It could be worse. I once knew a kid with a picture of Foghorn Leghorn in full tux regalia tapdancing over a giant logo for Skoal chewing tobacco. Actually, when you say that out loud it sounds pretty cool.
But this one was my first. An overly prominent tattoo on my forearm wherin black swallows (yuk yuk) fly out of my inner-elbow and cascade down my arm. No, it’s not a particularly well done tattoo. And for good reason as it was done by an apprentice friend of mine for a bottle of Jack Daniels. Why why why would I get something so shitty you ask? Doy. Same reason I’ve ever done anything ever, of course. To impress a girl, stupid. Now ahem, this could in hindsight have been an incredibly bad decision since I no longer see this girl and the memory of us together is something that comes to me in flashes of wistfulness and fear when I’m feeling especially drunk or emotionally fragile like relationship post-traumatic-syndrome, but I say why cry over spilt arm blood? Fuck that.
Rather it’s a reminder that I can be recklessly and stupidly in love. A reminder that I can be impulsive with my feelings and actions. A reminder that I have that potential to walk into traffic, tattoo my body or set my life on fire for the depth of feelings I can have for someone. Not in the literal sense of course- I’m afeared of fire and I don’t see how getting hit by a car would help a relationship of mine, but you know what I mean.
Now that we are all older and colder we can more easily differentiate the line between love and the teenage infatuation that can drown us while young, but I say we rebel against that stricture. We should all want to throw ourselves on the grenade again. To live forever in the ribcage of some young girl and feel our world shatter with loss as our tide rolls back out to sea again. Cynicism about love is an old man’s game and none of us are dead yet. We just have to make sure it doesn’t cross into the crazy cut-her-name-into-my-arm-I-did-it-all-for-you-damien side of things. So I will keep the tattoo. And keep hoping I will be that stupid again.
But goddammit why’d it have to be birds? Fuck.