I got the latest session of tattooing by Shane Faulkner done yesterday, the fill over the sky. Boy oh boy oh boy did it hurt over the knee. We actually did less than I’d hoped to because it was just too awful. But I do have an excuse which I will explain in a moment, but first, check it out. Be sure to zoom it in. I swear it gets better and better every single session. I’m so happy with how it’s turning out.
So anyway. Yesterday morning I got a text from Shane asking me if I was ready to get tattooed, and I replied, “well, my tattoo appointment isn’t until tomorrow but if you want I can do today instead, I’m not busy” and he was like, “no, you’re booked for today and I have a client coming from Italy tomorrow so it’s today or we re-book…” I don’t know if I wrote it down wrong or if he did, but either way, when I’d walked out of his studio last time, I wrote down one date in my phone’d schedule and he wrote down a different one in his tattoo appointment book. But no big deal, I didn’t have anything pressing that day anyway.
Problem was, the night before when I was reading before bed, I noticed a couple times that I had stopped breathing. I don’t normally have apnea problems when I’m awake, but that night I was. Because it’s brain-related, not blockage-related, when I stop breathing, I just lose the “impulse” to breathe because my brain doesn’t notice the CO2 building up in my blood for some reason. I do start to feel faint or dizzy after a while but there’s no urge to inhale whatsoever. So I notice it, take a deep breathe, and there’s a certain sense of relief from the faintness, but it doesn’t come with the same “oh, thank you oxygen” rush that you might get after your first breathe after holding it for a while. Just nothing at all. It’s more than a little disconcerting, but it’s not as scary as I imagine it is to have some kinds of asthma or an allergic reaction where your throat closes or something else where you really want to breathe but can’t. Logically I know that I have to breathe to live, but there’s absolutely no subconscious desire or need to breathe. Anyway, I was scared that if I went to sleep that I wasn’t going to wake up, so I decided it might be best to just stay up all night and let it pass.
Problem with that is that I was incredibly tired when I went to get tattooed, which meant that none of my normal psychological pain coping mechanisms worked and parts of the tattoo, specifically the area around the knee, were brutally painful. We tried using spray and wipe anesthetics, which is basically lidocaine that soaks into the outline and numbs the surrounding skin, but because most of what we were doing was big filled areas with almost no outline, they didn’t really work. I feel bad because I wanted to do so much more — and I know that Shane wanted to do more as well — but I just wasn’t up to it and we quit after a bit over three hours of tattooing. That said, I am asbolutely thrilled with what we did do. Filling in the sky has made the tattoo feel so much bigger, so expansive, and given it a real feeling of depth and scale. Like I said, every single tattoo session I feel like this tattoo takes a big step forward and just keeps improving every single time. I don’t want to say it’s my favorite tattoo, because I really do love almost all my tattoos and think they are top notch pieces of art, but this one is definitely vying for the top of the podium.
Also in personal body modification news, I hand-machined a couple of test pieces of jewelry for my leg pocketings. I made one in a microdermal style (sort of like what I posted a blueprint for recently) and the other in a pocketing style, which is essentially a metal version of what I’m currently wearing in silicone. Here they are:
I tried popping in the pocketing one and to my great surprise it was immediately obvious that it was not going to be easy to do so without a fair amount of tissue trauma. The fisutla opening was not willing to casually stretch to accept to footing’s diameter, even though it’s actually smaller than what I’m currently wearing. The silicone that I’m using in my current jewelry is of a 20 Shore durometer, so that’s about the same as a soft squishy gel bicycle seat. A bit softer than the rubber in a rubber band. Anyway, it’s great for this you can make a relatively large footing, but when you’re inserting it, it squishes down completely and does not require the entrance hole to expand to accept it like you would for metal or glass or just about any other jewelery. To say nothing of the other advantages like impact resistance and weight. So to be honest, right now I am leaning toward continuing to use the silicone jewelry. I may however machine some nice metal decorative caps for it out of aluminum (which is extremely bio-inert even though you rarely see it in the body jewelry world).
Finally, I mentioned above that we tried anesthetic on my tattoo today and perhaps that perked up some ears, since I know that a lot of people would love a painless tattoo, even if they might be afraid to admit it out loud — I think there’s a real stigma against it. Anyway, a while back I got a handful of different tattoo anesthetics, and every time I’ve been tattooed we’ve tried different ones. Some have been junk and some have been extremely effective. Some time in the nearby future I will write a review of all the ones I’ve tried and share what I’ve discovered and my feelings on the subject.
* Harpoon? Spear of Destiny more likely!