Saturday, September 27, 2008
Tattoo Me . . .
I read in the New York Times the other day that 40% of the adults in the US between the ages of 26 and 40 have at least one tattoo. I would guess that in Portland the percentage is even higher. I am firmly in that demographic.
When I got my first tattoo twelve years ago, it was a really big deal. I had just graduated from law school, I was 35 years old, and the last thing I wanted was to be sucked into "The Establishment." I figured it was time for a tattoo. I spent months deciding exactly what I wanted, a Celtic "shield knot" on the skin over my Achilles tendon, and when I finally went through with it I thought I would faint from the pain. It was like a hive of angry hornets trying to break through my skin from the inside . . .
Five years later, I had forgotten the pain and was ready for Tat Two (Ha!). At Greg's suggestion, this one was of a cartoon bunny that I used as my signature on notes to him (Awwwwwww), on my back between my shoulder blades.
Again, it hurt (especially the little red heart that landed right on top of a vertebra) but apparently not as much, because I was ready for #3 within three years. This time, I chose a 1930s Bianchi chain ring design that I found on a friend's website:
#3 hurt a bit, mainly because it, like #1 and parts of #2, it was on a body part where there was no fat pad to cushion against. But once again the pain must not have been daunting, because today, less than two years after getting #3, I was back for #4.
A few months back, on an especially difficult ride, I leaned against my bike to rest and managed to give myself one of the most perfect chain ring grease tattoos ever:
A light bulb went off in my head, and that perfect grease tattoo (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) is now part of my permanent collection:
This one didn't really hurt at all; it was more like a persistent itch/scratch that felt a little warm at times. Either I am getting used to the pain, or I am beginning to actually enjoy it. Or maybe it's just that endurance riding has raised my pain threshold to new heights of absurd.
While I was getting #4, I had Tyler touch up my first tattoo to turn it into a chain ring. Call it Tattoo #4.5, if you will:
Time to stock up on opaque hose for court . . .