Sunday, March 7, 2010

Butterfly Tattoo

This entry isn't necessarily about surfing, but it made such an impression on me that I had to write it down. Last night I dreamed that I was in a tattoo parlor downtown, (there are no tattoo parlors in the neighborhood I was dreaming about, which I thought was strange) With, I think, my Step-Mom and Stepsisters and possibly Scott's sister and her friends, and we were all getting "Souvenir" Tattoos. I picked out a very small traditional butterfly that I wanted on my right foot. I asked how much it cost and the artist told me $10 which was a great deal and I was very excited, and figured even if he really screwed it up it was small and on my foot, and my feet aren't exactly perfect anyway so I could easily live with it till my artist could cover it up. (cover ups are one of her specialties)

The strange thing was, and this won't really make sense to non-tattooed people, what I chose. I chose a piece of traditional style flash, which is kind of strange for someone who's only tat is an extremely unusual and very non traditional custom sleeve. My sleeve follows NO traditional tattoo "rules" which is one of many reasons it looks nothing like any other tattoos most people have seen. Even a lot of my artist's other work incorporates some more traditional elements.
In Tattoo parlance, my sleeve is more akin to a painting on my arm than a tattoo. Because of this, people, whether they know tattoos or not, tend to react to it as such.

So it was odd that I would choose such a radically different style, and odd that I would choose something small, as my only tattoo is very large, and very, very odd that I would choose flash. While most people think that tattoos are a form of individual expression, as most of them are, flash is a little different. Its entirely possible that if you choose a piece of flash, you will run into someone else with the EXACT same tattoo, done by a different artist in a different country. You may even run into multiple people with the same thing! Its sort of like having a sticker put on yourself for the rest of your life! But I was very happy to do it, I was so excited in fact, that when I woke up I was so disappointed that I wasn't really getting the tattoo, that I kept my foot in position in a dreamy haze wishing I were really about to be tattooed and imagining the needle with its humm and the odd pleasure-pain as it injects the ink into my skin.

And it was a butterfly! I have done my best to avoid getting a butterfly tattoo, because its the most cliche thing on earth, I might as well get an anchor, or a heart that says "mom" Or, god, forgive me for even thinking it: a tribal arm band. I mean, I'm walking around with an endangered flower on my arm for a reason! I've only ever seen one person with the same kind of flower, and even then it was a different species. That was by design. And my nickname, come on, it would be so lame and obvious for me to have a butterfly tattoo, I might as well get one that says "Sarah". There are also not one, but two songs, that I HATE about butterfly tattoos!

Yet, I woke up today feeling unusually comfortable in my own skin, and very much wanting a butterfly tattoo on my right foot.

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