In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Tattoo….You?.”
My first inking was a tiny dot on my left arm, above the elbow so Mom wouldn’t notice what my big brother had done to me and his other little brother. Since that time many years ago I’ve accumulated a few more tatts, most recently though I feel like I’m on the verge of becoming addicted to new ink. It’s the varied forms of art work I see that’s most alluring. Why has it taken me all these years to actually want to be a canvas?
I remember Uncle Joe, my Mom’s brother, he had an aged and faded tatt of a pinup girl on his forearm that he probably got while in the Navy Seabees. I’m sure you Veterans out there know the kind of tattoo I’m referring to. I was at an age when seeing half naked women, even tattoos of them, was quite a thrill. Uncle Joe was also the first man I saw with an earring. It seemed highly unlikely that his Mom (who always wore long dresses, never above the ankles) approved of any of that.
My memories of Grandma Franklin are of a woman who didn’t seem to have much fun, I don’t ever remember her laughing when we visited, she was thin and frail, and those long dresses she wore may have indicated a very strict religious upbringing. At times I thought she might be a witch, but of course I knew she wasn’t, those thoughts formed thanks to The Wizard of Oz, and were strengthened once when she yelled at me and my little brother for pulling the tail of an old pig she kept penned up in a lot next to her house. She even said a bad word, shit, I think it was, while reprimanding us.
Uncle Joe’s tattoo of that pinup girl must’ve planted a seed that has taken many years to germinate. I’ll be adding more ink to the canvas, I’m sure of it. But it makes me a bit sad wondering why I didn’t start sooner, when the canvas was smooth and clean.