After talking it over with my tattooist I set an appointment and we knocked around some ideas about the design. I wanted to keep the same theme of my quarter sleeve tattoo which is alien dissection of sorts. We agreed on a gurney with a human stretched out being methodically torn apart with lots of foreshadowing.
About a month later I walked in for my appointment and my tattooist broke out his sketch which I immediately liked. After a cigar, we went inside the shop and he asked me to remove my shirt so we could size it up. I started to demonstrate that we had from the end of my quarter sleeve to the bottom of my ribs. He stopped me mid sentence interjecting, “No, we have to here”, pointing at my hip. It seems that every time I go into the tattoo shop the design gets much larger then I expected. I agreed and off we went to the chair.
After a quick shave and placement of the design on my side it was time to start the outlining process.
He started by having me lay on my side while he started almost directly on top of my hip bone. The pain was a bit more intense then I had imagined. To this point the most painful area I had been tattooed on was just above my knee. As the needle moved up my abdomen the pain got noticeably worse and I began to sweat from the pain.
After a good half hour of tattooing on my abdomen and him he finally got to the back side of my ribs. As soon as the needle left my abdomen and hit my ribs I was relieved and relaxed quite a bit. Even my tattooist made a comment that it was weird I relaxed on my ribs. The truth is it did hurt but no where near as bad as when he was tattooing my abdomen.
The ribs got a bit more tender the closer he got to my armpit. Although it was quite intense when he tattooed the claw outlines around my nipple. The various nerves made it feel as though my nipple was getting tattooed.
After an hour and a half of tattooing we took a break to grab a bite to eat and smoke a few butts. I looked in the mirror and remember thinking, “The outline is almost done”. Twenty minutes passed and I was back in the tattoo chair for what I thought was a quick finish. I didn’t notice all the small lines remaining untouched on my abdomen.
It turned out to be about 45 minutes worth of tattooing on just my love handles which hurt unbelievably bad. My tattooist even had his apprentice help to stretch my skin / hold me down as he finished the rough outline.
Well there is no turning back now. I will not remain unfinished no matter how much it hurts. My tattooist did recommend a topical numbing cream called “Emla Cream”. This is available only by prescription in the United States but is sold over the counter in many countries, including Canada.
I will continue to post my progress as my new tattoo slowly fills in. Stay tuned.