Inky Memories

November 2nd, 2011 · No Comments »

In all of my non-existent spare time I’ve been thinking about INK. I think it all started after reading Indelible Ink by Fiona McGregor. In the book a woman, recently divorced and getting on in years, starts getting tattoos all over her body. It made me ask the question: why do people get tattooed?

It’s part of my cultural identity.

I wanted to remember this moment forever.

To commemorate the birth of my son

Everyone else has one …

I can’t remember.

What, I have a tattoo? Where? Arghhh! Get it off me.

This made me recall primary school and that special day when I graduated from pencil to ink. I had one of those state of the art four-ink-in-one biros despite the fact that I NEVER used the green ink because everyone knows green is a silly colour for ink. Even when the other colours ran out, I wouldn’t use the green – I’d just throw it out.

Not everyone graduated from pencil at the same time – you had to prove yourself first. You had to show that you could write neatly and that you only made minimal mistakes. I don’t even know at what age this happened, but I certainly do remember the day I moved onto ink and how careful I became (and how posh I felt because I was one of the first ink graduates in my class).

There were white-out correction pens of course – I didn’t live in the dark ages – but white-out is never the same colour as the paper, not even close, and it is all blobby and messy so you only want to use it as a last resort.

The lesson here is, of course, that ink is permanent. It should be treated with caution.

This graduation process is repeated for authors when they sign off on their final final draft of a book and it is then printed. That means no more changes. What’s out there is out there. Forever. It is a frightening and scary moment. I was very hesitant signing off on the proof pages of Chicken Stu.

That brings me back to tattoos because the thought of putting permanent ink on my skin is a frightening one. What if I changed my mind? What if the artist made a mistake? What if the artist used green ink? Your skin is not like a notebook, there is finite space and you can’t just rip off a layer and start again.

A List of Things I Would Get Tattooed

-       A join the dot puzzle

-       A tricky Sudoku puzzle

-       The following phrase: I Went to the Tattooist and all I got Was this Festering Itchy Wound

Perhaps people who get tattoos (and I should point out I have no problem with people getting them) should be wary, and consider if they’re ready to graduate to ink yet. In the cool Uglies books by Scott Westerfield, the young Pretties have tattoos that move on their skin and you can get them changed whenever you want. If only that were the case.

Remember laser removal is one very expensive eraser.

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