Oh, That?

October 4th, 2019

Recently someone told me I am their only friend with a neck tattoo. Which reminded me that… I have a neck tattoo. 

The funny thing about tattoos. If they are in the back of you, it’s easy to forget they’re there, or why you got them in the first place. I have two tattoos like that.

Tattoo thing

Getting tattoos was quite chic for middle-class white folks when I was younger. Now, people like to brag that they don’t have any tattoos. Well bully for you! I don’t love either of my tattoos, but I love what they mean to me, and I wouldn’t change them for anything. If you’re noticing a tinge of defensiveness, again, I have two tattoos, and both were acquired after breakups. 

I feel obligated to say here that neither of these tattoos reminds me of the person whose departure instigated them. The only thing they remind me of is me — younger me, the one I wish I could go back and mentor. The one who journaled so angstily for all those years, and who thought some permanent ink and a shot of whiskey (in the first case) and valium (in the second) would numb some serious existential pain.

Speaking of journals, though, I also love that both of my tattoos are in the form of written language. When I got the first tattoo, I did not know I was going to become a professional writer. I mean, I was a writer by nature, but having gone to school to obtain a degree in… wait for it… pottery, I did not foresee myself making a living checking other people’s loose thoughts and poor grammar. Still, I was drawn to a word.

When I got the second tattoo, I was a functioning professional writer, but very poor. At that point, it was touch or go with the ol’ freelancing idea.

Now, though, I have been freelancing for over a decade and am feeling pretty established. I also identify strongly as a writer with no qualms about calling myself that. It explains why I’ve never been happy in a job until I found one that enabled me to use words all day. It explains why I’ve always been drawn to typography and handwriting. It explains why I often find myself, on a remote hike or alone in the car, telling myself long out-loud stories. And it explains why both of my tattoos are in lexicographical form.

Will I ever get another tattoo? Hard saying, not knowing.

After all, it’s a process too complicated to explain.

What I’m listening to:

New Avett Brothers album out today.

What I’m reading:

In my old life in California I belonged to a writing group of very classy, artsy ladies where I was totally out of my element. One such writerly friend, Laurie Weed, had a piece published in the New York Times today that I am beyond blown away by: Regeneration: A Miracle, Against the Odds.

One of my favorite McSweeney’s pieces I’ve ever read, and that’s saying a lot: HOW TO NURSE YOUR GODDAMN BABY IN PUBLIC SO BYSTANDERS DON’T COMPLAIN

A really insightful 3-part series into how the business community of Brattleboro (my downtown) is at odds with the homeless population, and what’s being done to serve compassion and practicality to the community. (Part 1) (Part 2)

What I’m watching:

Really inspiring, eye-opening, insightful, intelligent video about Bernie Sanders I beg everyone to watch. I am not saying I’m voting for Bernie. But after watching this, I’m definitely not NOT voting for him!

What I’m working on:

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One Response to “Oh, That?”

  1. Laurie says:


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