I have a tattoo, on my left arm. It symbolises the vortex of gender. The design is from the French artist Monoïk who made it for the then existing trans organisation Caritig. For some reason the Dropkick Murphys’ song “A Rose Tattoo” sprang to mind a couple of days ago and in day and nightly dreaming a fantasy starts developing.
In a dark autumn night in a city with curvy backstreets I seek out a tattoo parlour to get my next tattoo. On my left shoulder blade it will be. A picture in blue and skin of an old XT computer monitor, almost as old as its ‘namesake’. I ain’t winning no one over, I wear it just for you. But to directly put your name, be it in a rose tattoo or differently … that’s so cheesy. It should be a give-away for the initiated one. In drunken haze I see you laughing out loud, or maybe just grinning. In my dreams I do what I’d love to do in the real world: make clear in an alternative way that I Do care for you. Always.
The next one is for a life long companion, sealed and signed in blood that I would die for you. This one might have been a reality if untimely developments didn’t make it improbable, until we might finally decide to have it on our sagging shoulder blades skin. For old times sake, for the love that remains through the years and more romantic language like that. Anyway, long time ago we were like big rolling kegs, two faces out of one giant head, so that we could look all around us. Part sun part moon. The half face. On my right shoulder blade. Maybe we are indeed from before the origin of love.
Tattooing is a rage. One is not dry or the next one must be on its way. Thus spoke a lab guy in the hospital to me. In the same fashion I sober up in my dream, I see the Barcelona or San Juan or Havana morning sunshine and after a coffee I go to the brujo who works during siesta. On my right biceps it will be. I first need some muscle there, so it will take some time before I can get it done, like I need time to be able to hop over anyway. But the design is clear, the brujo will have their own interpretation and will saddle me up with a beautiful banana tree flower. They must be queer of course. Beautiful long lashes, dark hair and a tender torso with intriguing tattoos. The initiated see the chest muscle run a way in a weird angle.
The pictures tell the story, this life has many shades.
Long time ago I read Ray Bradbury’s book “The Illustrated man”. On the fully tattooed body the stories came to life when you watched closely. The idea of tattooing my life is attractive, but costly. Also: not what I want. I prefer the sailor whose arm is full of names of loves and ports where they laid their head. To tattoo a name in a heart makes no sense. That heart and banner need to be so big that at least a couple of names fit on it. Then better tattoo the Milky Way on my back with a legend at the height of my kidneys. When did I not love someone? For my soul brother I probably would need a beer bottle, but that I find a bit prosaic, so maybe then finally there will a rose with his name in it.
At the end of the dream I wake up with still only the vortex on my left arm. But who knows some next time you see me I do have an XT computer, a banana flower, a half face, and a rose somewhere. Oh, and a fire lizard, I really want that on my leg.