Was this a dumb choice? This was a dumb choice, right? I mean, I am going to regret this, right? Well, it’s clearly too late now.
It would be dumb to quit halfway through. And I can’t erase what has already been done.
My legs were starting to slide around on the chair. It was plastic, like a dentist chair, and I was wearing shorts.
And I was sweating.
Isn’t it hot in here? I swear they cranked the heat or something. But why would they do that? It’s AUGUST.
The room was much smaller than I had anticipated, but really not unlike other ones I had seen. The four of us were sort of crammed in, but I wasn’t going to do this alone.
Holy SHIT does this hurt. Do. Not. Cry. Do. Not. Admit. Pain.
It sort of smelled like college in this room. You know, like incense, patchouli, and cigarettes all mixed together. No one was actually smoking or burning incense, but it still SMELLED like it was in someone’s clothes…or in the brick in the walls…or in the ink.
Is this what I will smell like from now on?
I couldn’t look around. I could hear what Trisha and MacKenzie were saying, but I couldn’t look up at them. I did try to stay in the conversation though. To keep my mind off the pain.
At first it really didn’t hurt. I mean, it HURT, but it wasn’t excruciating. I wasn’t a huge fan of needles, but I didn’t have to see it, and it wasn’t like a stabbing pain. More of an annoying scratching. I could totally handle this. I could TOTALLY handle this.
I SWEAR it is getting warmer in here. What the hell?
I was examining my fingernails since my head had to stay down and still. I wasn’t able to focus on all the samples on the walls. And my fingernails? Are not interesting enough to distract me from the scratching on the back of my neck.
Apparently the outline was done, but the fill? That rubbed back and forth over my spine. And that felt like someone was trying to scrape off my skin.
Oh, Lord, no…
You know that instantaneous feeling you get before you are sick? Where one minute you are uncomfortable, but the next? Your insides feel swirly and you are POURING out sweat like someone bumped open a faucet? And your head feels all light and funny?
All I really want is a drink of water. Or some fresh air. I am SURE they won’t let me go out for air.
The artist totally noticed my discomfort.
“Are you Ok?”
“Oh yeah, I am TOTALLY Ok.”
I am supposed to be the Bad Ass. I am supposed to be able to handle this. I kick ass….I kick…oh Lord.
I couldn’t swallow. My girls jumped into action. There was a fan jammed in the corner of the room moving air around. Someone pointed it RIGHT at my face.
The artist: “wow. You sweated so much I can hardly see my stencil anymore! You know what we call that, right?”
me: “sorry. no, what?”
the artist: “swamp ass”.
Awesome. I am trying to be a bad ass and I have a case of swamp ass. And a stranger had to point it out.
She finished it up and told me I could use a hand mirror to see it in the big mirror over the desk that held all the supplies.
As I stood up I realized how much I had sweated. My legs slide off the plastic chair. I am pretty sure it probably looked like I peed myself.
My back was so sweaty I had a big wet spot in the middle of my back right through my shirt.
I was so classy. And so proud.
That little black curly V on the back of my neck meant I did something I didn’t think I could do.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted that permanent mark on my neck. But earlier that summer I lost a baby I didn’t think I wanted.
An unexpected loss brought me confidence about what I was capable as as a woman.
I used to be a MAJOR tom boy. Every since being a kid I figured I got the raw end of the stick by not having a penis.
Dudes had EVERYTHING so much easier. And when I learned about periods and childbirth? I was sure life wasn’t fair.
I didn’t know if I wanted kids. Being pregnant and giving birth scared the shit out of me. I loved kids, but the thought of my body doing weird, painful things to have one? Um…no.
And then I found myself pregnant.
And then I lost the pregnancy.
The guilt was unreal. If I had wanted it more? Would it have stuck? Was I responsible for the loss because of my bad attitude?
After it passed I suddenly realized what an amazing thing a woman’s body is. It creates LIFE. My woman-specific roles (sister, wife, daughter, aunt, etc) were some of the most important parts of my life.
Yes. I wanted children.
Yes. I wanted to add MOMMA to that list of woman-specific roles.
And so the idea for the ink. The Curly V? It is the Aries sign (yes, I’m an Aries…a VERY typical one), but it is also Egyptian hieroglyphics for WOMAN.
And I? Am a woman.
A woman with swamp ass, apparently.