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Hurting the ones you love

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Gloomy Inks

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My lady has been nothing but good for me. Whats more, she's a fan of my art, off and on skin, and cheerleader for me to others. She has encouraged me to keep it up, no matter what kind of "entitled artist" BS I might catch or even when I get down on myself after seeing work that I might never be able to get to. She's been asking me for a tattoo for almost as long as we've been together, and I keep trying to find something from my mind that would fit her.

I saw Eddie and Penny Funk on a 'tube video, and Penny said that when Eddie was going to tattoo her, she told him to stop. That his hands were shaking. That Crazy Eddie is one of the guys that I looked up to when I was young. Him, Irons, Rudy, Malone, Stoney, all those old timers. I didn't get it then, but now that I'm really in love, I do.

It doesn't take a NY State Supreme Court ruling to tell you that with all the advances that have come about in the world of tattooing, it's just a much more speedy version of Tattau, or tapping ink into the skin with sharp object. "A barbaric survival practice..."

Mine have all hurt like a sonofabitch, and I'm not afraid to admit it. Much as I channel what I jokingly refer to as "my inner sadist" (What's the difference between a sadist and a tattoo artist? We have magazines to read while you wait.) sometimes I just stop and think to myself how this is nuts and so are the customers.

I mean really, if you told me that I would pay a few hundred bucks to have some one kick me in the jimmy, I'd tell you to lay off the glue and shut up. Yes I still get tattooed to this day.

But the idea of hurting the ones I love, which would include my Dad (one tattoo, but wants me to do a snake on him) or my sister (who is rapidly catching up to me in what is turning out to be a family tattoo nuclear arms race for coverage) to my soon to be wife freaks me out.

The first real tattoo I did, on my old bassist Jay, I was a mess. Sweating profusely I made sure everything was ready, clean, and I got to drilling him. I was quick even then, and he took it well, but I was saying sorry every five seconds.

I asked for it is pretty much what he said to me, and not only did I make a Benjamin, he tipped me five packs of unfiltered Lucky Strikes and pint of Jim Beam Black.

My family means much more to me these days then it did ten years ago. Call it a misspent youth or what have you, but now I see those past times as times I could have spent with them. As to my stunning, wonderful, and kind woman, I'm at a loss. It isn't her first rodeo, she has two already. But something inside me flutters, and not in a good way when I think about working on her.

But tonight I sit here, taking a break from drawing a fairy and roses based on Sailor Bill Grimshaw flash as I write this.

I hope she digs it.

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