Saturday, April 22, 2006

He Made Me Do It

One night, in 1998, after discovering pictures and love letters from another girl to my boyfriend, I decided to get a tattoo.

The next morning I called my friend Veronica and told her the news about my discovery. "Why don't you come out here?" she asked between my wails. "We can go to lunch and hang out," she continued. "Out here" was Pacoima, a true ghetto of the valley. "Ok," I answered, wiping away my tears.

After exiting the off ramp I passed a tattoo parlor. It was at this moment that I decided that I was going to get a tattoo and that my tattoo would define me. As soon as Veronica opened her front door I said, "I'm getting a tattoo." "Oookkaayy," Veronica said slowly. " mean here, in Pacoima?" she asked, surprised. "Yeah, here," I answered.

I described where the tattoo parlor was, and Veronica shook her head fast. "Oh, no, I'm not taking you there. That place is super-ghetto. I know this other place, up the hill." She began describing the tattoo parlor, telling me about how there were sofas and air conditioning. "Don't most places have sofas and air conditioning?" I asked Veronica as she led me outside. "Not in Pacoima," she answered.

We got in the car and drove to the tattoo parlor. No one was inside except the tattoo artist, and Veronica was right-there were nice comfy sofas and the parlor was a comfortable cool compared to the valley heat. "So, what kind of tattoo do you want?" the tattoo artist asked. "I think I want something in Chinese," I answered. He pulled out a book filled with Chinese characters.

Veronica and I poured over the books. There were so many characters, but I had an idea of what I wanted. While looking over the characters Veronica said:

Veronica: You know, Jaimie, I can't believe (name withheld) did this to you.

me: I know. (tears welling up in my eyes)

Veronica: I mean, doesn't he know what kind of woman you are? And whoever that girl is, she's just some tramp. You have to be a tramp to mess around with a guy who is already with someone.

me: Well, maybe she didn't know.

Veronica: Yeah, right. She knew. I mean, you're one of the truest women I know.

That was it. I found my tattoo.

I walked over to the tattoo artist. "Ok, I know what I want. I want my tattoo to read 'true woman', in Chinese."

"That's dope," the tattoo artist said, nodding his many-pierced head.

He took Veronica and I to a back room. The pain at the small of my back was unbelievable, but through it all, I kept thinking, true woman. After it was over, I turned and stood in front of Veroinca and the tattoo artist and showed them my new tattoo. "True woman," they both said in unison.

Thanks to Veronica, the tattoo artist , and people in my life who have made differences in my life: good and bad, serious and hilarious.

Do You Have A Tattoo?

Posted by Jaimie :: 7:00 PM :: 23 Peeked Into My Diary:

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