not to be tattooed

The feet somehow found the ground and signed up as being mine.
In the morning it always takes a while to arrive bodily in me, but always at the same time with all plans and plans for the day. And this is a very special day: I want to get not tattooed today.

For a long time I have wrestled with this decision, weighed up the pros and cons, retreated into solitude and dissolved in crowds of people. The bottom line is: I will do it today. How did the decision come about? Actually quite by itself, like a lot in me, because there is always something rattling in the background. Knots are knotted and (dis-)solved.

Arriving at the gym, I play “TTP” again as I walk down the stairs to the men’s locker room, a countdown game that I invented and lasts only a few seconds. “TTP” means “Time to Penis”, the time it takes until I see the first swinging penis after opening the locker room front door. The longest period wins, but I’ve never got beyond 3-4 seconds and you have to know I’m not going to the studio at the typical (full) times. Since the game is always over, there is time to consider variants, so I came to find tatoos. But it’s even faster….

Especially in gyms it is trendy to appear with Tatoo(s) today, maybe even tattooed people get a discount.
So you’re especially cool when the brain windings or the pages of your own notebook are painted on the outside.
There are bare bodies like mine on and off the roll. No tatoo, not many visible scars, hardly any freckles or liver spots. Just hair and fluff.
In the past, I and people similar to me deliberately harvested disinterested glances because of a body free of definition, too weak or too thick, and nowadays because of the missing tattooed skull, friends, mums or celebrity name or the missing nonsense tribal.

It is all too understandable that this dilemma is creating a new, large and profitable market. So modern service shops are shooting out of the ground everywhere that don’t tattoo. As I said, I have decided and am now visiting one.

Doubts torment me along the way. Maybe I should get tattooed, then I’m one of them, everyone pats me on the shoulder in the studio and we talk about our tatoos and plans for more tatoos. But who knows me, in the end I decide according to my own gusto and that’s why I go on and now stand in front of the small shop with an overflowing shop window.
Behind the glass are numerous tatoo motifs and photos of naked, untattooed body parts of happy customers.
This makes you want more and I enter the shop for non-tattooing called “BlankCanvas“.

A woman – as far as I can see – completely untattooed greets me and comes out behind the counter, scantily clad with a lot of body jewelry, made-up, but otherwise unpainted. Apparently not a hardliner, I think, at least consistently following her business concept, by representing what she offers.
After a short “Hello” you ask me “Do you want to find out more? Haven’t you ever been tattooed and know what’s going on?” I denied the latter, and she offered to explain it to me: “So the most important thing is that you choose one of the two ways:
First, do you want an extremely ugly tattoo or a motif that you don’t like at all, and then you can’t get tattooed?
Choose one from our catalogues or we will design one especially for you. Then you can be glad not to have it.
or secondly, you choose a wonderful motif or let us design one according to your specifications.
After voting and acceptance, we will not expertly tattoo it. We have first-class staff with the best references.

Secretly I doubt the first-class references, because it is still a very young market and no shop exists for more than a year, maximum. But I had read that the current non-tattooists are mostly retrained tattooists who are looking for a new fulfillment after years of pointless work. I ask the untattooed woman from the reception, she now comes out as a boss and says she recruits her staff exactly where the burn out tattooists end up, e.g. with the anonymous tattooists, and builds them up in person. The process is like getting to tattoo and of course it is not practiced on humans, but with pig skin, in order to approach the perfect non-tattoo.

I opt for the second option, I would rather have a tatoo, which I let develop exactly towards my story, until I like it so much that I don’t have it tattooed. Then whenever I look at the untattooed tatoo, I can remember that moment and enjoy not having it on my body. At the thought of it, the water rises into my eyes.

So I commission a motive and choose the Big Bang, a very important moment for my life. The boss suggests she’s going straight to work and I’m going to come back tomorrow and look at the draft. She gives me another flyer, there are other happy untattooed customers to see and in the fine print I read that you can’t resign from a non-tattoo after the beginning, that goes without saying.

So the next day I’m back at “BlankCanvas” and the boss presents me with two designs: a black circle with a black square of almost the same size, so that the corners of the square stand out from the circle. The second design is the same pattern, but only the black outline.

“This is the reference to the impossible possible, to the squaring of the circle. I call it PI-SQUARE,” she says, and I’m thrilled. But it is too much contrast for me, I ask if I could have the second draft without black outlines and she likes the proposal. The change is made quickly and she asks me for the size and price calculation for the body location I chose for the tatoo. I choose the clearly visible area on the left side of my neck.

I knew it wouldn’t be cheap, but the price makes me swallow hard with the same neck. Well, quality comes at a price and it’s a lot of work. I am signing the order with the usual information on post-treatment and risks.

Then she takes me to the back room, where a well-trained tattooist is waiting for me. Adjusting the motif on the neck was not easy, because you don’t see it, it is now colorless and has no outlines anymore. This required a lot of skill and I am amazed how professionally and patiently the non-tattooist works and responds to my millimeter shift wishes.
Then it starts and the unpleasant and lengthy part begins, but it’s not as bad as tattooing, because it’s tattooed without ink and not tattooed so deeply.

Hours later I leave the shop with a big mullet on my neck, overjoyed to have survived, overjoyed not to be tattooed and I am eager to enjoy the result tomorrow after removing the patch.