I spent last evening getting all of the flowers of my new tattoo shaded and colored in. I was there from 6:00 to 9:30 and three solid hours of that were spent under the needle. Last time it took about two and a half hours and let me tell you, that last half hour makes a difference. Especially when most of it is spent tattooing right over the achilles tendon.
Since this was my second session and therefore not quite as novel and exciting as the first, and because I had to schedule it for dinner time and basically the minute BD walks in the door from work, I wasn't sure I'd have any company. I thought BD might come for a while as SAM had offered to watch the kids so he could at least be there for part of the time, but he felt too guilty about leaving her with six kids (our four, her two) to accept her offer. So it was just me and my book.
When Tony first started working, I didn't want to distract him so I focused on reading. I was happy with the level of distraction my book provided and spent most of the first hour immersed in it. Tony was working very quickly in order to be able to finish in one session, and we took no breaks. Once after two hours he went for paper towels and I ran to the bathroom, but that was it. After a while we started talking and I learned that my tattoo artist is quite the bibliophile, reading a lot about memetics, among other things. In addition to painting, his hobby is tracing the origins of fairy tales as far back as possible, and linking them to their various versions around the world. It sounds like his book collection at home may rival ours for sheer numbers. It was interesting chatting with him and getting to know a little bit about him.
The final hour got pretty intense. The fact that I'd had a ham and cheese sandwich at 11:00 that morning, followed only by a few handfuls of movie popcorn and a box of chocolate-covered almonds at the second-run showing of "Horton Hears a Who" that afternoon was beginning to tell. Hunger and pain combined to make me jittery and I just wanted it to be over. The last half hour was spent with me lying on my stomach with Tony firmly holding my leg down to keep my foot from twitching and jumping involuntarily as he completed the last large flower and a few small ones peeking out from beneath it. I focused on my book as well as I could and bit down on my thumb. Finally we finished, wrapped it up, and I was on my way home to the burritos I'd started for dinner before leaving.
It's hard to capture all the details through the sheen of A&D ointment, but here are some pictures of the finished product.