Why I Had No Money - From the foot board to the ceiling the room wall's are littered with graffiti and art. I sit on a metal folding chair for hours, and my ass begin to grow discomforting and numb.
The room is perfectly cooled in temperature, but I sweat from the adrenaline racing. The pain is excruciating, and each time the needle pierces the skin I hope he would be done.
But he only gathers the needle with more ink and continues ravaging away. I feel my heart beat faster, and my adrenal gland secrete the ever glorious epinephrine.My body is now numb and the pain is somewhat tolerable.
My tattoo artist had been a friend for years. He had walked into my gym one day and joined our boxing team. We grew close as sparring partners and gym friends. The scent of Green Soap is comforting. The liquid is a disinfected used in medical procedures, and tattoo artists have found this particular substance most helpful in tattooing. The scent is clean, an aroma of bacteria free, and as I am no rookie under the needle I find this scent to be most comforting. For every time I absorb such a beautiful scent, such a clean aroma, it be of gaining a freshly desired tattoo.
I speak of nothing throughout the session and he too remain suppressed, and focused. Neil grinds heavily at the top layer of epidermis and the music echoing in the back ground is of classic metal. I find the guitar screeching the ears is somehow comforting. Neil had been a recent pugilist enthusiast and found our boxing gym most helpful for accomplishing health and fitness goals and acquiring fighting knowledge. We became good friends, and closer friends after our first sparring session, for we have seen each other's soul in a hand to hand battle.
I wear a goatee on the chin and a handle-bar mustache on the lip. The blonde facial hairs sprinkled with the brown hairs appear the lip to be dirty. I wear the eyebrows low, and my thick, brown brows canopy over the eyes, allowing them dark. The hair is greased, where I make with my pomade to be a perfect hold. The hair is slick, tight, and combed over to the port-side where I wear a slight pomp in the front. The bangs are grown seven inches and it flares and falls to the cowlick. I begin all this upkeep daily, using a brown comb I had purchased earlier this morning from the thrift store. Half of my apartment is filled with hand-me-down equipment and random shit because I was too poor for the nice things. I moved out of my parents house two years short of two decades of age, so I payed for all of my own essentials. I must bum rides from friends because I can't afford a car. I eat bread and peanut butter daily, because it was a cheap cost. I wear recycled clothing from friends and family, and cut my own hair. I must be smart with my money. Or at least what remains of a small double-digit bank account. I had twenty three dollars in my wallet: a faded Jackson and three crisp Washington's. My shopping list was endless in items, for I had an apartment with much needed product that I couldn't afford. The money that I did have was used for the bare essentials: spinach, peanut butter, bread, and water. But if I had luck and fortune on my side, I might buy a nice steak and potato dinner. I would cook the steak rare or I may just eat it raw, because I like the taste of blood. It had a nurturing taste and effect to the body, like my muscles thrived of it. Of course the spared cow would have been given thanks for nurturing my travel.
I spent all my saved money on tattoos, because I'm an idiot. I should be spending wisely and preparing for the future, but I only live for now. Why must I worry of the future, of matter that has not made presence. When it does appear, I will worry then, for now, I deal with the present. But if you counted my tattoo savings and considered that to be "savings," then I am a conservative saver. I will save money for days, weeks, and even months, sacrificing my hot cup of coffee every morning. But when my savings become fat enough, I will call my tattoo artist by phone, schedule an appointment, and then, I grow happy.
My mother complains of every tattoo I gained, "another tattoo!" I laughed comically at her response. It wasn't that I had no respect, or had not listen to mother's discontent remarks. For I feel that my skin is my only true property, where I could do anything I please to it.
Mother never wanted me to get tattoos. She said they were ugly, and trashy. I never thought so. I thought by having a tattoo separated my voice. I thought by having a tattoo created my individualism from the rest of the world. I had been born in a new time, a new era, and that meant new voices.
The tattoos I gained are acquired over an extent amount of time, and experiences in life. One can display their love to the world with their skin. The epidermis is our right to do what we please. It is our choice to taint the skin, pierce it's extra flaps that dangle. Our right to cut and color the hair to our pleasure. Our property and right to mark the skin with whatever it is we like. And if it were a problem for others, a disturbance to their living, I might say to avert the eyes and project their negativity elsewhere.
I wanted the arms, legs, torso, and any other space of skin branded by a like of this world. Every tattoo is a purpose, and a cause that appeared before me. That cause was drawn in my timeline and appeared before me, and I felt it must be displayed on the skin in black and grey ink so the world can see, and I too can see. For my memory had begun to deteriorate from the physical beatings and trauma I endured through the sport of boxing.
My left arm has no space for skin. It had been heavily tattooed. No long sleeve shirt can cover the native arrowhead on my hand. I can never have a legitimate job, or in retail, unless I was selling tattoos. The opinions or rules of society never grew my attention. I'm in my twenties in the early twentieth century, and I was part of the young declining youth of America. I was part of the growing uneducated nation that thought they could make life on their own.
The native tattoos on my forearm are black and grey, too, my attitude is dark. For the man to man battles I have endured through life drew the attitude black. Boxing was a way of life, a science of beating people up. It was the truest way of testing another mans will. Last man standing wins.
I occupy the punk-rock fashion, and it fits well with my low budget income. I never responded well to orders, or what I was suppose to do, or wear. The people trying to fit in with society because they were afraid to be different, or even themselves. After struggling to graduate high school with a low 2.0 average, my parent's and counselor's advised for me to go to the military. They said turning to be a professional boxer was for child play, and child dreams. They suggested I should go to the military where I can then go to college. There I can find a career, and then find a job, then fall in love, then marriage, then conceive life where I can support the economic growth of our country. And then, I should grow depressed because I hadn't followed my dreams, had failed myself for not pursuing my goals. Then, I should grow angry because I was depressed, where I would then rise to my boss's rude attention, cursing his name harm. And then, I might collapse the bridge of his nose with my fist, setting off a chain reaction of unfortunate events where I end up behind prison bars. All because I hadn't done what I wanted to do. Three month after graduating high school I made my day beut as a professional boxer.
The tattoo gun is screeching to the ears. "How are you holding up?" Neil ask in concern of my threshold of pain. "Good." Neil speak astonishingly, "You must feel no pain, or have a great poker face."
I continue playing the poker face, but I smile happily inside.