We used to say this, my friend/boss Jeff and I. It meant — I’m a pig, and I’m needing to get a tattoo. Or sometimes, I’m getting tattooed.
Ink Ink Oink.
We both happily labeled ourselves pigs. People who had sex on the brain 24×7. People who never had a non-sexual thought.
Ink Ink Oink described that feeling of tattoo lust that we were both prone to; that compulsion to get another tattoo, right now.
It’s a lust, in truth. I start thinking about tattoos, looking at tattoos, I need to get one. I go in a shop and hear the needle, I need a tattoo. Someone can make me itch to get inked just by making the sound.
I’ve got a tattoo appointment for next week, and now I’m already thinking of the umpteen other pieces I want. Words on my knuckles. Pinup hula girls and pirate wenches. Tiki heads. Sailing ship back pieces.
I want them all.
You know where this leads? Jeff does. He finished his last tattoo recently. Everything but face, neck and hands. He’s done. Finished. No more room, apart from thgose parts he long ago chose to leave bare.
That’s where this feeling leads. You keep wanting another and another and before long, you’re full. I’m a long way from that but I’m already hitting the place where I have to think i don’t have room when I consider a tattoo. My left arm is full, my right, mostly full. My lower legs have limited space so I have to be careful where I put things.
My back has a design ready to go, more or less, so that’s in effect taken; my thighs are being saved for major, large pieces.
I’m in a place, or will be soon, where i have to say no, I can’t get that tattoo because I won’t have the spot where a design would fit.
I started out thinking I’d never want a full suit. Now, 43 years old, I’m wishing I hadn’t put off getting tattooed so much in my thirties. There are pieces I’ve been planning for years now and I still have not done them.
The next one is going on my leg, I think, though that’s still a little up in the air. I’ve got a few ideas and a few options. If that one doesn’t seem to work out, the hand tattoos call me, as I’ve said before, and there’s a hula girl riff on the Guadalupe. There’s also my pirate wench tattoo I’ve had cooking in my head for years, pinup versions of Mary Reed and Anne Bonnay ala this:
I’m not sure, honestly. But the thing is, getting one means wanting another. It’s like lines of cocaine or potato chips of blowjobs. You don’t say, that’s fine, I’m good, I don’t need that again. You say instead, god, that was good, but now my appetite is up, and I need another, and another.
Part of me looks at Jeff, full and finished, with envy. The other part is saddened for him; he may never have the feeling again. He says he won’t miss it, he’s over the longing. He could be right, but I don’t really buy it. He may not know it yet, but eventually, he’s going to feel it again. It might be a couple years yet, but he’s going to walk by a shop or see new ink, or he’ll have an idea and he’ll say I wish…
I don’t think I’ll ever get that far. I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money to do it all at once even if I had the time, and I don’t have a clear enough vision of what I want to do with those large spaces to rush it. But I look at expanses of un-tattooed flesh on my body and I feel naked and un-finshed.
I need another tattoo. And then I need another. And then I need two more.
Ink, Ink, Oink.