about a tattoo.
I'd actually made the appointment on a whim about five weeks earlier. If you consider a whim to be about twenty (cough cough) years of planning, scheming, and designing what my next tattoo would be after getting The Cat in the Hat on my shin...then it was totally spontaneous.
You see, after getting my first tattoo I knew I wanted another one, I just didn't know exactly what that would be. I knew I wanted an arm band...and here I am at that age this year wondering what to do special for myself? How do I mark time?
Yes, I got the contacts which I am delirious to have...but one morning at the gym the perfect design idea popped right into my head and I moved forward...the next day.
I designed the arm band around an image I'd shot when I was in Prague in 2006...an owl in a doorway between 2 Art Nouveau nudes extending his wings. I figured that image would look pretty neat as an armband...
Making the appointment was easy, Tattoo Tony is a great guy, handlebar mustache and all...and he was just as excited about my design as I was, so that put any fears at ease that I had. Also? He comes highly recommended in my town as does Hold Fast, the location he parks his ink and his reclining Naugahyde chair...and I think he did an amazing job (so does everyone who's seen it in person)
Waiting for the appointment was sort of easy, because it was kind of a scribble it in on the calendar and forget about it thing. Except that I kept wondering what it would look like on my arm...
Every time I looked at my arm or passed by a mirror...or a glass window. It's lucky I didn't get hit by a car and actually made it to my appointment.
It was only the day before and the day of the appointment that I started to get nervous. I ran over after work and sat in Tony's chair for about 2.5 hours while he worked applying the ink...and I know what you're thinking...no, it didn't hurt that badly. Really. It was only slightly uncomfortable up towards the tops of my arms on each side where the end of the owls wings stretch...but, I was able to remind myself that I had decided to not get the owl in color, and the shading would be easy and over in a minute. Plus? Once your endorphins kick in, you kind of go numb after a while.
It's a little larger than I had originally pictured it in my head, but only by a half an inch in height...making Megan exclaim, as she walked through the door of the tattoo parlor, "WOW! It's bigger than I though...but you know? If you're going to do it, you should really commit!" And really, the detail Tonly was able to put in the image is stunning, any smaller and I would have lost quite a few feathers on this little guy.
I'm pretty healed up...which was a little painful at first, like having a fever in the area of the tattoo because it is an open wound so it does get a little hot...but that situation went away by the second day after airing it the area out and icing it. It's healing beautifully now (or rather, it's pretty darned healed up) and I just followed Tony's instructions.
He wrapped my arm in saran wrap before I left the studio and I was instructed to keep that on all night and then take it off in the morning. I read some things on the Internet and there are a lot of opposing opinions on that (which of course, made me panic) but I took the wrap off in the morning and washed the area with white soap 3 times a day (gentle, no real scent) patted dry and after the 2nd day started applying Lubriderm 3-4 times a day...keeping the tattoo aired out, but gently covered with my shirt (nothing tight) No sun, or submerging in water for any length of time...
Yes, it did peel...or molt in this case (heh.) And yes, it itched like the dickens for a couple of days, and I did take a week off from the gym to let it heal. But that part's behind me now...
Only not really.
Because at the end of this month, I will be going back to have the rest of the tattoo inked on. I will continue a design starting at the end of the wings towards the bottom that will wrap around under my arm.
It may be more painful...but it can't be as bad as childbirth right?
I mean, I haven't actually had a baby, but I'm always comparing things to that particular act anyway.
The next part of the design will be in color...but I'll keep you in suspense for what exactly it will look like. But just like the owl, it's full of personal symbolism.
We're big on symbolism here at Foolsewoode, and the owl is a particularly meaningful symbol in my life.
I think though, unlike my ankle tattoo...this will be it for me. I am totally and wholly satisfied with this amount of ink on my body.