After the failed “date” with the man who baptised me in his mouth after I told him I won’t suck his dick, I was starting to think that Austin was possibly a place I didn’t want to extend my stay in. But then figured I wasn’t giving the town enough of a chance. Just because there was one douchebag didn’t mean that there were more. How many dingbats could I possibly encounter as a single woman in Austin after all?
Not that many it turns out – feel free to read about my lovely trip here.
But what this post is about is how I left Austin with some new ink.
You see I was walking down the street (not as gracefully as I usually do after day 2 of drinking myself silly with drag queens) and I had one of those thought bubbles that light up above your head and flash like a police vehicle.
I wanted a new tattoo. It was time. It had been a long while since my last one and I never got around to gifting myself for my 30th with one. So I jumped on the lappy and looked up tattoo parlours on Yelp. One that came up with for Sailors Grave Ink along 6th. I hear they’ve since moved.
I walked in to find the place somewhat empty but with smiley people inside who were happy to help me. I started chatting to Lynette who I gave my basic idea to of what I wanted. She came back with a drawing of what she thought I wanted within 15 minutes. We played around with it a bit so that it looked like what I had pictured in my head and within 30 minutes I was lying on her table with my pants down ready to start the process of a new tattoo.
I did have to give her the prep talk though. It went along these lines.
Me: Hey Lynette, I just have to mention before you start inking me with your lovely tattoo gun that I giggle when I’m in pain.
Her: Really? That’s a bit different (she’s grinning)
Me: Ummm yeah, I’m guessing you haven’t worked on many masochists before?
Her: Nooooo… Oh this is going to be SO much FUN!
Insert giggling on both our parts as we get comfy and she asks me if I’m ready.
I breathe in and out slowly as she brings the tattoo gun down on my hip and gets an intent look on her face. It tickles but I don’t make a sound. I’m transfixed by her concentration on her art. There’s something to be said about a tattoo artist working their thing. You feel it in your skin and you feel it in the aura. I felt safe, comfortable and totally serene. Even though I had a hangover from hell.
The actual full on giggling didn’t start until she hit the outline of the tattoo over my hip bone. I might have jumped a wee bit and giggled uncontrollably. She stopped and looked up bemused to ask me if I’m ok. I replied with I am, sorry, I wasn’t expecting it to hurt as much as it does over the hip bone. She says it’s quite ok, usually she has big bikie types in here getting the same place tattoo’d as me and they are in tears from the pain but won’t even whimper. I laugh a bit and tell her to keep going, there’s no need for her to stop but just ignore my giggling.
By the 2nd hour of her tattooing me I was in giggle hysterics. I had tears running down my cheeks and was reminding myself to breath. The rest of the people that came in to get tattoo’s were laughing with me and Lynette only took a few stops so she could get the giggles out of her system too. She asked if I wanted a break by about 2 1/2 hours. I shook my head. I was fine, please keep going.
She did throw a lolly in my mouth though to keep my sugar levels up and I was grateful for that.
By hour 3 my giggling had turned into full on belly laughs. I’d take breaks where the colouring in of the tattoo wouldn’t hurt as much so we’d have a nice chat about the tattoo industry in Australia, etc. Then she’d hit a painful spot and I’d go off in a fit of giggles.
Hour 4: She looks up about half way to hour 5 and tells me that we’re done.
I lie there for a bit collecting myself. 4 and a half hours of pain sent me to my happy place and it takes a bit to work out those endorphins so that you can function enough to stand up and converse.
I finally swing my legs off the table and stand. I turn to the mirror and beam. I would have cried but I think I laughed so much I had no tears left. It was perfect. And pretty. And somewhere I could see easily. She had outdone herself.
She said that I could come back anytime and she’d touch up all my tattoo’s, not just the one she did for free. I’m planning my next tattoo with her when visit America again later this year.
Compared to what I would pay for a tattoo that took 4 and a half hours in Australia, she charged me barely anything so I tipped her 50. Because she deserved it.
And the end product? Why look and make your own call…