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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

Two hours and One lifetime

For once, I didn't announce my impending tattoo-age, didn't try to get votes or opinions on designs or contents or locations. I didn't really discuss it with anyone, which is pretty strange for me - usually He Who Only... is bored beyond reason with endless back and forth before I finally come to a decision, and that can be on a topic like what I should eat for lunch. But this time round, it just felt right.

Well, I say it felt right. It felt uncomfortable for the first hour, and the last twenty minutes felt downright fucking agonising. Note to self: tattoos hurt.

So, ladies, gents, people who aren't my facebook friends and therefore haven't seen this before, may I present to you my red-raw, literally just finished, photograph taken by Mie, the lady who designed the tatt and then scarred me for life over a period of two hours:

I think you'll agree: it's fucking huge.

I had gone to a total of four appointments with Mie getting the design right. I brought the drawing in with me the first time, saying "I want to get this done", and she said, right, fine, I'll go away and do up a design. I came back for the second appointment, and she'd drawn something utterly hideous. The angel was facing the same direction; after that, there was no similarity. It was wearing a dress. It had feathery wings. It had a perm. It had eyes, and a nose. It was a girl. It was so disappointing, I nearly cried. I said, no, getting the picture out again - "I want this done". She said, right, fine, I'll go away and do another design.

For my third appointment, I came back with very low expectations and had pretty much decided it probably wasn't going to happen, at least not until I found someone who understood what I wanted, and then Mie whipped out the design and it was utterly brilliant. Not perfect, but the wings were right and the shape was right, the flow of it worked, she understood so much better what I was going for. So I corrected two or three things that still annoyed me, and then we were done.

The shading and size were entirely down to her - I couldn't quite picture it past what she had sketched, but I love the look of it now. Me and He Who Only... were staring at this picture last night (I obviously can't see it very well, even in the mirror, and I've already done some serious damage to my neck over the last few days craning to see it) and I love the way it looks like it's been airbrushed on.

Most of all I adore the way it just floats. It's just... there. It doesn't look like something that could have caused pain, it looks to me when I catch a glimpse like it's always been there. I've wanted to get this for about three years and I'm so pleased now that I have. People over the last few days have been starting up again with the "but you'll regret it when you're 60..." line again, and I am fucking looking forward to regretting it in my 60s, because that will mean I'm still alive. I hope to continue regretting it right up to my 80s, when you won't even be able to see it through my wrinkled folds. Picture that. Go on.

Yesterday and today, it's been itchier than I've been able to stand, and I think that's been worse than the pain from the first couple of days after. Flakes of skin are galloping off it and every time I give my back a gentle rub, it snows down disturbing flakes of grey and black. The colour looks to me like it's changed even since these photos were taken. It's less well defined, less dark and it's starting to fade back into the skin. Already I can put my hand on my back and am not able to feel where the wing is any more. Soon I'll forget it's even there.

In the meantime, I've now to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe filled with backless tops.

I thank you.


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