A few months back I got a tattoo for my Mom. Its a Bert Grimm Rose of No Man's Land. My mom is a saint, putting up with a ton shit her entire life, only to end up with a miscreant, tattooing son.
Of course, I'm not the one with the half bottle of liquor induced brand on my arm with shitty blurry, blown out lines tattooed around it.
I am the guy who did the brand and lame tattooing however.
I was living in a band house, this squallid, non air conditioned place. Bad plumbing, bad roof, and the only thing holding it up was termite tunnels. The bathroom looked like Albania in 1968. The walls were covered in tar paper and spray painted along with most everything except for the drum kit.
We'd had no loot, as bills were due, and more sad to say nothing of important, not a stem or seed of pot for two weeks. We were all just a little bit on edge. I had got the jones to tattoo way back, going as far as to donate some money to a few fly by nighters that I thought were good people, so's I could come up "the right way".
You can teach a chimp to cut stencils and I got to work on pig. Badly. The only skill I think I ever really showed on the floor of that shop was dealing with people. I was not prepared for the relentless onslaut of a bassist from Kentucky wanting me to brand him.
Don't ask me what motivated him to do it, or for me to resist for three years. I tell you one thing though, after a broke, dry two weeks, plopping down a bottle of Cuervo, a pack of unfiltered Camels, and a bag... you now have swayed me.
"Yeah, fine," I muttered, "I'll fuckin' do it then."
We built a fire. It was a few weeks after 9/11 and it rained for eight days after that non sense here, we were safe from the fire truck guys.
The guy I was doing this DIY body mod on is a close friend, and impulsive as all getout. I noticed we didn't have an iron. "what are going to stick you with? DESIGN?"
He pulls out a mauled coat hanger, "Its a ying yang."
An hour later the fire is red hot embers and I put the iron in. We wait for another 30 minutes, the bassist clenches a towel in his teeth, wraps his arm around the plles for the clothes line and I took ten long steps.
His teeth made audible snap, his face contorted, the skin blistered, singed and seared in the night air. "Ohmyfuckingfuckmybassistisgonabeatmydumbfacein!" I thought to myself.
A cop lived next door, and he stepped out, the back door slamming when he realized it was just us.
So the bassist is all jazzed, but the ying looks like a big, lop sided J, which was his first initial. So even that was OK. But here is the best part.
We're wasted a few hours later. His ex walks out of the back of the house. We're pie eyed, fucked up, and she takes a few sniffs, "Why does it smell llike bacon in here?"
Bolstered by this, smart me built a tattoo rig, out various household items, and wouldn't you know who wanted their brand LINED? So retard unsafe septic, this Jagger blew out a twisted mess of lines that this week I will finish untangling, after more than ten years.
It stuns me I still have friends. And without Hep C too.