03Nov09

A boy that sits next to me in my rational theology class wears the most beautiful tattoos. They cover his arms, but I wouldn’t call them sleeves. Each tattoo is very separate, not the run-onny way that sleeves feel. One suggests that “time is wasted on the patient,” written around a heart with two guns crossing over it. Another says “family over everything,” with colorful flowers and birds around it. This is just his right arm. It’s the side I sit on. At the bottom, near his wrist, is an n with wings. I don’t know his name, but I doubt it starts with an n. A n? How unusual.

I wish I had the nerve to ask him about them, especially the two pairs of black feet dangling beneath his shirt sleeve, both of them next to a tree and a doll seeming to float between them. What could be up there? It’s pretty easy to fill in the rest of the image, but that’s rather horrifying and I don’t think it makes sense, not really. His other arm has a quote that I can’t make out and maybe some other things. Instead of paying attention in class I sketch them over my notes and hope he doesn’t notice. I begin to draw on my hand like a third grader and wonder for the billionth time what tattoos look like on top of freckles. I wish I were so interesting on first sight. Well, I guess it’s not the fact that he has tattoos that makes him interesting. It’s what they say, what they mean. I want to know. Probably everybody has something like a tattoo to share, it’s just not so obvious.

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