Tattoo Experience #4 Part 1

After a false start the night before, I was at the shop, a bit shaky and nervous, but there nonetheless.  It was cold outside, and I had just driven April’s big SUV to the appointment.  I was alone, and very nervous, but AJ was incredibly sweet.  We started with my foot.

My feet are always dry, so I was a bit nervous about showing them off.  Turns out the lotion I had used the night before was still soaked in, and my foot looked halfway normal.  AJ showed me a print out of the tattoo, and positioned it on my left foot.  After checking the size and the spelling, he put it on the carbon paper and put it against my foot.  As he peeled it off, I saw how it would look.

The quote I chose was “Not all those who wander are lost” from the poem “All that is gold does not glitter” by J. R. R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  The font I chose (which was chosen very carefully, make no mistake) is RM Typewriter.

The poem goes like this:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

If you’re a fan of the books, then you know exactly what the poem is talking about.  And as another side note, I’m going to get “Deep roots are not reached by the frost” on my other foot, in the same font and same position.  I love the idea of having tattoos on both sides of my body; both feet, both sides of the chest, etc.  (But not behind both ears.)

I wasn’t worried about the foot.  I thought I had no reason to be, but he told me to brace myself when he started.  He worked backwards from the word “lost” to the word “not”.

Holy shit it hurt.  I was gasping for breath (trying to be as subtle as possible so I didn’t look like an idiot) by the end, and I was so glad it was over.

It took about 20 minutes, because the font was tiny and he was going slow to make it look good, to finish.

Healing time, however, has just finished (about 3-4 weeks later).  Remember how I was talking about my dry feet?  Add to that thin skin on your feet, thick socks and wearing tight boots, and you get an environment that isn’t highly conducive to tattoo healing.  My feet were already dry, and forgetting to add Tattoo Goo was not helping.  About three days ago, I made myself apply at least twice a day, and it finally healed.  There’s no longer any texture to it, but I’m sad to say that it looks awful.  (The photo was taken hours after it was finished, so it still looked fantastic.)

Because it took so long for it to heal, it was in a very long flaking stage.  While in this stage, a lot of the ink was lost.  Some of the words aren’t are readable as they were, and they’re incredibly faded, as well.

But I’ll suck it up and get it touched up when I get my next tattoos, because it’s adorable, and now I know how to fully take care of it so it heals properly.

Next up tomorrow; the quote on my chest.

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