Tat-snooze

12 Jun

Err–tattoos.

If ever you have the opportunity to accompany someone when they are getting a tattoo.  Just say no.

The location? Hidden. Would it be so difficult to put a sign somewhere?! You walk into a building with a coffee shop at the forefront, then have to creep down an empty hallway. If you notice the marquee, and take the time to read it–you just may see the tattoo place is on the 3rd floor. You then climb the stairs, and enter the 3rd floor hallway where there are still no signs telling you that you are headed in the correct direction. Remembering the number the marquee said, you venture down a desserted hallway and see your numbers are to the right. Walking down another hallway, you feel you must be going in the wrong direction. There are no people or signs of any sort of tattoo place here. Then, you get to the door. It looks like a random apartment, and you wonder if when you knock, you will get some dude in his PJs wondering why you thought his house was a business. Tentatively, you knock, wondering why a business wouldn’t at least put something indicative on their door. . .

Buck tells you to come in and you are greeted with a clean, but sparse loft-style room containing a massage bed, autoclave, AC, and 2 stools.  The 2 of you awkwardly sit down and are confronted with a weird silence while the artist straightens up and sets up.  Then, he gives me a choice between backless stool number one or backless stool number two.  More silence and he washes, and get’s out something to draw upon the tattoo location.

Your mate Cool, is also silent.  There is a lot of quiet going on in this room.  You know one of them will have to conversate soon–if only to clarify tattoo logistics.  The artist is first.  He wants to know exactly what she wants, and how she will personalize the picture she sent him to make that tat her own.  Cool mumbles whatever he thinks.  I go insane.  I do not have it in be to be laid back–especially about something that will be on my person FOREVER.  Cool is obviously, my opposite in this respect.  Buck, sort of prompts for more info, and when no more is forthcoming (I manage to stay quiet, except for telling Cool to get out the measurements I made her previously draw on her leg) to show him.  She half-heartedly gets out the page, and he almost glances at the dimensions.

Then, an hour of silent drawing goes by.  No polite convo from either of them.  My ears are bleeding from this horrible awkwardness that no one else seems to notice.  Don’t either of them know people are supposed to make small talk during an appointment–especially a loooong appointment?  Apparently not.  So I finish my last 300 pages of my book.  Which would normally be rude.  But in this case was a relief.  It had been 3 hours of tattooing in addition to the 1 of drawing.  Now, I had no book, there was STILL silence, I was just staring at 2 silent people.

I was beginning to think Buck was just a quiet-type who never talked.  And didn’t welcome conversation either.  So I was surprised when in the midst of the job, he returned the phone call he had just missed.  And invited someone up to the small, private studio.  And when she got there, he was very chatty with her, talking to his (girlfriend?) as if we weren’t there at all.  Hmmmm, I guess this would seem more appropriate in a regular street-shop setting where it’s more of an open lay out.  But as it was with the smallness, private-sense, and studio, I was a little affronted.  Also, because he seemed to talk just fine–so it made me feel stigmatized that he wasn’t even TRYING to talk to us.  Nor had he since we had come in.  So my feelings about this are mixed.

Six hours (and a lot of boredom) later, the tattoo is finally finished.  You are tired of sitting.  You are exhausted of awkward silence.  You need to go!  And the art was absolutely awesome!  Buck does very perfectionistic, detailed work, and for a cover-up too.  It was perfect–really it was.  And I was supposed to pay for it as a birthday, Christmas, birthday (this has been a 2 year wish) gift.

But of course, while setting up the appointment, discussing details over e-mail, and subsequent correspondence Cool hadn’t asked for any details.  No duration, no after-care, unknown re-touching, and certainly not the price.  So I was astounded and slightly horrified when Buck said the 6 hour cover-up tat was about $600!  And you have to tip them, so 15% ended up with a total of $672.  Ouch.  Best mate ever award goes to me!  Cool better be nice.  And I better see an ah-ma-zing 30th birthday with all the frills.  But the tree tat covers the heart entirely, and garners complements off the street, and Cool LOOOOOOVES it.

joey tree

So the review?  Detail-oriented, high quality art; terrible communication skills.  Awful.

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