November 26, 2005

A Billboard for the Human Soul

Sometimes you don't know what you'll see when you lift the sheet. Aside from the various random skin explosions and other maladies most of us occasionally suffer from, I get up close and personal with various works of art plastered all over the human body.

The human back has become a billboard for the soul. I've seen countless latin/celtic/asian phrases, mythical creatures such as fairies and dragons, and naked women lying atop crescent moons or swinging in the jungle. Every time I see one, I spend much of the massage wondering what experience, dare, or now hazy evening in Cancun inspired this particular tattoo. Here is one such experience.

The other day I massaged a kid, mid-twenties, tan bod/bleached tips... typical Palm Beach surfer-type. His tattoo, tracing the length of his spine, in large samurai-esque letters read:


Maybe there was a good reason for it. I can understand why someone would choose "no regrets" as a slogan to live by. I myself make a sincere effort to learn from my mistakes, move on and put the past behind me. But how ironic to get a personal mantra tattooed on your back? Couldn’t serve as much of a reminder...

And then what happens when he turns 40, the love handles are in full swing, and due to gravity, those carefully etched letters are looking more and more like an Exxon Valdez oil slick? If that surfer body gets beached, not only can he never regret getting the tattoo, but he's not allowed to regret it. To laser it off would even assume some level of shame. But at least he won't have to look at it!

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not against tattoos, if they don’t suck. I've even tried a couple times to talk Marc into getting a matching one with me. Definitely nothing lame, it would have to be totally sweet. Like Jon Stewart. Or a Liger.


Mind Spewer said...

But inevitably as the body gets squishier the Liger will end up in a place he's not supposed to be. And then you'll have to spend the rest of your life fielding comments like, "Is that a Liger? It looks more like an anteater."

Marc said...

That's my wife... always trying to get me to go against the counsel of the prophet ;)

Alice said...

If art adorns my body it should be Dali or Picasso or any piece of art by an artist who if the art gets twisted or deformed by age that artist would be either complimented or at the very least understanding by what it "developed" into, rather then disappointed by the once precise lines gone wild.

I like your thoughts re: your client’s artwork. People fascinate me to no end and you get to see strangers on a very personal level, more naked then even a blog. I am a bit envious.

woo said...

That's odd, my wife keeps on trying to get me to get a tattoo of the provo temple on my arm, with two kids painting a liger!

Mrs. McDreamy said...

I am sorry, but as a whole I think all tattoos suck. I know many people who have decent ones and I don't think they suck as a person. I just keep thinking, I don't even like my hair style for more than like a month and I can change that all the time. Why would I want to put something permanent on my body that someday I will think, "what was I thinking?"

And kiki makes my other point, your body will change and your skin will shift. Haven't you seen the SNL skit about this?

But what do I know, maybe my buddie who tattooed "BINK" across his chest will always think that word he made up in high school is sweet.