I don’t really have anything too insightful or angst-ridden to offer this week, I guess I’m in too good of a mood and have been too busy to crank out anything noteworthy. One thing that has been on my mind a lot this week is my plan to get some sweet new tattoos very soon. I think that has been a weight loss related goal of mine for at least the past four years, and in order to stay motivated I kept lowering the goal-weight that would trigger the event. Now that I am safely and consistently down in the high 200’s, and I need the perfect gift for myself to celebrate my grad school graduation next month, the time has come to finish the half-sleeve on my upper left arm. A good friend of mine recommended a guy to me several years ago that I could trust to “do whatever he wants” around the four tattoos I already have, so I’ll call him for a consultation next week and get this thing rolling. I know that all-things tattoo have hit a ridiculous point of saturation in the past ten years, and normally that would keep me from doing anything so “common”, but I’ve always had a deep connection with the ritual. I started getting them when I was 17, and more than twenty years later I still only have five. So now that I’m pushing 40 I figure…go for it. I’ll never get so many that I can’t look like a corporate lackey, and no matter how much weight I lose I’m not going to have a body that is shameful to ruin with permanent artwork. Everyone who goes through the bariatric surgery process probably has some ritual or event they use to celebrate their weight loss at different points along the journey, and this will be what I use to mark the first major milestone. The second milestone, which will be when I’m at a somewhat optimum weight will be a trip to……………wait for it…………………………………………………wait for it…………..Disney World. I know, I hate kids and there probably is no place on earth more annoyingly kid-centric than the Magic Kingdom, but I figure as fun as it is to fit into a coach class airline seat now, it will be a hell of a rush to ride all of the rides and see the sites. So there you have it, tattoos and Disney World. Welcome to my reality. I could have thrown a penis piercing in there for shock value, but unless The Gauntlet has a location at Disney World and I can count on the virginal Snow White administering my ampallang as I scream Rammstein lyrics at her, then it just doesn’t interest me enough to go through with it.
To be honest, the whole tattoo-reward topic started me down memory lane. I think the last tattoo I got was the Chuck Taylor logo on my ankle, and I was still in ministry when I got that one. Same story for Hopey and Maggie from Love and Rockets that I have on my upper arm. I got them kind of around the same time, and it is funny to think of all the history that has passed between then and now. I get inked when I’m working in ministry, but when I’m a porn mogul……….nada. Now that I’m losing a lot of weight and have become a corporate drone, it’s time for more tattoos. I am obviously someone who thrives on extremes, and I find that the connection somewhere between acting too young and acting too old provides the most fertile ground for self-entertainment.
I’d say that right now, as I’m getting close to 40 as well as being in the best shape in 20 years….the age connection becomes more and more pronounced. I don’t rebound as quickly as I did in my 20’s, so I won’t be able to tear it up like I did back then, but a specific scenario has kept coming to mind all this week. I guess it was 1996, the final year of my adult empire, and I was seriously closing down the bars six nights per week. One night I was heading down to Davey’s for a show, sitting in the back seat of a friend’s car, and as we pulled into the parking lot the DJ came on the radio and announced that they were about to play Social Distortion’s new single “I Was Wrong”. We all had a connection to that band from back when we were teenagers, so we sat there silently listening to a great song from an even greater album. These were some very adult, very drunk days in ’96, and don’t let anybody fool you into thinking that there is anything wrong with recreational drug use. WAY more people die every year from prescription drugs than that third 8-ball in a 24 hour period. So I guess I remember that particular evening because it represented the crossroads between being too old to act that young, and new music from an old band made us reflect on that paradigm without actually putting it into words. I look back at those days before I tried to find a real, respectable job as pretty carefree….much in the same way we looked at our Social D loving teenage years as we sat there listening to Mike Ness sing his latest song.
And now I’m back at that same crossroads…with a real job and real responsibilities, allowing myself to touch bases with that kid again. Obviously not in the same substance soaked arena of bar bands and crippling hangovers, because I have too much to lose at this point. Right now it’s about putting as many things onto my plate as I can handle, taking some emotional and mental risks, and being one very cocky and engaging motherfucker. A great person that I used to know coined the phrase “modesty is for those without talent”, so I’m dusting that off to see where it leads. And when I’m sitting in the chair and the tattoo gun is tearing up my arm, I’ll be more than happy to play the role of “Mr. Back In The Day” for the tattoo shop youngsters who aren’t old enough to have ever met Kurt Cobain or see The Breakfast Club on the big screen.
*********************************UPDATE on 4/17/08***********************************
This isn’t worth its own post, so I’m just going to stick it on the end of the most recent one…..
I can’t tell you all how proud I was when I saw that my post titled “Go Chiefs!” was the #2 selection on Google for a couple of weeks whenever someone would type in that phrase. I noticed it when I looked at my dashboard and realized how many people were coming to MY sports-hating website without realizing what they were getting into. Well, this week I have to tell you….the HONOR, the PLEASURE of that phenomenon was finally eclipsed once I noticed on my dashboard that “sociological theories on autoerotic asphyxiation” was driving people to my site whenever they typed the phrase into Google. I don’t know where it stands now in the choices, but for a day or so it was in the Top 8. It’s those little things that make all of this worthwhile…..I have no idea what kind of people are researching that topic, but I am thankful that it leads them here. You have a safe refuge here, my friends. Please stay for a while and know that you are among your people…..
Man that is cool. Seriously, I am a moron when it comes to the world of blogs and what it takes to direct traffic to your site, so that unintential benefit truly made my week.
What a great day. I better go now…..I have a leather belt and a shower curtain rod waiting for me……