Skin Deep 264

Skin Deep 264 24 May 2016 264

A thing happened this week.

I bumped into a friend of a friend of somebody who is no longer a friend because the friend got too friendly with my friend. Something like that anyway.

She was showing me her new tattoo which was absolutely a tattoo of much value. Original design, well executed, nice placement—blah, blah, blah—it ticked so many boxes it was practically a questionnaire. When we met, she happened to be with her friend, who I knew because she is also a friend of my daughter's friend. I saw that she was tattooed as well but with some rough looking text running across her shoulder.

It wasn’t fantastically delivered script but as is always my way with text tattoos, I need to know what they say. What is it that you must have written in words that a picture cannot say in a thousand like they promised us?

What it said was this: “Your wings were ready but my heart was not”.

It’s a tattoo I’ve seen a thousand times before and will probably see another thousand before the year is out, but never much thought about before. The key here is that I knew her history—a few years back, her mother died of a truly horrible wasting disease. Surely the worst death imaginable is the one in which Death comes for you like a creeping vine you can see.

She would have only been about fifteen and as she turned eighteen—which was this year—she went straight out and got this tattoo dropped onto her shoulder.

I don’t cry often. I cried at the end of Marley and Me but so did Rob Zombie so that makes it OK. I cried on the day I fell out of a tree into a thorny bush face first and I cried when The Doctor left Rose on the beach too, but over a tattoo? This was a first for me.

Why the fuck are my eyes leaking?

This tattoo meant the whole world to her. It was all that was left of the most important thing in the world to her—which morphed it into the most heartfelt tattoo I had ever come across. As much as it pains me to admit it, occasionally the reasoning behind a tattoo is so important, you would be the Asshat of the Universe to even think about questioning its artistic merit.

As much as I will forever preach about how all of human life should Get Good Ink and promote that ethos until the sun falls from the sky and burns the hair from the back of your hand, sometimes, getting a tattoo itself can mean so much that it’s OK to get what’s possible and not what you should.


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