Tonight, it's been exactly 15 years since I got my first tattoo. Back when I was a little more careful about trying to remember the specific dates of each of my tattoos.
(All right, I know I'm back-dating this entry, but I didn't have the time to get to it... so arrest me.)
I was about a year out of college. I'd just had some bizarre Halloween. Don't precisely recall the circumstances. Was there a woman involved? There's usually some woman involved. Most of my tattoos record the chapter endings. I'd been thinking about getting some ink for a while. In college, I'd experimented with dyeing my hair, had a few ear-piercings that never took, so tattoos were a natural progression.
A simple dragon tattoo, conservatively placed on the upper right arm. Got it at a tattoo parlor on 8th Street between 6th and 5th. I remember the artist — some guy who went by the name "Chicky" or something. I remember him going through the normal prep (shave/wash of the area, application of the design) and before he actually started, he gave me this slightly cheeky grin and asked, "You sure about this...?" When I confirmed, he laughed conspiratorially. As if I were choosing to go down a slightly more reckless path in life. As if we were about to embark upon an adventure.
15 years later.
I didn't plan on going out drinking three nights in a row. It just sort of happened. Halloween night, I found myself drinking right in the middle of the fucking Village. Who goes drinking in the Village on Halloween night?! Kids, idiots, douche-bags, Bridge-N-Tunnel... and apparently me. It was an awkward night for reasons I can't really go into here.
None of the nights ended with anything I regretted. Nothing embarrassing (save for forgetting my card at the last bar on Friday night, necessitating me returning to the scene of the crime on Saturday). Nothing said or done to anyone that I'd need to apologize for. Nothing set on fire. Nothing too honest spoken aloud. Three unplanned nights of drinking, but with enough control that comes from years of experience. In control. The most important thing is staying in control, at this stage.
Even so, three nights of drinking is not so easy on the internals.
These weekends are always about catching up on sleep and trying to get some more writing done.
It's fucking November already. November always arrives so abruptly, doesn't it? You're partying Halloween night and suddenly, look at the time: the year's almost over! The eleventh month. Eleven in a series of Twelve. And then you ask yourself,
How old are you? What have you accomplished this year?