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#a23 :: Vitamin A+ Vitamin D Ointment

March 7, 2008

030708.jpgNever tattoo hastily.

I took that to heart. I wasn’t going to be one of those mopes with the harridan-ex’s name tattooed on my ass.

So I waited to choose first to get tattooed, visit this cure then the subject matter until I reached 40 and my son was born.

The theme is biomechanics. Chip Delaney‘s vivid space opera, this Nova – humans have gone cybernetic, price piloting heavy starships jacked directly into their nervous systems – plugged deep into my 14-year-old soul the year I read it, rattling my brass ribs …

I paid a meth-jittery Hollywood artist of some older repute (I only discovered later) but veteran skill put my own design at the base of my spine. And while I’ve never seen it live – only in mirrors – I’d always felt it was just an early sketch, knocked out on order by someone who didn’t really feel it.

About five years later, on a tattooist-hunt, I met the great Justin Lewis – and he completely got it.

He transformed my very basic sketch into this baroque, industrial-grade access hatch, the blood-red edges of which revealed a titanium clutch festooned with circuitry and illuminated by tiny orange trouble lights.

Today, he added lining and shading for new segments of the sleeve piece – a set of service ports into the inner mechanics of my left arm. Color comes next.

Justin’s work still has me completely stunned: When I bend my arm, the lines of the radius and the ulna pivot through the elbow joint, as if it’s swinging on sealed bearings from my chromed humerus. (I’ll post video of that as soon as I can get one of the kids set up with the camera.)

Anyway, in order to speed healing after the needling, I’m to put just this ointment onto it, and keep it out of the sun.

You could argue that the ink he used today, doled out into little plastic pots and injected into my skin thousands of times per minute, is the real heavy little object – but now he’s transfigured it into a magnificent machine, and so it is no longer little enough to be considered an HLO.

So I give you these little artifacts, souvenirs of a much larger change of self that is continuing across my skin.

Do take a closer look at what they’re helping to heal.

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