Show Your Tatts
There's hardly a moment alone without one. At least in Pacific Beach. Where ever you go, whatever you do, they will be right there waiting for you, just like Richard Marx sang. I'm sorry to quote that endlessly 80's song, I've had too many good karaoke memories with it. Tattoos are what I am talking about though, and they permeate this tiny beach community right along with the surfboards, Mexican food, and torrential "brahs" that echo off of walls, pavement and my eardrums.
Just check out the map of Garnett street I posted above. All of those little red indicators lettered A-G are tattoo parlors. There's like 8 of them in a 5 block stretch. Seems like a bit much right? The basic rules of supply and demand seem violated here. Nearly a dozen businesses, that close together, selling the same service would not all be able to turn profits. But they do. As Pacific Beach does not lie in the norm, and residents here possess an unquenchable thirst for ink that flows from the mechanized needles of tattoo artists.
Everybody is inked up; marked up like a Harlem subway. I finally felt compelled to write about it after about the fourth week of working out in the local 24 hour fitness, the McDonalds of fitness clubs. Workout after workout I spend breaking down muscle fibers, sharing gym space with absolutely jacked individuals that brandish tattoos on their skin as if they were membership requisites. Tattoos are so prevalent down here it almost makes them undesirable, as it would just be like becoming one of the many. Yet at the same time, the constant bombardment of the art form works on my mind.
I am still deeply fascinated with the art of tattooing. I respect the permanence of them. Making a decision that you are basically forever bound to is impressive and awe inspiring. I think a part of the process also gains notoriety through it's "badboy" connotation, as it's not the Screeches or Erkels of the world known for their body art, but folks like the Hell's Angles. Folks also known for heinous crimes, and poor skills in civility. Living in my current tattoo metropolis definitely causes me to think about them a lot. However at the moment I know getting one here would feel wrong because I would be getting it as a trophy, something to show off. I don't want to be that guy. I already am
that guy who grunts while doing front shoulder raises with 30lbs in each hand. If that spell binding
image or dizzying string of words comes along, and their meaning is that profound and undeniable, then I shall fall slave to the needle. Until then my skin remains marked only by leopard like legions of freckles.