storiesfromtheweekend :: Drunk Tattoos
May 15th 2012
Nick La Rosa
Every time I get drunk with my friends Matt and Sarah they try and get me inked. To be fair they often get tattoo’s when they’re drunk so it seems natural to them that I should too. Except they look really good with tattoo’s and I don’t. That hasn’t stopped me fantasising about getting lots of tattoos. I mostly want a sailors anchor. Sometimes I get a biro and draw it on my arm, carefully shading it in. Yeah, I’m an artist. I like to imagine myself chatting to some dude in a bar with my sleeve neatly rolled up, “oh yeah.. this thing. I was in the marines once”.
But the truth is I only have the guts to get inked when I’m drunk and that has the potential to end badly. Instant regret tattoo’s usually happen when your toast. Sure it’s really wild and spontaneous to get a tattoo on a big night out, and I’m sure a triangle, or the word forever, or e = mc squared has a lot of rad sentimental value. But when you wake up with Bepanthen smeared under a bloody piece of cling wrap melted onto your inky skin you might have second thoughts.
And I should know. I was drunk and 17 when I got my Asian symbol tattoo. The fat white dude in a sweat stained singlet said it meant… tranquility, waving his tattoo gun in the air for effect. Satisfied I borrowed 50 bucks off my mate, pulled up my t-shirt and lit a cigarette. Mum said I wasn’t allowed a piercing, but she hadn’t mentioned anything about ink.
A few years later I was attempting what can only be described as a sad crack at surfing when I befriended two Japanese dudes in Bali. After a couple of beers they smiled at my tattoo and asked me if I knew what it meant. Tranquility I said confidently. I’m trying to learn Japanese, I lied.
The two guys looked at each other and conferred in Japanese for a moment. Then looked at me. I was nervous. ‘That’s not what it means’. What does it mean? I asked, terrified. They smiled at each other and talked for a while as I stood there clutching my long board dripping in a hot sweat of humiliation. ‘Door’ they said finally. Door? I thought it meant tranquility? ‘No’, they confirmed, ‘door, like to push open a door’. Any door in particular? ‘No, just door’. So I have door tattooed on me. That was pretty much my last dalliance with the ink. I think it’s safer if I stick to biro.