So no, my tattoo will not be a beatific image of Max. Or Buddah. Or Dusty. Or Hank (though Hank wasn’t a cat, he certainly thought one was his mother…)
Wanting a tattoo isn’t a new thing; it’s been on my list of Things To Do for as long as I can remember. And the design I’ll get is something I’ve had sketched out for over 10 years. I figure if I still want the same thing after a decade, I won’t ever regret it.
I figure if you’re going to etch something into your skin and it’s going to be there until long after it’s sagged and stretched 4 inches, long after you, even, then it needs to mean something. No one else has to get it, but it needs to have some kind of meaning beyond “Hey I got drunk, and lookit what I woke up with!”
Thumper Overjoyed, Splashing In A Puddle. That’s what will eventually wind up on my upper arm, and I’m thinking it will get there this summer.
It has more meaning now than when I first thought about it: the puddle is every bad or not so fun thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s friends lost to cancer, to car wrecks and drunk drivers, to heart attacks, to age. It’s a broken heart and loneliness. It’s chronic pain: fibromyalgia and myofascial pain and arthritis. It’s a brain tumor. It’s diabetes insipidus and growth hormone shots every night.
That puddle is also all the good. It’s finding friends, falling in love, having a child. It’s watching those first steps and hearing a first laugh. It’s holidays spent with family, laughter so hard that soda squirts right out your nose. It’s learning that the bad things aren’t always fatal. It’s waking to a cat curled up on the pillow, content little meows and dorky catnip trips.
I’ve always wanted a tattoo; I’ve always wanted a motorcycle…so I’m pretty sure I’ve been leading up to my midlife crisis since I was 8-10 years old.
And here I always thought forward thinking was not my strong suit…