constant reminder visually present up my arms, and down my legs. There is a vast assortment of gratification thru pain; piercings, scarification, and yes, even bondage is a form of pain induced through sensual activities. When I am in public, and I notice a tattoo strategically placed on another’s skin, I don’t look and judge that person by the care used by his artist. I just wonder…what might have been going on in that person’s life, at that particular time, and it could have been anything, maybe good, but possibly bad. The truth is, that’s a bond that will remain between you and the tattoo gun.