Every time someone asks, I still have to count how many tattoos I have. The number has changed a few times over the years. Hang on ... I'm counting ... O.K. we are at 10 for now. I know that number will change again. Getting a tattoo is some kind of spiritual ritual that I do, usually at emotionally hard times in my life. I do not regret any of them! They all hold memories to those different periods in my life. 
    My last tattoo is an army helmet that has the word LOVER written across it. I got it a few months after Tommy passed away (my fiance who passed at 39 years old on May 19, 2021). He was an Iraqi Freedom Combat Veteran, a gunner on a HumVee and had been through so much emotionally as combat continued to take its toll on him many years after his deployment. The army helmet was tribute to him for sacrificing his life in more ways than one. The word LOVER is there because it is a Taylor Swift somg we were likely going to have as our wedding song July 2021. I ended up falling asleep while getting that tattoo. I remember thinking that nothing could ever touch the emotional pain of losing him. Is there a bit of self-injurous behavior involved? Maybe, but I welcome the physical pain of my tattoos. I am usually sober when I decide I NEED one.
    My first tattoo was memorable. WHICH REMINDS ME!!! There are three more things that don't mix! Hallucinogenics, homemade tattoos (no tattoo gun) and Pink Floyd's The Wall (a trippy old movie). It's funny how every time I come up with three things that don't mix hallucinogenics are involved! LOL! I was 16 years old and had just gotten home after running away with my sister and our friend, Billy. Billy and I were most definitely going to stick to our word from the pact we made on our adventure and get tattoos on our arms that said SSB (Sister Sister Brother) which is explained in another post entitled 'Truckin'. I had the guts and the opportunity first, regardless of the fact that I was the youngest of the three of us by a couple years. I don't remember anything leading up to the moment I am about to describe to you. I was in some high school derelict's basement bedroom. There were between 5 and 10 people sitting on either couches, chairs or this kid's bed. Everyone was uber excited I was getting tattood. I was sitting on the edge of the bed while he picked at my arm for houuuuuuurs with a hollowed out pen that was now holding a needle dipped in indian ink. I was dating Dan at that time (my first true love ... my first acid dealer also) and when I would come home to Brockton he would send me with a sheet of acid to take over time while I was home, before heading back to him in Maine. Yes, I was 16 and my parents were aware of my gypsie lifestyle. They had to sign papers to allow me to drop out of school in 9th grade (my step-father was a principal and my mother an english teacher ... I know... weird ... I am the youngest of 7 between them and I am pretty sure they just gave up with me). Anyway, the point I'm getting at is that I had made the decision that the best way to get my first tattoo was on 10 hits of acid, so that's what I did. Oh boy! All I remember is that we had been watching The Wall while he just picked away at me to make those three letter, since there was no motor attached to this tattoo needle he had created for me, it was hours of constant picking at my arm. It had been about 3 hours of him picking at my arm and the annoying pain was becoming unbearable, oh yeah, and the 10 hits of acid weren't helping either. It got to the point in the movie that these cartoon hammers are marching while this weird music plays and that is the actual moment I remember. I know I was miserable at the time but looking back I think it's funny. I was nuts! I don't remember that kid's name, or face for that matter.
    My second tattoo is another story of my nuttiness. I was 17 years old and had just shaved my head because my hair was getting too frizzy when I had to put my head out my boyfriend's car window on our way home from Boston a few times a week so I could vomit. No hair, problem solved. I am a problem solver. My hair was just starting to grow back and I had dyed it electric blue. I was drinking a LOT with my boyfriend and our friends at their bachelor pad they had named 'House of Hell'. That house is full of stories I may get to at a later time. We were out front messing around and I got a piggyback from someone when my silver belly chain snapped off. (It was actually a necklace I had gotten from Joe ... Joseph Grange ... worldwide known philosopher who was a father figure to me since he began dating my mom when I was two years old ... super cool man! Google him.) I didn't want to lose that necklace he had given me from a trip he made to Ireland so I put it in my pocket and announced to my friends that "I'm going to get a belly chain that WON'T break! I want a belly chain tattoo!" (There I go solving problems again!) My boyfriend told me his friend, Wolfie (not his birthname) would give me a tattoo that night. I told him to make the call while my friend Bob and I decided what I wanted it to say on the back of this creation. He looked at me and said "Mommies little monster! That's what it should say! Social Distortion song!" He told me I knew the song but I couldn't remember  so he played it for me.
"Mommies little monster dropped out of school,
Mommies little monster broke all the rules.
Loved to go out with the boys,
loved to go out and make some noise.
Her eyes are a deeper blue,
she likes her hair that color too."
Remember, I had blue hair at that time so that was it! It would say "Mommies Little Monster" across my back. Later that night we went to the other side of town to Wolfie's apartment. Tattoos weren't legal in the state at that time so he did his work underground. He would tattoo in people's houses or apartments. We got to his house and he was still drawing at his kitchen table. I had asked Wolfie to freehand a feminine style tribal design for me. As I was walking up to see what he was creating I had looked down at the trash can and saw a pile of thrown away sketches. At the top of the pilewas an eye with a tear below it. I picked it up and asked why it was in the trash. He told me he didn't think I would like it, but I LOVED it!!! In that moment I remember thinking that this would be my way of showing my pain. I only was ever happy or angry, never ever showed vulnerability. This would be my way of wearing my pain like a badge. A way to let people know I had feelings. So that began some matching body jewelery tats! Over the years he gave me an armband, a bracelette and an ankelet. LOL! The things that don't mix in this scenario? Red Rose wine (it's reallly reallly cheap wine) and the movie Jacobs Ladder while getting my stomach drilled with a tattoo gun. 
    I have felt the same since that time about my tattoos. They are my way of showing my pain, my tears. My tattoos really mean a lot to me for a lot of reasons. Each of them. 


Anonymous said…
I made it through the intro and on to the tattoos. Yes! I love it. Being that I already know you, I have an idea what you're all about - you Definitely can write! I will enjoy your stories in my own time. This will act as my latest book. I love to read in my free time so long as it catches my interest; this certainly does just that. Good job, keep it coming....
Blueridge Bob said…
Thank you botha
and I send prayer to your friend
For your service
In the legion I belong to every nite atv6 we stop the kReoke and talking and have a moment of silence for the true who didn't make it for the
Ifes and kids whare alone at home