God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.
— from Out of Africa, by Isak Dinesen

Today’s Writing Group prompt:  If there was a tattoo ink that disappeared after exactly one year, what tattoo would you get today?

I don’t have any tattoos.  When I studied in Spain in college, my friend Lisa and I had appointments to each get a tattoo on her birthday.  We had gone in a few days beforehand to check the place out (on a recommendation from a local) and look through the books.  Lisa decided to draw her own, but I found the most perfect one ever for me.  It was two dolphins, one larger than the other.  The larger dolphin made the top of a half-circle and the smaller one was underneath, facing the other way with its nose close to the other’s belly. To me, it looked like a mother and baby.  Dolphins, to me, are nearly perfect creatures, and at the time, I thought, the most important (although not the only) thing a woman could be is a mother, so the tattoo seemed to marry those two ideas perfectly to my 19-year-old self.  I showed the owner the picture I’d chosen and she quoted me a price equivalent to about $60.  Then she marked us down in her book for a few days later with a notation about what I had picked.

When we came back, she went about her business, then pulled my picture out and said, “Ok, so this will be $110.”  I was basically broke all the time in Spain, and at nearly double the price she’d originally quoted me, I balked.  Lisa and I told her that’s not the price she’d said a few days before and it turned into an argument (in Spanish, because we were awesome) about how she only wrote down  “dolphin” instead of “dolphins,” and so obviously we were wrong.  Whatever.  In the end, I refused to pay what she was asking and she got nasty with us, so we both left tattoo-less.  It was a sad day (until we went out drinking and dancing that night).

A little more than  a year later, I had an appointment to get a very similar tattoo, drawn by a friend, at noon on my 21st birthday, but we all went out drinking at midnight the night before and I ended up sleeping through it and never rescheduled.

Since then, I’ve never really seriously considered getting a tattoo.  The only thing I can  ever see myself getting at some point in the (knock on wood) way distant future is a memorial tattoo in my Dad’s writing.

But, if I could get something that would disappear in one year?  Based on the madness I feel creeping in more and more often lately since I went off my anti-depressants in September to try to get pregnant, I’d pick “Hold on.”


4 thoughts on “Inked

  1. I see I’m behind again…..but about the tatoos….I don’t have one, and can’t really see doing that to myself…because 50 years from now will I want some permanent art on me? My taste changes…but that never would…plus I’m afraid of needles…so all in all…not going to happen. But I will always fight for your right to do that to yourself if you want to! 🙂 Are you happy now that both times didn’t work out, or do you still wish you had gotten one or both of them?

    • Well, I don’t think I would regret having gotten the tattoo, if that’s what you’re asking. I think of tattoos largely as something that commemorates a particular moment in your life, and at 19 and then 21, and in those places, that’s what moved me. On the other hand, I don’t regret *not* having it, either.

  2. I have done pregnancy both off antidepressants and on antidepressants. Not that I have any particular advice or anything but if you ever want to talk feel free to send me an email 🙂

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