So, it’s taken 35 years, but I’ve gotten a tattoo.
Rebellion claims many a young soul, of course. In my bulk-buying, responsible recycling, gardening years, though, I don’t have that excuse. But there’s something I feel strongly enough about to leave a mark. Now, this very ‘Brighton’ club’s membership eludes me no longer.
Over the Pond before the reckoning, I’m in sweatpants with my best friend since braces and New Kids on the Block posters, recalling for our partners the first time we went into a tattoo parlour to enact the ultimate millennium ritual: belly button piercing. Our story-telling relationship is as old as rain, a well-worn rhythm of call and response. It’s a comfort to know the telepathy hasn’t worn off.
“So they make you lay down and get this big ass needle –”
“Needle?” I chip in. “I thought it was a clamp thingie.”
“No,” my bestie continues, as assured in her memory as I am in mine. “It was a needle.”
“But they do it so quick you don’t even know it’s happening. Maybe to get you out of the shop or maybe they knew we were going to... you know.” I mime fainting with a roll of the eyes.
“Anyway, they stab us and then we stood up to go and then whooosh –” her hands fly up – “Totally gone.”
“All the blood left my head and I saw stars.” I say... [read more]