Tattooing Transgressions

Tattoos: the fastest and easiest way to disappoint your parents. I mean, because that’s the only reason why people get tattoos, is to upset their parents. And tattoo artists are just bitter orphans, angry at the spoiled kids who actually have parents, so they lure them into their tattoo shops and brainwash them into inking their bodies and sabotaging their relationship with their parents. If they can’t have a mother’s love, nobody should have it!

So hell is full of tattoo artists and people who succumb to the temptations of tattoos. The lesser-known, Eleventh Commandment is “Thou Shalt Not Tattoo or Be Tattooed.”

As a child, I saw how many people were getting tattoos, and I was disturbed. All these people, mingling with sin! How could they allow mere mortals to scar their God-given skin? I knew that if God intended us to mess with how our flesh looked, he would created us with weird black squiggles on our limbs! I know that one should never mess with how we look when we were born, in God’s purest vision–no tattooing, no piercing, no tanning, no hair cuts, no glasses, no clothes, no maturing, no nail-cutting, no makeup, and no cleaning! Do not tamper with how God wants us to naturally look! And we all know that I am a staunch disciple of God–I only live to do his work.

So when I turned 18, I vowed to discover the root of this evil. I sought out a tattoo artist, and I had planned to save him from his misdeeds, but as soon as I found myself in the moment, I reconsidered my approach; I was condemning them straight off the bat, but what if I attempted to understand their rationale first? I would better able to damn them- I mean, save them–if I understood their thought process. That’s when I decided to allow a tattoo artist to ruin the canvas of my body.

It was an odd sensation. It was like getting a massage, except instead of being soothing and gentle it was like being stung by thousands of minuscule, slightly-pissed off hornets in the same area. It was like being in the dentist’s chair with that incessant buzzing noise of tools except no creepy surgeon-looking dude was trying to floss my teeth or prod my molars with metal objects. It was like having a biker take a really tiny knife to my arm and stab me repeatedly but with great care and detail.

And the odd thing was that despite the surface-level horror of it, the underlying pain of the principle of it, it was actually quite…. relaxing. And incredibly satisfying.

I felt myself slipping into the trap of the tattoo mentality as I sat in that cushiony black chair getting ink driven into my deeper layers of skin. “NO!” I chided myself. “Do NOT allow this to control you! You are here for investigative purposes only!” But every time the tattoo artist would pause to wipe away the blood between buzzing my arm, I enjoyed it a little more, seeing that tiny scorpion form on my wrist. My baby, my child–my precious scorpion, that I would live to take care of.

What?! No! What was I saying?! It was a symbol of my dedication to my mission in life!

And afterwards, after the tattoo artist robbed me of all my money (He held up his tattoo gun and said, “$80,” and I resisted and said, “Okay”), after he took all my money and then some (because if you want quality work you have to pay for it, and if you want a quality soul then you tip employees who perform a service for you), after I was broke and corrupted, I vowed to continue my mission in life, to pursue this research through and through.

So six months later I was back in that chair, watching the conception of a sunflower under those watchful fluorescent lights, the little bugger blooming on my flesh in a gentle pout on my arm. Research! For the sake of research!

The prep time before tattoos lasts forever. I think my tattoo artist is a germaphobe or something because he does all this obsessive cleaning as some sort of personal ritual before inking me. I’m always like, “Here I am for my tattoo,” and he’s like, “Okay, I know you have an appointment, but let me wash down everything in my studio first,” and I’m like, “Jesus Michael, every time? It’s fine!” They wipe down the seat, they wipe down the table, they wipe down the tools, they wipe down the stuff they use to wipe stuff down… Ugh! It’s so excessive!

Then he’s gotta shave the area of my flesh he’ll be working on, like he hates hair or something. Then they wipe down my skin! As if God isn’t keeping it minty fresh from sin at every waking moment! But they’re paranoid, tattoo artists, so they have to dot their “q”s and cross their “p”s, or something like that.

Here’s  fun fact: Did you know that tattoos are permanent? So once you get your skin blemished with the devil’s ink, it doesn’t wash away. I love when people ask me, “Is that real?,” pointing to my scorpion tattoo on my wrist; I respond, “Well, it hasn’t washed off yet!”

Old people love to remind me that my tattoos are permanent. They say things like, “You know those things last forever!” I like to respond with the shock that suddenly blasts me: “What?! I thought I only signed a 5-year contract with this ink!”

But I mean, isn’t the permanence kind of the point?? Like, I paid pretty good money for these things, and I’d like to get my money’s worth from them. Cost per wear, it’ll end up being like…. $0.000000005 per day for these bad boys. So I’m always willing to splurge for the quality.

But here I am talking as though I’m condoning tattoos. Or enjoying them. Which I’m not. It’s a chore, every day, waking up and facing the mistakes I’ve made, that I’m now wedded to. There’s no escaping these errors.

The only reason I can face myself is because I know I’m doing the service to God I was destined to do. As a child, I loved coloring on myself with markers. Satan tried to tempt me back then, but God has always made it clear to me that I am to level with tattooers and tattoo-es and help them from within.

So my research has gone well. I am eight experiences deep into better understanding the “tattoo culture,” though I have much more progress to make before I totally break this case wide open and expose the true inner-workings of tattoos’ appeal. It’s a long and arduous journey, but once I come out on the other side, I will truly be able to halt the horrific, widespread epidemic of The Devil’s Ink.

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