Dogs 2010

RENEWED INK
(10/19/10)


the town
was packed
with tourists

we were
packed
among them

harried
hurried
pushed
and shoved

my wife
wanted
to get some
arm art
retouched
but I was not
looking forward
to the
transaction

my experiences
with tattoo parlors
brought to mind
fluorescent lighting
temperamental artists
crowds of customers
friends and family
and other
hangers on

we entered
the front door
and were greeted
with nothing noisewise
beyond low level
vintage rock
which
sounded good
to my vintage
ears

we took
the stairs
down
to the business proper
and were surprised
to find
many windows
much natural light
and only one person
back to us
absorbed
in some
redistribution
of equipment
and supplies

my wife
cleared
her throat
and the woman
turned around
saw us
and smiled

"how
may I help you
today?"

she was
my age
or a bit older
maybe 5'4"
with long dark hair
and deep
dark eyes

she listened
to my wife's
request
said that
she could surely
help
then proceeded
to prepare
for the
procedure

no one talked
for a few
minutes

my wife
then started
asking some questions
about the business
the artist
and the community

that started
a very calm
sustained
story telling
that lasted
for almost
an hour
while she applied
color laden needles
to my wife's
flesh

she
had been
a tattoo artist
for 9 years
after decades
involved
in rug design
creation
and repair

"people
no longer appreciate
the art
in rugs"

she said

her family
was from Sicily
and she had kept
her family name
even though
long since
married

"that is so
people
know
who I am"

she told us

she had
returned
to Italy
a couple times
in recent years
and colorfully
recounted
her travels

all the while
not another person
entered
or phoned

just the three
of us
there
in gentle
conversation
while the needle hummed
the Italian concentrated
my wife shifted
and I flipped
through binders
of tattoo art
with a muted soundtrack
of rock and roll
classics
in the
background

it was like
an hour
of meditation

work done
we paid
tipped
and thanked
the woman

she gave us
her cell number
her email address
her facebook page
and asked
that we please
keep in touch
and let us know
if she could ever
help us
again

outside
with the sunlight
on our smiles
a bandage
on my wife's
refurbished
peace sign
and a lightness
in our souls
which we
had not felt
in quite
some time
we continued
along our way

quite
a bargain
at $55

we'd
be back