Tuesday, May 15, 2012
"I ams what I ams" I quoted Popeye online shortly before laying down on a tattoo table for my latest piece. As the needle hit my skin the permanence chased away all doubts. Why would I want my Nani to shake her head and the Tish to purse her lips every time they see me? I wish they wouldn't, but understand their opinions are more socially acceptable then my own, and so I accept the comments as a form of continued masochism. The sighs and head shakes are nothing new, and I wish they didn't happen, but I have to be who I see myself as, and not who everyone thinks I should be. I should just stop here and clarify that those who love me really do so unconditionally, and it usually stops at a simple, and possibly well-deserved head shake or off-hand comment. The head shake is simply conveyance of a complete difference of opinions. We all know why. We all know why I get them, why it isn't going to change, and why it doesn't matter. Life is temporary. Skin is temporary. I can tattoo myself with any and everything that catches my fancy, whether I have a deeper meaning as I did today, or I simply adore a design so much I must absorb it immediately. The ink becomes a part of my skin, but not really a part of me. My skin will decay and I will most likely live on in ways that nobody would ever recognize. I have no control over when or how, nor do I control how much pain I wake up to daily, or how often people stare at me when I lose my balance as I walk, or speak too loudly, or just mystify them with my never ending flow of words. I control nothing, but my skin is mine, mine to scribble on and pierce as I see fit. If people are going to stare, I may as well give them something to rest their eyes on beside my scars. Beauty is relative, and when I color in my own scars I take ownership over my own pain. They are mine, the pain is mine, they ground me in this shell and remind me that I have been places and still have places to see. I'm not done... not even close.