My First Trip to the Tattoo Parlor

Beginning this week, I am going to write a series of fictional stories.  I am taking a writing class with Dr. Carolyn Wedin and each week we bring a piece of writing to share with the class.  I thought it would break up some of the monotony on this site to switch from non-fiction to fiction for awhile and publish some of the things I write each week for the class.  It gives me a chance to try my hand at a new style of writing.  I hope you enjoy my stories, remember they are “only make believe.”

tattoo girl

This story is about a young girl who gets her first tattoo.  

I cannot believe the time has passed so quickly.  It seems like just yesterday.  However, it was six years ago.  I was nine years old.  All my friends had already got one but my mother was very strict and said I had to wait until I was at least nine years old.  I thought it would take forever but finally the day arrived.  I turned nine and on my birthday, I told my Mom “It is time.  Next week I am going to get a great big tattoo just like my friend Emily has.”  My mother said “Well, OK, but just remember, once you get a tattoo, they will not wash off.”

I should back up a minute in my story.  My name is Sophie and I am 15 years old now.  I live in New York City in the Bronx.  I am home schooled and I have a sister Isabella who is four years older than I am.  My older sister is a sophomore at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan.  She is a theater major and wants to be an actress.  She has already had small parts in two off-Broadway productions.  One production was called Venus.  This is a story about a woman who left her home in South Africa in the 19th Century in search of a better life and found herself working in a freak show.  The other production is a musical romance titled:  The Boy Who Danced on Air.  This is a modern day love story set in rural Afghanistan.  It tells the tale of two young male dancers who meet and fall in love with each other.

tattoo girl 2All of my family and relatives attended both of these productions.  We are a very close knit family and we wanted to show support for my sister.  Six years ago, some of my family had wanted to go to the tattoo parlor with me when I had my first tat.  I decided to go by myself.  It was something that I felt that I had to do alone.  The problem or conundrum I faced was what kind of a tattoo should I get and what part of my anatomy should I get it on?  I remember that I had lots of advice on the matter.  My father, mother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and friends all had tons of ideas and suggestions related to both questions.

In the week following my ninth birthday, I received even more advice on what kind of a tattoo I should get.  I heard suggestions that I should get a unicorn, a butterfly, my mom’s name, my dad’s name, my sister’s name, a heart, a rose, a Chinese character for happiness, an Aztec symbol, my favorite school subject, a lion, a prayer, a pixie and many other conceptions.  I was really reluctant to tell anyone that I had not a clue what I was going to get.  As a matter of pride I wanted a tattoo but it had to be my decision.  It also had to be something truly unique.

tattoo girl 3I received numerous suggestions on the best place to have a tattoo.  Some suggested it be placed where I could easily cover it up when I did not want it be seen.  Others suggested that it be someplace more visible.  Some said to get it on my shoulder or thigh where I could show it off during the warmer summer months while wearing shorts or a tank top.  Places like my lower arms would be visible more often but also more difficult to conceal.  Another dilemma, where to get my tattoo placed?

My mom called the tattoo parlor where my sister Isabella had got her tats.  She called to schedule an appointment for me and to insure them that I had her permission.   They wanted to know what kind of a tattoo I would like.  This knowledge would help them to schedule the time needed.  A tattoo can take anywhere from one hour to several days to ink.  My mom told them I had not decided yet.  They replied that they would schedule me for four hours and if it took longer, they could simply schedule me for more time the following week.

girl with tattoo 4With the looming appointment for my tattoo, I had even more pressure now to decide “What was I going to get?  What would my first tattoo be?  How do I find something truly unique?”  I thought about it all week.  Every TV show I watched, everything I read, more advice and suggestions from well-meaning advisors but nothing really excited me.  I went on the Internet.  I went to the library.  I looked at tattoo magazines with numerous women and men who had tats.  I must have looked at a thousand pictures of different tattoos but still nothing resonated.  I did not want any of the tats that I had seen.

Of course, I finally decided on both what kind of a tattoo I would get and where I would have it placed.  You would be very surprised to know how I came up with solutions to both of these mysteries.  My family and friends were all shocked.  My decision even surprised me.  I would love to share it with you and even show you my tattoo but there is no time for that now.  I must be off to see my friend Emily.  She wants to show me her newest tattoo.  She now has fifteen.

I will tell you this much though.  I have no regrets over my choices.  If I had to do it all over again, I would still get the same tattoo and in the same place.  I think you would approve.

Time for Questions:

What kind of a tattoo do you think Sophie got?  Where do you think she had it placed?  Do you have a tattoo?  Why or why not?  What kind of a tattoo do you have or would you get if you were to get one?  Why do people like tattoos?  Can you have too many tattoos?

Life is just beginning.

“A tattoo is a true poetic creation, and is always more than meets the eye.  As a tattoo is grounded on living skin, so its essence emotes a poignancy unique to the mortal human condition.”  — V. Vale

Do you want to know how to be in control of your life?

Are you a slave of time? Time is a harsh master. To be a slave to time can mean to live a life chained to a yoke. Time can be a yoke that permits no rest, no relaxation and no fun. The yoke is the tic tock tic tock of the omnipresent time piece. When you are a slave to time, the timepiece is in your head and you need no watch or alarm clock. You will never rest since there will always be one more task to do, one more task to accomplish, one more task to be completed. You will hear the tic tock in your dreams even when you are asleep. Is it any wonder that so many of us suffer from stress related illnesses? We are running from the Time Master but there is no place to run to. The time master is in our heads. The day you die, you will pass from under the yoke of the Time Master. Is this any way to live? Why do so many of us willingly choose to be slaves to time? To paraphrase Patrick Henry “Is time so dear or work so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me time or give me death.”

My apologies to Mr. Henry but I was always smitten by the vigor of his speech. This speech seems to fit my passion about taking control of our lives and our time. To take control of your life, you must take control of your time. There is no other alternative. This entire blog is being written in the hope that even a few who read it will be able to shed the yoke of time. It is a millstone around the neck of too many of us. We are driven by the demands of the almighty time clock. From getting to work on time, to getting back from break on time, to getting the job done on time, to being on time for all the daily meetings that clutter our lives; we go from one time obligation to another. It was my hope that this blog would help you to view time differently. Time has a role in our lives but like many other obligations, we must balance it and weigh priorities.

Can you have fun if you are always thinking about time? Do you have any recreation time or just plain down time in your life? Do you strive all day to be busy? Where is the time to do nothing in your day? Is time a slave driver for you or do you manage to keep the genie in the bottle and let her out when you need her? What would it take for you to do a better job of balancing the role of time in your life? Some good answers to these questions can be found in the book called “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich” by Timothy Ferriss. I highly recommend this book. Have a great day, goof off and have some fun.

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