Tattoo Me

butterfly tattooWhat would you get and where would you want it? That’s how the tattoo game begins. The women often say they want a butterfly (what’s up with that?) and the spot is typically the shoulder or the ankle, although some nervy types want it right on their ass.

Bella was going to be different. No ass antlers for her. You know, those massive tramp stamps that seem to be magnets for all the wrong men. No Latin, Kanji, or Arabic letters. No arty quotes or commemoratives dedicated to dead family members or ex-lovers.

Ostentation was not Bella’s goal, and while this notion might contradict the whole point of getting a tattoo, she didn’t see it that way. When you’ve paid your dues, tramp stampsurvived the drugs and rock and roll years, endured some rocky relationships, and come out the other side, stronger than ever, Bella thought she deserved something that was an affirmation  of life.

And Bella decided that if you are going to get a tattoo that reminds you of how strong and resilient you are, why put it somewhere that you can’t see (i.e. above your ass). She wanted to be able to see her tattoos all the time. That’s how she decided to have them done on the inside of her forearms---not so that others could see it facing them, but positioned so that Bella could be an audience of one.

So what would she permanently ink on her arms?

I can do anything
I am strong strong
I am invincible
I am woman

forearm tattoosNo, Bella thought, the lyrics to I Am Woman were not going to work. She might as well use Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! There. You're as welcome as can be.
M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E.

The next possibility she considered was words of wisdom from Stuart Smalley. I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me! But Stuart wasn’t real---it was Al Franken playing a part on Saturday Night Live. And now he’s a Senator from Minnesota for crying out loud.

Finally, Bella decided to get tattoos that would not embarrass her when age 75 rolled around. In fact, her tattoos would be highly functional, especially when she started to lose her mind.

On her left arm: LEFT. On the right arm: RIGHT.

So simple, yet so pure.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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