You Hopped The Wall


I what? Huh?  Say that again.

“You. Hopped. The. Wall.”  said Barnaby as I jumped around like a fish on a griddle, a very, very, very hot griddle.

At t-minus five minutes I had enough.  I have never gone this long and knew going into the tattoo tonight that it was going to be a challenge having worked a full day with the girls.  Most of the time when I have gotten a tattoo I have gone in on a Saturday with the entire day free and the following day free as well.

Not this time.  Barnaby leaves for Paris on July 1st.  He wanted to finish th (FUCK MY MOTHERFUCKING BASTARD HELL CAT JUST JUMPED INTO MY LAP AND DID NOT MAKE IT FUCKFUFKCUDKCIIDOKLLLLOWWWWWCLAWS IN MY LEGCLAWS IN MY LEG)e tattoo before he left.  I could not go in last Saturday as I was performing In Our Own Words in Sebastopol and I could not do it this upcoming weekend as I will be in LA doing the same.

So, tonight was the night.  And what a night.

Normally the mindless prattle of what ever gaggle of just turned eighteen year old girls visiting from Australia and all getting the same tattoo does not bother me.  Normally.

Or the new artist that just moved up from San Bernardino who wanted to introduce himself to me and watch Barnaby work.  Do not shake my hand, do not touch me, I am trying to find my zone.

Trying being the operative word.  I almost never got there.

I did manage to sit still.  I did do a lot of praying.  Just looped the Serenity prayer in my head and chased it around and around.  I did breathe religiously.  I focused on the number five in a poster until it became something other than and mysterious.

But I never quite got into my spot.  I did however, think it was going ok, even though I made a few faces and grimaced here and there.  I kept it pretty together.  I did not pussy out.  Unlike girl who was getting a “peace bird symbol” tattooed on her hip.  Please, shut the fuck up you wee little twat.  You say ow or ouch or moan one more time I was going to get up off the table and bitch slap your little eighteen year old face.

For fuck sake child, suck it up.  Christ, you little pansy ass, can you not see the full sleeve in progress on the next table.  Get it together.

I digress.

At hour 3.5 I jumped.  I have never jumped.  I was shocked.  I looked at Barnaby and said, what the fuck was that.  He had moved the gun from the upper part of my shoulder back down to a spot just below my elbow and it hit something.

Something I was to find out was my pain wall or threshold.  He nudged it.  It was the first hole in the dam and the dam was about to burst, unbeknownst to me.

Twenty five minutes later I broke.  I have never broken.  Yes, I have gotten really uncomfortable.  But I have never broken.  My entire body spasmed and we had to stop.  What the fuck?

What is going on I asked Barnaby.

“You hopped the wall.”  he replied, you basically just depleted all endorphins in your system and now you are feeling the pain of having your skin shredded by needles.

Ouch.  Well, when you put it like that.  Christ it hurt.

I mean, really hurt.  I have not come so close to putting my fist through a wall before.  I wanted to kick something hit something smash something.  Tears sprang up and rolled down my face.  I hopped up and down and told Barnaby I could not finish.

What the fuck again.

How much was left?

One flower.  Five minutes tops.

I have never spent a longer five minutes in my life.  I rubbed the tears from my face, drank a big gulp of water, wiped all make up off my eyes, and put on lip gloss.


Ugh.  Gah.  Make it stop.  Pretty please.

And then, the cherry on the pain sunday, he wiped me down with a hot towel instead of a cold towel.  Aieeeeee.  Although, as promised, yes it would hurt more than the cold, but once the sting wore off it would feel better.  And it did.

Then I looked in the mirror.  OH My.

So beautiful.  So gorgeous.  Sublime color and lining and I hate to brag, but fucking amazing.  My arm looks amazing.

I am adrenalized and drained and I sat for the longest I have ever sat.  I did not die and I did not kill any one, not even my artist.

Which was good, because as it turned out he did not ride his motorcycle to work, but drove his car, which happened to be around the corner and he swung my bike into it and gave me a ride home.

Thank the lord.  I don’t think I would have made it home at the rate I was going.  Right now everything on the left arm is hot and feverish and everything else is cold.  I will be wearing pajamas to bed and socks and a sweatshirt.  And getting up far earlier that I want to the day after getting a tattoo.

But hot damn, is it amazing.

Thanks Barnaby, you fucking rock.

Wow, I swear a lot when I’m in pain.  Just noticed that.

Bah ha.  Must remember to keep a lid on that tomorrow at work, don’t want to shock the grandparents anymore than I already do.  Here, don’t mind me, I’m just bleeding from a fresh tattoo.

No, it’s not of Elmo.

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