I Like the Pain, the Bite, the Sting

I think the definition of woman should be open wound. – Joey Singleton

I like the pain, the bite, the sting. The piercing of the flesh. The transfer of my dream to reality. My story being told on my canvas. My skin. The buzz of the machine. The feel of the needle. The transfer of color. The sound calms my chaotic mind. Soothes me.

The first time I spoke to Joey, I liked him instantly. His voice was like buttah. I told him my idea for a tattoo. He gave me his cell phone number (big shock). We exchanged a few texts, a few pictures, a few ideas. We made the appointment for the next Saturday. I was anxious, but excited too. I’d been waiting 12 years for my second tattoo.

The next Saturday, I sat in a comfortable chair in the shop. Tried to breathe deeply, calmly. I waited patiently while Joey prepped. He’s very methodical. I looked at the walls around me. They were covered with his artwork. He has a penchant for dead stuff. Zombies. I found that fascinating, really. As we talked, I found him to be fascinating too.Β  We talked about love, life, family. Religion too. He’s a Buddhist. I’m a Christian. We talked philosophy. All the while my leg twitched, the machined whirred, the needle bit my skin and my beautiful, dead alter ego came to life.

His step-mom asked me why I wanted Sally. I told her even though I was a sparkly, funny blonde girl, I had a sad, dark side. Plus, I love groovy dead chicks. I like her story too. Her song. She loves Jack. She almost doesn’t get him. But in the end he sees her beauty and falls madly in love with her. I’ve never been a typical beauty, so I felt I could identify with her.

We take a break. I look down at my leg. There’s blood everywhere. There’s pain too. I see beautiful scarlet hair. Large, sad eyes. Like mine. Tiny mouth. Scars. Everything I wanted.

We continue. My leg twitches. There’s pain. I know how to deal with it though. Joey calms me with his words. The sound of his voice. His extremely gentle touch. The red hair, that hurts the worst. There’s so much of it. I endure. Listen to Joey. Finally, I look down and we’re finished. He cleans my leg, takes pictures, and posts it on Facebook. The likes and comments start rolling in.

I pay my bill, and get my tattoo care sheet. As I get ready to leave, I hug Joey. Tell him thank you. I try extremely hard not to cry. Even with happy endorphins coursing through my bloodstream, I can cry so easily. I told him I’d call him again. He just smiles and says you’re welcome, my love.

Could it be possible to fall in love with someone that inflicts pain on you? Yes, I think so. No, really I don’t. But I certainly love what he does. His art. His beauty. His talent, is unparalleled. I DID go back to him for another tattoo. And I WILL go back to him again. And again. And again.

If you are interested in finding out more about Joey Singleton, please comment on the post. I will be happy to get you in touch with him. He’s the only artist I will go to. The only one I trust with my canvas. My story being told on it.

23 thoughts on “I Like the Pain, the Bite, the Sting

      • I’m sure you have. Adrenaline used to scare me. Now I revel in it. I like doing things that scare me. I’ve always been afraid of needles. So it seemed logical to have a tat done. Then, well, I became addicted.

      • my kid has two. one is a candle flame on her wrist, which is a symbol of recovery. she had an alleged eating disorder for about a year. i say “alleged” because i feel the therapists at the clinic she went to were exaggerating and trying to drum up more patients. her size/weight has always been the same proportion she’s had her whole life. also, about a year before she was “diagnosed,” she talked about a friend who faked an eating disorder in order to get stuff from her parents.

        but that’s a different story.

  1. Analysing teenage tattoo motives revealed a desire to show control. Control over ones own body. ‘Hey, this is mine and I can do what I like with it!’ kind of control. I don’t know if that becomes the reason for getting tattoos when we’re older. You’re writing is so vivid and even though I’m not into tattoos myself – yours does look kinda cute! Don’t think I could go through the discomfort though (coward!). πŸ™‚

    • Stu my dear, I think part of it is control. The fact that I make the decision to do what I want to my own body. I love art though. So that’s part of it too. Sally is a scar. I needed to wear my scar. Proudly. A friend says it’s like body dismorphia (sp). We don’t feel complete until we have our tattoos. Like we’re missing something. Alas, I am a rebel. So it could be just that. I’m rebelling. Even at my age. Giggle.

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