Friday, I took the day off of work to hang out with Jay at the shop for a bit and then get a mid-day tattoo from Charlie Forbes of Twilight Tattoo. As I gathered up drawings and prepped to leave that morning, I froze in utter shock and horror, gasping loud enough to draw Jay into the bathroom with me..... He was speechless as I held out my wedding ring in silence, an empty hole where the stone once was.... Tears filled my eyes as the weight of it came down on me and I cried as I knew we had no time to search.
With my lower lip quivering, I tried to breathe and set aside my nagging desire to rip the entire house apart in search of the diamond Jay once presented on bended knee... still in my jammies, I grabbed my makeup, put on my boots, and reluctantly left the house as Jay held my hand and comforted me as we walked to the car.
After the cold air filled my lungs, I tried to put it all into perspective. I still had the ring. Crying wouldn't find the stone. Worrying wouldn't help Jay make it to his appointment on time. It truly wasn't the end of the world. Sure, I was in a fog for the next hour, slowing dismantling my makeup bag, pockets, purse... but I was calm.
We grabbed some lunch and headed over to Twilight for my noon appointment, slightly nervous, but very excited. I knew it would be a hole chunk of my day that I wasn't going to think of my ring. I was getting a collection of stars and anticipated being on the table for maybe an hour or so.
It's interesting how the pain of a tattoo ebbs and flows, finding myself zoned out and unattached for a moment to cursing like a sailor as pain shot to all ends of my body. Lucky for me, though, Charlie's the best and has the lightest touch. I hadn't really thought that my tattoo would spread on to my ribs, but was blown away by the amount of pain those skinny bones felt! Damn intercostal muscles and their nerve bundles....
So, to keep my wits about me, I like to talk, talk, talk... and that's just what we did. About half way through we'd covered everything from family, dogs, sports, good and bad tattoos, and somehow wound up on college. Charlie and I found we'd both attended college in Duluth for our first couple years.... we stayed in the same dorm.... go figure, we were there at the same time!! WTF?!
Then, after enough widdling, we realized that we hung out together 12 years ago and didn't even know it for the last couple years! It was awesome reminiscing about all the freshman dorm antics we could remember. And I do mean ANTICS - we're talking holes in walls, rooms flooded by discharged fire extinguishers, beer, parties, more beer... What a small friggin' world - Hwood and I are STILL stopping every now and then, floored at the surprise of finding out that someone I knew way back when had been a new friend for years.
When I finally got off the table, I looked up at the clock and noticed that it had been over 3 hours under the gun! I've got two others that took less than an hour each - this was a wicked cool accomplishment. And the best part was that my tattoo was lightyears better than I could have ever imagined! Charlie, you are best! Can't wait for my next one.
So, how did we keep the fun going? With an opening in Charlie's schedule, Jay jumped in the chair to get a tattoo of his own. I'd given him a lil gift certificate for a tat for Christmas with pictures of tattoos Charlie's done on us before, so he decided it was the perfect time to cash it in. Jay got a rockin' Supersuckers crest on his arm - much less squirmy than I was and was more subdued.
It was fun to watch the two of them collaborate and improvise as they went. With the both of their artistic eyes making changes on the fly, it turned out so much more amazing than they originally had drawn.
Seven hours after we arrived at Twilight, we were two happy, tattooed kids. Thanks again for gettin' us in, Charlie!