The Ink, English

Face down in a scruffy bed. A pink towel beneath me sets the tone almost as well as the multitude of anarchy-inspired punk-art on the walls. Small bottles of ink line the table, and the different cleaning solutions and lubricants are standing at the back of the table, ready to clean and soften me up should the need arise. A stack of paper towels speak of the imminent mess we are about to make. The man strips off his sweater, standing tall and bare-chested in the room. -“Let’s do this..” he says, and fires up the needle.

Pushing the needle through the skin, a slight shiver goes up my spine. It hurts, but that’s not what I feel the most. It’s the excitement. It’s always the excitement. Before I got my first tattoo made, people around me told me it was like a drug and to be honest, I never really believed ’em… but oh gods, they were right. For each new tattoo I get, I want more.

The tattoo-gun sounds a lot like something stolen straight out of a dentists office, and that is perhaps the only really uncomfortable notion of the whole experience. Sure, it stings a bit, but that’s part of it, and I wouldn’t want to do it without it.

Originally, I started out with the set idea that I just wanted the one tattoo on my left wrist, a symbol to represent me and a few of my best friends that has supported me through life. Guess what? At this point, I’ve got a full sleeve planned out for my right arm, I want a double-helix spiral in my neck, and I’m also entertaining the notion of getting the left arm covered as well.

-“The outline is done, check it out.. I’ll take a breather before we start fillin’ it in.” He sounds tired, and rightfully so. Being a tattoo-artist must bring with it some of the art worlds worst ergonomic situations to work in. Getting off the bed, I gently clean my shoulder. The paper is almost covered in as much blood as it is covered in ink. But it looks good.

Getting back on the bed, I can feel my arm ache a bit. A good ache, almost the same kind as when you’ve been working out – only this one is slightly more painful but also at the same time more satisfying. While working out gives me something to show for it, this is my kind of deal – instant gratification. What can I say, I’m weak.

After about 1½ hours work in total, it seems my new artwork is done. Cleaning up, wrapping it in plastic and getting my jacket on, we say a polite goodbye and I depart. It’s just that easy.

Now… what’s next?

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