Resolution one is successfully completed. That’s right, I spent Friday afternoon getting inked by the super talented Jess, at Living Colour, Lincoln. I told you I’d have a good story to tell you for your Sunday evening read. Let me start at the beginning.
I’ve always wanted a tattoo but have been too terrified and wary of the fact that I’m impulsively impatient which can inevitably lead to hatred of something that’s branded on my skin for life. Anyway, I’ve known Jess for years, so when we got back in contact through a mutual friend and she mentioned she was an apprentice tattooist, I instantly offered to be one of her Guinea pigs. And that was that.
You know me though, nothing I ever do is simple. The first decision that had to be made was the design. We went through all sorts of ridiculous suggestions, like tattooing a pair of legs on my leg so at least I had one pair of functioning limbs. Or, a disabled symbol on my chest. Or even the slightly more contradictory; “If you find God, tell him to send legs,” which would represent my cynicism as to whether he exists, alongside a constant reminder that he failed in his attempt to give me working legs. All of which would have been totally hilarious for the first six months until the joke became old and I was left with the monotony of having to explain the reason behind me having cryptic art on my body. Not to mention that not everybody would find any of that funny. In the end, we went with a quill and ink which is more meaningful and will keep me on track within life. It also allowed Jess to get creative. I told her what I wanted but gave her free reign with everything else.
The second conundrum was where to put it. Anyone with cerebral palsy will know that our brains don’t always enable our bodies to do what we want them to do, leaving us with the lasting effect of wonkiness. I shall now go through the list of the off-limits areas for permanent ink. I couldn’t have it on my head because that would look daft (this isn’t a CP related thing, it’s just a general rule.) I couldn’t have it on my neck because my head tilts to one side which would make a tattoo look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I couldn’t have it on my shoulders due to my slanted head. I couldn’t have it on my left arm because I don’t have the ability to fully straighten it. I couldn’t have it on my chest because that just sounded painful. I couldn’t have it on my stomach because if I ever want a sprog, a C-section is the way forward. I couldn’t have it on my back because my scoliosis gives me a really interesting-shaped spine. I couldn’t have it on my legs for obvious reasons, and my feet are ticklish. Therefore, folks, my right arm was the only viable option.
Have you ever noticed when you’re going for any procedure that may be remotely painful, everyone likes to tell you horror stories? I had everything from; “that’s the most painful place you can get tattooed,” to; “it’ll get infected and then you’ll die,” which slowly but surely psyched me up for what could have been the most agonising couple of hours of my life. Not one to let the nerves get the better of me, I carried on regardless. Armed with Magic Stars and Lucozade in case my body had other ideas, I had a team lift me in my chariot up the steps, through the V.I.P entrance, and into the studio. What I didn’t see was the notice that – if I paraphrase – basically says “if you don’t like banter then find another place to get inked.” But I love banter and was immediately offered a brew, so this was the perfect place for me.
Truth be known, I think Jess was more about hurting me than I was about the discomfort that comes with getting repeatedly stabbed with a needle. And considering I’ve had a needle shoved in my foot for three months, I kept telling myself it would be a walk in the park – minus the walk. I feel like I need to say more about the experience than “it was ace, and Jess has definitely found her calling”, but I can’t. I now have a loyalty card, so I’ll be going back at some point.
If you want Jess to use you as a canvas for her fabulous artwork, then check out her Facebook and Instagram pages, then call Living Colour Tattoo Studio on 01522 512998.