the awesome/terrifying freedom

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thirty is an alarm clock - not the horrible entry into the depths of adulthood i feared, but a simple marking of time; a calling to wake up, and get the hell to work. i'm really looking forward to all the things that will happen in the next year, in the next ten.

the party was awesome - if you missed it, you missed seeing me get spanked in the bar with my bithday paddle, signed by the party attendees. at about whack #25, the paddle broke, a scene which drew quite a lot of onlookers. i like the broken paddle. it's like narsil, the broken sword of elendil. if you know what that is, i love you.

over a year ago i posted my tattoo design - i was all set to get it too, but backed away at the price, and the reality of it. i decided last week that the time had come, so i booked an appointment at rising dragon tattoo, below the chelsea hotel, which i thought was a fitting historic place (sid stabbed nancy there!) to get my historically derived tattoo, on a big day in my life.

this is a blurry picture of c-jay. c-jay is very cool, in fact everyone at rising dragon was cool - the receptionists were helpful and friendly, understanding that it was my first tattoo, the attitude was laid back, but not sloppy. i had previously gone into a tattoo shop in 2nd avenue where the attitude was condescening, where every effort seemed to be taken to make me feel uncool and unworthy. whateva. no business from me.

these drawings were hung up in c-jay's workstation. he's been doing tattoos for 11 years. he said he got into it because he couldn't afford art school.

it was at about the point that he shaved my leg and applied the template that i started to get a little nervous. once, i passed out after having blood taken, and i'd passed out once in junior high watching a play about a guy getting a spinal tap. i don't think of myself as queasy, but my body begs to differ sometimes.

c-jay set up little plastic capfuls of ink, and showed me the sterile needle, fresh from it's packaging. i asked him what it felt like.

'dude. the only way to describe the pain is to just feel it, man.'

he flipped on the needle. buzzz.

he asked, 'you didn't happen to read the news this weekend did you?'
'ok, good.'

and he went back to setting up.

'wait,' i said, 'um, what was in the news?'
'oh. this guy in brooklyn was getting a tattoo and he got up and he passed out and he fell through a glass case and cut his neck and died.'

and he went back to setting up.

'oh. shit.'
'yeah. don't worry. we don't have any glass cases.'

i wasn't sure if he was kidding or not.

'tell you what i'm gonna do. i'm gonna do a dot and you can see how it feels.'


'that was a dot.'
'oh. wow. ok, that was easyyyyyyyyowwwww'


'that was a line.'
'woah. phoo.. ok.. ok, i can handle that.'
'you sure?'
'yeah, let's go.'
'you've got a lotta lines on this design, dude.'
'i'm good. let's go.'
'alright. you feel light headed, you let me know.'

the first fifteen minutes were the toughest. it was a very strange, specific, electric pain.

filling in the color wasn't nearly as bad because i'd gotten used to the sensation by that point. when it was over, it felt like a sunburn.

when i got home i googled the story. holy crap, freaky!

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