Last week I went to get some new ink. It's hard to make an official tally since my entire right arm is pretty much covered but by my estimation, this is my 20th distinct tattoo. It's the word "fear" in prickly, unfriendly characters. I chose this word for a number of reasons: Proverbs 1:7 reads "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." That's the good fear. The bad fear is the fear that paralyzes the world every day, especially China. Chinese society is mortified by the fear of death, of sickness, of poverty, of loneliness, in a way that starves passion, joy, and creativity and has left an entire population largely soulless and vacant. Now I'm not saying that Western society is any better but I do believe that China's fear is beyond natural preservation instinct and is a serious infection that leaves most people weakened and aimless. I also chose the word fear because I have fears as well, and just as this tattoo is something that will remain with me for the rest of my life, so will my fears, and I'm just going to have to make peace and live with them. I am somewhat cautious but I can also be reckless as well, and sometimes this is to compensate for my tendency to over-examine every possible outcome of a situation. I went skydiving once while I was in college, and since then I've realized that sometimes you just gotta jump, just roll with it, and usually whatever worries us is not as bad as we think it will be, and can actually be fun sometimes. The slogan "No Fear" is bull crap; the reality is "Recognize and Overpower Your Fear." This tattoo will remind me to do that.
Tina came to the tattoo shop to cheer me on, and she brought our new chihuahua Morty. She had been thinking about getting another tattoo for a while (she has a copy of the scorpion on my arm on her ass just below her bikini line but it's so small, it hardly counts as a tattoo) and after I was done, she announced that she wanted to gets hers done that day too. I was a bit surprised but after confirming that this was really what she wanted, I supported her and helped her choose a design.
We had been talking about a phoenix for her shoulder for a while now. She has a small scar on her shoulder bone that she's been wanting to cover up, and we decided on a colorful yet simply flash that would hide the scar and drape gracefully down over her shoulder blade.
The stencil was applied, and it was go time. Her first tattoo experience had not been pleasant, and this was a decent-sized endeavor, and she definitely let everyone in the shop know how uncomfortable she felt. There were a few tears involved, but I'm proud of her for sticking it out and getting it done in one sitting. I've been tattooed everywhere on my torso except my chest and ribs, and I'll say that the shoulder bone is the most painful place so far, so she deserves some props. And as you can see, the results are great.
She was mad hot before but this takes sexy to a whole new level :-). She's totally in love with it too, and today she was talking about some flowers she'd like to add to it :-P. I tell ya man, it gets under your skin. Sometimes I regret having so much ink scattered all over me like a shotgun blast, especially when I see the prevalence of tattooed thugs on music videos and films, but I've made my choice and I'm gonna represent for the good guys. Even though it was a painful day for both of us, it was a memory that we will have no trouble recollecting.