Tag Archives: Tattoo

They can’t ALL be funny!

23 Nov

Light. That’s how I felt when I first met him. I was nineteen and I had just exhaled the last fragment of my cigarette, watching the ashes drop from outside of my car window and onto the school parking lot. The sparks, similar to the butterflies in my stomach, danced against the breeze of the warm spring night. I saw him in the distance, smiling and motioning over to his car: time to go.

When I was little, I came to the shocking realization that nothing was permanent. Every time I experienced something amazing or beautiful, I would feel a pang in my heart akin to the ache you feel when you have your first real, sincere cry as a child. I will never experience this moment again, I would think, and one day I may not even remember this moment anymore. The realization plagued me so deeply that I decided the best solution would be to go over a beautiful event in my mind as many times as possible—the sights, smells, noises—so that I would etch it into my brain. A memory tattoo. I felt comfort in the knowledge that, if I could remember the happy times in my life to the fullest extent, I could relive them and hopefully experience the same joy later on. I remember that I tried explaining this concern, and the solution, to my sister only to be met with confusion and disinterest. The way I looked at the world, I realized, was not something that every other six year old experienced.


As we walked into the first bar that I had ever been in, I looked down at the hand intertwined with mine. I had never held a man’s hand in this way before, and I felt a sense of electricity run up and down my arm as I experienced the warmth of another person’s body  linked with mine. It felt so foreign and, yet, so intimate and important. The hand squeezed reassuringly. Back in the car, he had passed around a water bottle filled with cider ale, and I walked around the bar with a relaxed, happy demeanor that was foreign to my usual stern self. I remember that the bar was filled with noises but all I could really hear was the sound of his voice. The only two sensations I felt were the chill of the beer bottle in one hand and the comforting heat of his hand locked with mine in the other. Later on, he would take me outside and we would spend an hour, away from his friends, just holding hands and talking. Everything about that night, from the smell of his cologne to the feeling of excitement and nervousness as I looked at him, was so new and beautiful that I thought my heart and mind would explode.

Two years went by and the memory, once a symbol of the innocence of our first love, became a painful reminder of the feeling that I had lost long ago. When I decided that it was time to move on, I cried not for what I was walking away from then, but from the pain of the memories of nights like those when everything was exciting, vibrant and perfect.

Looking back, I couldn’t be happier that I have become such a meticulous tattoo artist of my memories. The surge of emotions from days past keep me from becoming bitter, and the ink has bled onto new memories that I have created now, reminding me that even the most faded colors can be retouched and made new again.

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