The dreams I dream are often very clear and very intense and sometimes stay with me throughout the morning after. But as quickly as they come into my head they dissipate into the Los Angeles smog as I replace them with my daily mental to-do list which includes NOT driving with my middle finger perched above the steering wheel and purchasing environmentally friendly toilet paper that does not chafe the innocent anuses of my family members. I try my practical best not to read too deeply into any dream I have whether it be good, bad or ugly. Sometimes, for a brief moment I can feel myself getting attached to a certain possible meaning of a dream and passively analyzing the contents and the hidden agenda that my sleepy brain was clearly trying to tell me in bright colors and bumpy Braille.
Did running naked across that lumpy desert moonscape while being chased by an angry school cafeteria lady mean I should start eating more oatmeal with flaxseed? Does the candy apple red Ford Fiero on that cloud above my house represent success and power and my new love for Lady Gaga or does it mean that Aunt Flow will be coming for her monthly visit a bit earlier and a lot faster this month? Did those jangling noises reverberating from the closet last night tell me that wearing costume jewelry every day will help make my book materialize before my eyes and the script will finish itself? Or was it a simple Morse Code message that I really should try a little harder to accessorize and appear more feminine and put together instead of looking like a lazy, out-of-work gym teacher without a car or a bus pass or an iron?
Last month I had a very clear, very specific dream that I got a tattoo. It wasn’t just any tattoo. It was my son’s name written in his own handwriting along with a doodle of his choice. The dream felt so real that when I woke up the next morning I immediately got out of bed and stood naked in front of the full length mirror to see if I matched the Art To Touch Your Heart wall at Otto’s school.
My skin was still as virginal as the day I first went to third base but the tattoo craving had sprouted in my mind. A few nights later I had the dream again and a week later, yet again.
My past relationships with tattoos have been complicated and crooked. My sister was once married to a very famous, very talented tattoo artist whose artwork can be seen on the pelvic bones and butt cheeks of some of the richest and most famous Hollywood has-beens of the 80’s and 90’s. During their rocky and roadie marriage, a storm front of a relationship that produced one wonderful kid and a handful of terribly tacky tattoos, the ex-brother-in-law was always trying to get the needle into me, an expression he thought would sell it harder but only made me run farther and faster.
Since their despicable divorce and his apparent disinterest in wearing anything other than tie-dyed pajama bottoms, food-stained truck stop t-shirts and being a father to my most extraordinary nephew I have had a serious prejudice against permanent ink on skin. Let me clarify, permanent ink on MY skin. Not only could I not see myself embracing an art form beloved by the biggest asshole I knew, I could never think of any one object that I wanted displayed on my body for the remainder of my loopy life.
That was until the dreams started coming and the lines started drawing. The more I thought about having Otto’s name on my body the happier I became. I wanted to have more than just a lopsided, smirking, c-section scar to remind me of my marvelous monkey. I wanted a tat, man!
But being the over-cautious, over-thinking girl that I am, I made myself a deal that I would wait at least six months before performing Hari-kari on my un-dented dermas. Doing anything drastic, crazy or irreversible has never been in my DNA and I was not about to start with the impulsive, throw-caution-to-the-wind insanity in these early summer days of 2011.
But on our last day in Hawaii, as Dave, Otto and I puttered around Kona killing time before our horrendous, sleep-disturbing red eye flight, I suddenly found myself in a tattoo studio on Main Street telling the girl at the counter to give me Otto’s John Hancock of my right forearm. Ten minutes and ten dollars later I had a cleaned up version of my beautiful boy’s signature in raised ink and I felt indelible, invincible and alive.
|His masterpiece is my medicine.|
Am I crazy? Have I finally lost the last the marbles in my well-worn leather bag? Or is this a lesson in living life and listening to the universe no matter what songs it is singing and how strange the notes may be? Who am I to ignore the noise and drown out the funk?
Okay, to be honest, it is a Henna Tattoo and it didn’t hurt and it will slowly fade and disappear in a few weeks but I truly feel that this is a rehearsal dinner for the way- out wedding I really want. I plan on researching tattoo artists on both coasts and hope to have the best and the brightest batch of letters by the end of the year, or at least by the end of the summer of 2011. That’s six months, right?
P.S. Any and all advice is more than welcome on tattoo artists, fonts, ink colors and overall insanity. Please help me help myself!