Tattooist Retreat

‘Reach inside yourself,’ the monk chanted slowly, his soothing tones drifting effortlessly through the temple. ‘Find your inner calm.’

         Ow! Son of a—’

         I gritted my teeth in pain as the tattoo needle stabbed into my skin again and again, ignoring the withering looks from the disciples all around me.

         ‘Find your inner calm, friend,’ the monk at the head of the temple said, kindly.

         ‘Easy for you to say,’ I glared. ‘You’re not getting tattooed by a sadist!’

         The acolyte standing over my back with the traditional tattooist needles didn’t say anything to that, but I’m sure his inner serenity was rolling its eyes at me.

         ‘Pray, friend,’ the monk stood up and walked towards me on bare feet. ‘Why did you come to our holy place, if not for this ritual?’

         ‘I didn’t know it was going to hurt so much,’ I complained.

         ‘Pain is merely the last vestige of the inner shadow, wrenching itself free from your body,’ the monk bowed his head and clasped his hands together.

         ‘No, pain is the nerves in my skin telling me I’m being butchered by an amateur!

         The monk cracked an eye open and raised an eyebrow at me.

         ‘I assure you, Zhong is one of our very best. He has, in fact, tattooed me on several occasions.’

         ‘An honour,’ Zhong bowed his head at the monk, who reciprocated the respectful gesture.

         ‘Well, he’s not as good as any of the tattooists who design inks in Brisbane that I’ve been to,’ I frowned, getting to my feet. ‘They’ve never made me hurt so much I’ve seen God.’

         A low rumbling went throughout the room. Even the ever-composed monk widened his eyes slightly.

         ‘What?’ I frowned. ‘I’m not allowed to leave.’

         ‘Please, leave if you feel you must,’ the monk gestured for the door. ‘But before you do… would you share more of your holy experience?’

         ‘My holy what?’ I looked around, confused. ‘Oh, that, it was just an express—’

         ‘What does the face of God look like?’ a woman next to me asked, eyes wide.

  

Surprising My Wife

My wife has always loved men with tattoos. I have never gotten a tattoo, which means that my skin is totally bare and devoid of ink. My wife is absolutely lovely, and she’s never forced me to get a tattoo. I’ve never felt pressured to get one over our years of marriage, which is a testament to how lovely she is, really. However, I am convinced that my ever-increasing adoration of tattoos is a direct result of her opinion. Maybe a mind-meld happened without us even realising it.

I’m currently in contact with my local tattoo shop in Brisbane to discuss a few tattoo design ideas. There are so many different styles and subject matters that I like, and I could see myself keeping on my body as a work of art, that I simply cannot choose between them. I was thinking that I might just end up getting a sleeve tattoo, but I also feel like that could be quite a big commitment if I’ve never even gotten one before. I might start off slowly, and then build up a sleeve over time instead of going all-out, all at once. But then the question becomes: which tattoo idea should I get first? That’s kind of a big deal, since I know that one will always be my first one, and it’ll have a bit more significance than the others purely because it was my first.

At the moment, I’m looking at a tribal tattooist online, and he has a really good portfolio filled with tribal designs. That seems like a good place to start. They’re quite simple and geometric, but they also have a lot of meaning behind them. There are many different shapes and sizes, but I am partial to the ones that swirl like a circle. Either way, I’m looking forward to getting my tattoo done in secret and then surprising my wife. I can’t wait to see how excited she is!