A long time ago, when I was 19, I was a wicked drunk and made a lot of really stupid decisions. One of those was to get tattooed by some guy at someone's house. And it wasn't a little butterfly in an inconspicuous place. It was a big set of Harley wings in the middle of my back with my husband's name in a banner that descended below the main part of the tattoo. It looked like crap from day 1, and a do-over at Big Joe's in Mt. Vernon, NY didn't help much. Not that guy's fault. There's just so much you can do with a big blue-green blob. Several years later another modification was attempted, this time successfully covering up my now ex-husband's name with a dragon that rested between the wings with his tail extending through the banner below. The name was gone, but I still hated it. And hated it. And hated it.
In 2009, I was a vendor at the Joker's Wild Realities Ride. I was set up near the stage for the tattoo contest. I'd heard that they were having a category for the worst tattoo, with a $100 gift certificate for a cover-up going to the winner. The contest was being run by Joker's Wild Tattoo Studio, and I spoke with the owner's wife about it briefly. With three laser treatments and about 8 months of ink dispersion after the last one, it was clear that I'd tried to kill it and still awful enough that I didn't feel like showing it to a bunch of complete strangers. Vicki, the owner's wife, kept coming by my booth and encouraging me to enter. I finally did. As expected, everyone was thoroughly disgusted, and I won. Yay! The only problem now was that $100 wasn't nearly enough to take care of the problem, and I didn't have the cash to make up the difference. I took my certificate and the plaque with the fake dog turd and went on my way.
|After the first session|
I was leaving for a cross-country trip on my bike the next day to go see my newborn granddaughter in Vermont. Webb said it would be fine as long as I could keep my new tattoo dry on the trip. Of course I completely forgot about that when I went to jump in the hot tub in Illinois or Indiana or Iowa or wherever that was, but I jumped out as soon as I remembered. Vicki and I became friends on Facebook before the trip, so she followed my month-long journey online. I came back for another session on that tattoo and stopped by to chat from time to time. I visited Webb where he was tattooing in Sturgis that year, my first year in Sturgis, and crossed the street to chat with Vicki at a job she was doing there on Main Street during the rally.
Because my work is very slow in the winter time, and I don't have family around here or any other holiday commitments, I've been able to help Vicki out quite a bit. It's been heartbreaking, but I'm glad I've been able to be there for her. I've been praying a lot for her, and I hope she'll be able to see the light, the good in life, before too long. If you'd say a prayer as well, I'd appreciate it.