Day 9: The Tattoo
Saturday, June 15th, 2013
Camp was over, but I still had one more adventure planned with
Amy. I woke up Saturday with a weight on my chest -- Bast. Once I
pried her off me, I took a most glorious bath. I would only get
one and needed to make it count.
I spent the afternoon doing loads of laundry. It's a wonder I
didn't toss Bast into the washing machine. She would not stay out
of my laundry basket. I also pulled her out of one of my
Poor Amy was stuck at a tire place getting two new, used tires
put on the van. I'm sure she was feeling stressed, but it's good
she got the van in excellent condition before returning to her
Amy picked me up at 5:30, and we headed back to The Good Life
store in Akron. My stomach was doing flip-flops. Was I really
going to get a tattoo? Had I completely lost my mind? Was I brave
enough to endure the pain? There was one thing I was certain of:
My father would kill me.
At the shop, we reviewed the design again and made some minor
adjustments. Amy described the procedure to me and talked about
the healing process. It was good to know they took such care to
keep equipment and the wound sterile. This wasn't some seedy
tattoo parlor from 20 years ago.
I had to sign a bunch of papers. I wanted to laugh hysterically
at the one stating I was of sound mind. Have I ever been of sound
While we waited, Amy described the layout of the room. I was
doing okay until she mentioned piercings. That's just not my
thing. I wanted to run out of the room when she said they pierce
body parts such as the penis, vulva and nipples. Too much
At last, it was time to do it. My tattoo artist was Kyle. He was
great and did well using Amy as an interpreter. He kept me
chatting through the whole procedure.
Kyle began by placing transfer paper of the design on my arm.
This would serve as his guide. My heart was pounding when he
started with the outline. Guess what? It hurt. But not as bad as
you'd imagine. Most of the time it was bearable, annoying
sensations. Sometimes it felt like searing pain. That was the
worst part, but it only lasted for a few seconds here and there.
Once the outline was complete, Kyle began to fill it in. We were
still talking. He seemed proud to be working on the first
DeafBlind person ever to come to the shop. I asked if any blind
people ever got tattoos. He thought about it and said, "no."
My question was, "Why would a blind person want a tattoo?" I
can't say I know the right answer. For me, it goes back to what
the design meant. I was maiming my skin for life in order to
celebrate my bond with my son. I was doing it just for me. It
didn't matter if I couldn't see it. I would always know it was
The whole process took about 30 minutes and cost $85. At that
point, my arm was burning. Later, it just felt bruised. They told
me it would heal like a sunburn. The worst part was the itching
and not being able to soak in a bathtub for two weeks.
Amy proved just how much our friendship means to her. Of course,
she took me to play with needles, but that's not what I mean.
When we got back to my place, she went through all my bras, which
were dirty, to find the beige ones. I needed to mark those as
good to wear under white shirts. Not many friends out there will
get that personal to help you. Amy has a special heart.
We said good bye. I was sad to see her leave. But my mind was
filled with so many good memories of Amy, Tiara, Scott and
others. Nine days of fun. 10 blogs to write and tons of pictures
to share. Now, all I can say is...
contact me at Angie.C.Orlando@gmail.com