The large dragon on my back is partially inked in; vermilion and brick red. To color in his wings, head/neck, and arms took 2.5 hours. It was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life.
Worse than the day that piece of metal flew into my eye. Worse than cutting the tip of my thumb off on the band saw in Industrial Arts class in 8th grade while trying not to look stupid in front of my caveman classmates. Worse than planting my toddler-sized index finger directly on the heat plate of my dad's shop space heater. Worse than cramps before the advent of The Pill. Perhaps even more painful than flipping over the handlebars of a friend's bike while going over a homemade jump consisting of a sauce pan and a 2X4, although I think the humiliation factor added much to the throbbing of my spilt lip in that case. It was definitely more attention getting than the weak punch delivered to me by a fellow middle-schooler who claimed I "stole her man" when in fact I had never seen the gangly boy before she shoved his picture at me, grabbed my face and then pushed me over into the mud.
But I digress.
I hunched over a vinyl pillow while Matthew drilled ink into my spine, watching with disgust as sweat literally poured down my arms and pooled on the pillow. I bunched up paper towels to pad the absorbency factor. I must have sweated out a half-gallon.
The sound of the needle vibrating, which is something that normally sets the fringy hairs at the back of my neck on edge, although not in a bad way, made my stomach roll over. For the first time in many years, I felt myself wanting to turn around and punch Matthew in the face.
When he told me he was nearly finished, I got really excited."Really? You're done? That wasn't really so bad."
"Well, I'm just going to finish up his other arm here and then you'll have to come back for maybe one or two more sittings."
The whole next day, Chris kept patting me on the back. It made my inner rottweiler quite snarly. Now, a week later, it feels like a bad sunburn. I've been anticipating this as it means the super no-touch feeling will soon be gone.
However, I kept finding what looked like red fish food flakes in my underwear today, and it started to freak me out.
"Where the hell is this flaky stuff coming from?" I wondered aloud in a stall this morning, clearing the room in three seconds flat.
After a cool moment of panic, it hit me: The extra ink and dead skin are peeling and sliding down my back. Thank God! No, wait, that's gross. But thank God!
Underpants With Fish Flakes. Look for their new album to hit stores this fall!