Monday, July 21, 2008

More Thoughts on Tattoos

A friend of mine has a small tattoo on the inside of her ankle. She got the tattoo many years ago, and although it is relatively discrete and in the shape of a flower, she now regrets her tattoo. My friend has a young daughter, and whenever the girl remarks on her mother’s tattoo—or anyone else’s tattoo—my friend says, “Big mistake.”

Today I saw a man who had large black tattooed marks all over his arms. It was as if he had painted most of his forearms with a wide brush. It took me a moment, but I soon realized the man had tattooed over older tattoos he no longer wanted to display. It was impossible for me to make out what was underneath, but my mind raced as I imagined all manner of embarrassing or offensive images.

Those who turn their bodies into works of art and make indelible strokes upon that pallet risk growing tired of their creations. No action can be undone, but some decisions are particularly difficult to reverse.

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