TATTOO ANXIETY: a novella

9:37 am: good morning tori. good morning jon, want to get tattoos today? ok tori we’re young and hip lets do it.

11:19 am: look at tatted people on pinterest to bolster confidence

11:20 am: dab sweat from forehead

2:40 pm: drive into seedy part of town where the parlour inevitably is

3:04 pm: tattoo artist says they’re pretty busy and might be able to squeeze u in in half an hour and you briefly feel relief that perhaps you’re off the hook for another day

3:05 pm: kidding he can get to you in 5 minutes. hope you like your design cause its about to be married to your arm.

3:10 pm: clutch childhood memories of you reading the book that your tattoo design was inspired by and how happy you were as a small, noisy needle filled with inky black permanence and regret is primed for scarring

3:16 pm: the smell of rubbing alcohol and marijuana elevates my senses. i am alert as an irish wolfhound as i am asked to expose my soft, ultra pale underarm where i for whatever reason decided to make this textbook 20-something mistake. hair stands on end and pupils dilate

3:17 pm: why isn’t the tattoo artist acknowledging the gravity of whats about to happen? why isn’t he also sweating? shouldn’t a priest be here to officiate?

3:17:25 pm: tattoo artist states he’s gonna start with one line to get me used to the pain

3:17:27 pm: ok

3:17:58 pm: that wasn’t terrible

3:18 pm: artist begins rest of tattoo

3:18:05 pm: hmm this still isn’t too bad a bit of a pinch i guess i mean giving blood was worse but hey that was a little painful ow cmon jon you’re tough you were always the kid willing to injure yourself for other’s entertainment my pain threshold is ow ok youre fine ow toris looking at her phone and completely uninterested this is getting worse OW ow tori ow please help ow OW OW OW DONT OW EVER OW LET THEM OW SEE YOU CRY OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW WHY OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW !&*#^!@*&#!@(*&#!@(*(&!^)&*!@#$#!&!^%@%!*@!

3:28 pm: done

9:49 pm: pass a mirror and jump at what seems like a large spider on your arm

9:50 pm: immediately jump again because its actually a tattoo of a crudely drawn dragon THAT YOU PAID YOUR PRECIOUS BARISTA MONEY FOR that is never ever ever going away

9:55 pm: you begin composing a list of all the things you could have used that same money for that wouldn’t follow u for the rest of your life

9:56 pm: this is what excel spreadsheets are for

9:57 pm: seriously do you even like the lord of the rings? like, enough to literally wear it on my sleeve forever? and smaug no less? the hobbit film trilogy really disappointed you, why did you want to remind yourself of that every time you look at your arm?

9:58 pm: begin imagining every potential picture you will ever be in and how theres gonna be this weird a$$ dragon thing in all of them.

10:01 pm: google tattoo removal methods, start budgeting for the inevitably expensive laser removal procedure

11:10 pm: looks like you’re gonna have to choose between getting rid of this stinging abomination or your eventual new zealand trip

1:00 am: cry yourself to sleep

9:37 am: wake up - tattoo remains

9:38 am: realize that you can now call yourself

THE BOY WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

9:39 am: everything is fine

j

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