KHW #10: Permanent reminder of shit we can’t forget

I’d been thinking about it for awhile. I’d really been thinking about it for a good, long while.

My favorite sign of all time.

I had two already: the first, a shamrock, became kind of a family tradition once my little sister had a twin clover inked on the other side of her abdomen, and the other was hand-drawn by my first and only girlfriend. So both are special. Both have meaning. And after all this time in ND, I finally felt it was time to add a third.

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The day’s shooting schedule entailed two to four hours cloistered in the crew van, and I was in the kind of mood where I’d like to set shit on fire using only my eyes. After several angsty tens of minutes, I decided that enough was enough. I handed the van keys to Buckethead and set off in the direction of the nearest tattoo parlor.

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I ran into the shop like a lunatic, brandishing my iPhone with my picture of the NODAK sign from the TruValue store on Main Ave, not realizing how odd it was for someone to come in off the street and ask for a tattoo like they’re asking for a pedicure, then sat and did crosswords while Andrew (above) worked on the stencil. It was one of the few times in recent memory where I felt totally relaxed – I had nowhere to be, nothing to do, nowhere to go.

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Even as I settled onto the table, even as the needle started up, even when I should have been feeling at least moderately nervous, I was just wrapped with this sense of quilted certainty that everything was unfolding exactly as it should be.

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I love how my shamrock reminds me of Megan and I love craning around to see the lotus blossom on my back and thinking of Brenna, even if, by now, both emblems are so much a part of me that they don’t even register as art. And I know that I’ll always love the surprise of looking down and seeing the NODAK on my leg, right side, just below the knee, even after enough time has gone by that I’ve forgotten it’s there.

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I don’t think the boys thought I’d do it. I mean, shit, even *I* hardly thought I’d do it. But sometimes we surprise ourselves, and I’m so glad I did. oh, NODAK. I do adore you.

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