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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tat Tuesday

Thought I would try out a new weekly post (like I don't post enough, already).  I have always been a huge fan of tattoos and body modifications, but I haven't found way to incorporate that into the website.  Hopefully, that's where "Tat Tuesday" will come in.

"Tat Tuesday" will be a weekly post consisting of a photo or two of a tattoo or a piercing that I admire or appreciate.  In the last decade, the tattoo industry has attracted a bevy of classic artists, many with college degrees in art history and theory.  Tattoo artists are no longer the stereotypical biker with a tattoo gun.  They are legitimate artists, using the human body as their canvas.

For this week's post, I thought I would show my latest piece of work.  I had it done in May of this year by Josh at Serenity Tattoo in Tucson, Arizona.  He did a wonderful job.  He also did some work on my wife earlier this year.  I'll probably show her piece at a later time.  I had a hard time with my arm accepting the ink.  There were some areas where he had to go over eight or nine times before any ink would seem to go into the skin.  It also scabbed up differently than any of my previous tattoos.  On a couple of the numbers, overnight most of the ink bled out.  Since my last tattoo, I had been diagnosed as having Type II Diabetes.  It was a night and day experience versus any tattoo I had had previously.  The pain level was exponentially higher.  It initially healed up "waxy", and took about six weeks or so to look normal.  It's enough of a game changer to reconsider getting another tattoo until my A1C drops considerably.

It healed up well though, as you can see.  Pay no attention to the bruises.  I'm still recovering from surgery.

If you have seen 'Donnie Darko', then you recognize the image immediately and understand it's significance.  If not, let me explain.

In the movie, Donnie is visited by a bizarre looking, time traveling, six foot tall rabbit named Frank.  Throughout the movie, you're not really sure at times whether Donnie's actually seeing these's things, or if he's schizophrenic.  This demonic looking rabbit gives him messages throughout the film.  After one of his "episodes", he wakes up on a golf course.  The numbers above are written on his arm, exactly as they are on mine.  Frank tells Donnie, "28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds.  This is when the world will end".

I got the tattoo for two reasons.  First of all, I'm a huge fan of the movie, and I thought it would make a badass tattoo.  I have never seen a full Darko piece on a forearm like that before, and I thought that it would be a cool tattoo to get.

Secondly, I got the tattoo on May 21, 2011.  It was the day that Harold Camping had prophesied that the world was going to end.  Doomsday prophesies are nothing new to me.

I grew up as one of Jehovah's Witnesses.  Every Saturday morning, I was knocking on doors, telling people that god was going to destroy the world at the "great day of Armageddon".  It was coming any day now.  My mother was so sure that it was right around the corner, in fact, that she kept me out of kindergarten.  Kindergarten came and went.  So did twelve years of school.  I was forbidden to go to college, because there would be no need for higher education in god's "new system of things".  Armageddon was right around the corner, after all.

I'm 36 now.  My daughter will be starting kindergarten in two years, and I'm sure my mother is still saying that Armageddon is, now more than ever, "right around the corner".

My point is, there will always be some religious zealot out there with a doomsday prophesy.  Whether it be the Jehovah's Witnesses, or Harold Camping or the Mayans, the world is set to end in someone's mind about every 28 days.  That is why I got the tattoo:  To remind myself of what I left 15 years ago.


Rachel said...

Very nice! I fucking love that movie. One of my favorites right up there w/ Fight Club.

Has anyone ever recognized it while you were out and about?

Twitch said...

Oh, yes. I had a guy at Walmart a couple of months ago, spot me from a hundred feet away, and run up to me to ask to take a picture of my arm. Very strange situation to be in. It's such a big tattoo, that everyone asks about it. You either know what it is, or you don't. The most common reactions are either, "Very cool", or "Are those the numbers on 'Lost'?".