A Fresh Coat of Paint

I’ve been getting kind of antsy lately. I’m sure it’s partly for the same reason that everyone else is; that we still can’t really go anywhere, or do anything, or see people. Then again, I never really did those things much in the first place. This is just a thing that happens to me, periodically. I get all anxious and feel like I need to do something. By do something, I usually mean, alter myself in some way. I’m pretty much always sort of “working on myself” anyway; learning, changing, growing, (hopefully) improving, but sometimes I need something more drastic. I need something visible.

When I get in these moods, I will frequently buy some kind of new clothing or makeup, or something that is different from what I usually wear. That’s not really working for me right now though. I’m pretty satisfied with my clothes, at the moment, and as far as makeup, I’ve only been wearing black eyeliner and mascara lately. That doesn’t leave much room for change there.

What I really want, what I always really want when I get this way, is a tattoo, lots of them, in fact. Unfortunately, tattoos are expensive as shit, and I’m always broke. I usually just can’t justify spending large amounts of money, that I don’t have, on something that serves no practical purpose. I did tell myself that, if I actually published a book, I would celebrate by getting a new tattoo. Then Covid hit, and that didn’t happen. I got this feeling (that I am fully aware is completely illogical) that I was jinxing myself and my writing career. To say I was going to celebrate my book with a tattoo, and then not do it, felt like a betrayal of myself and my dream. I felt like the gods, or the spirits, or the universe, or whatever, were going to be like, “Well, I guess this isn’t really important to her after all.”

Once I published my second book, I thought, “Fuck it, I’m getting one!” Well, that’s easier said than done and, by the time I tracked down an artist who I know uses vegan ink, I had to schedule months in advance. Now, as it is finally nearing time for my appointment, which is at the beginning of January, the infection rates are increasing drastically and I’m not confident that tattoo studios won’t have to close back down by then. If that happens, a part of me is convinced that I will never sell another book. Also, I’ll probably end up doing something really goofy, and possibly regrettable, to satisfy my image altering compulsion.

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