Wednesday, November 8, 2006


Just up front: there won't be a whole lot of me writing in this post. It's Wednesday night, I'm tired, and I'm about written out for the day.


About a week ago, I went and visted Kelly the Wonder Tattooist over at Chameleon Body Art, in The Garage in Harvard Square. This is the picture I showed him:


Tonight, I went back with Joe in tow to take pictures, as neither Tracey nor Shawn could get out of work. "I'm not exactly Mr. Technical Genius," he said, fiddling with turning the flash on his camera off before giving it up like a bad habit. I grinned at him.

"No, but you are Mr. Last Minute, so thank you."

Kelly showed me his sketch for my approval, then had me hop up on his chair and it at the most awkward diagonal angle ever. I was afraid all the sitting was going to aggravate my sciatic nerve, but by the time the needles started searing my flesh, I didn't really think about most other pain.

Kelly sears my flesh, and looks foxy doing it.

Joe and I got to talking about tattoos, and the whole nature of them and why people get them. "It's a lot different here than you see on TV."

I laughed and said, "Yeah, this is not Miami Ink." Kelly stopped his needle and pointed up at the window. Written across it in lipstick was this:

This is not Miami Ink.
We don't care why you're getting tattooed.

I literally howled with laughter.

About forty-five minutes into it, the basic outline was done:

Yes, I wore my Chucks to the tattoo place!

After getting up and stretching, I came back to the chair just as the band playing through Kelly's iPod shouted: "I'm gonna pop your kneecap off with a fork like the lid off a pudding snack!"

"Um," I said.

"This is Deadbolt," Kelly explained, grinning. "They're awesome!"

And that's why I come here.

Note Kelly's arm pressing against my sneaker.

Here's the weird thing: It hurt, of course it hurt. It always hurts. But except for some stuff around the edges and some thicker lines that made me wince, it didn't, you know, kill. Only once or twice did my foot reflexively jitter in pain. At once point near the end, the pain got so mundane that I began to get a little bored. (Only a little. I mean, pain never becomes that mundane.)

Halfway there.

About an hour and a half after he started, Kelly told me to stand up. I thought he was telling me to get up and move around before the final stretch, but when I stood, he said, "Man, you're done."

"I what?"

"You're done. As long as it looks good to you."

I checked it out in the mirror and a large smile came across my face. It didn't just looked good. It looked perfect.

"You, my friend, are awesome." I said. And that's how I got lucky #7.

I'm fit to be dyed and I'm fit to aa-oo.