Friday, July 1, 2011
Did you know how easy it is to stain skin permanently? Perhaps you do, maybe you've got lots of stains, everywhere, all over you. But the girl had imagined a much more painful involved process. She should have known better, that nothing would have remained popular throughout history if it really awfully sucked.
She had spent the day making peace with her arm. Looking at it, memorizing it unmarked, the way it was after 32 years unblemished. She would never see that particular arm again. It would never be that same uniform shade. It seemed whiter to her at that moment, purer and better and lovelier. She took pictures of it, to remember her arm by.
The actual process was quick. The guy with the gun was Irish, and had big green eyes and a red beard with gray in it. While his tow head bent over her arm, she stared at the books on his shelf - Criminal Tattoos of Russia, A History of Pirates, Garden Secrets for Birds. He told her about the plants his girlfriend was growing on their balcony, and how their pug kept eating them. He talked about how he would like to grow vegetables, because fresh vegetables were expensive, but wanted his own yard to do it in. She was in his thrall, because he had the gun and she had to stay perfectly still. But in retrospect, she would have argued with him. This was Ohio after all. The one thing we could do was grow things. Vegetables should be cheap here.
It was over, and quick. She walked down the street to the Used to Be Dive Bar, and ordered a double on the rocks while she waited for her friend. At first, she kept the bandage on, because she had been told to. But by the time they were at dinner, it was falling off, and she stuffed the bandage in her purse. The biggest worry had been that she would hate it. But now she kept glimpsing it out of the corner of her eye, and every time she saw it, she started to laugh. "I now order whiskey at bars, and I have a tattoo," she said to herself, and she looked at it and loved it and was extremely happy. Her friend was in love, and his eyes dilated when he talked about his girl, which was amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. The bartender had broken his hand himself one night after a game, and made puppy dog eyes when they took pictures of it. Outside the night was mild and warm and dark, and the summer patio lights glowed. She felt the liquor in the back of her throat, and laughed again, easily. Everything was okay. This was a really great summer. She sat outside of the forest, ignoring it till the morning.
Posted by Bridget Callahan at 1:19 AM