[CLICK ON AUDIO BAR TO LISTEN INSTEAD OF READING. POST COMMENTS AT PAGE END.]
The wheel’s come off the wagon. I come apart. That pretty much sums it up. My life.
Reader: Hang on! Back up, Louis, you’ve some explaining to do. Give us the why?
Me: Why? Get lost, reporting is boring. I’m tired of it.
Reader: Louis, if you disrespect me the way you treated Saucy Susan I’m not reading your blog anymore. Learn from your mistakes!
Me: Sorry. The New Year’s resolution bug is on me; I’m not in the mood. Plus, I’ve a New Years hangover. Ok, the truth I owe you. It’s my New Years resolution. Yesterday I tweeted it; my 2014 resolution. So, here goes. Let me back-track a little and find myself. But maybe I can’t, can’t find myself. Maybe I can’t reorder it. The alcoholic haze. I’ll try. See, here’s the thing, down and out is nothing, on the up and up is infinitely more detrimental.
Reader: Louis, cop on and get back to normal please. Planet earth.
Me: Oh, ok….
Enough said. Enough preamble. Try this. But buckle up and fasten your seat-belt or stop me if it gets too heavy. Or if I get too horny.
I’m in a bar. It’s a tattoo party. Miguel, one of the tattooists, is out of his tree, pissed. His tattoos are a mess. Luckily those taking ink are also blotto. They don’t notice the childish scrawls working their way onto their skin. It’s a permanent mess. A psycho on the loose. In the morning, well, Miguel will be gone. €500 for a night’s havoc thank you very much.
‘They’re class tattoos Miguel. You’re a real artiste.’
I’m lying though my beer-goggle eyes. Miguel is putting the finishing touches to a bright green Christmas tree on the underbelly of a biker’s forearm.
‘One more Christmas light and its done’ Miguel says. ‘For me, its art – doing tattoos. It’s not work. It’s love.’
‘Love pays well’ I say. ‘I mean, that’s a lot of love you’re needling on folks’ bodies.’
I’m not going to pretend my thoughts are pure. I like Miguel only because I adore his sister, Mafalda, also a tattoo artist. Miguel and Mafalda are the night’s attraction. Drunken people queue up and Miguel and Mafalda tattoo them. Regret is morning’s child. A still-birth.
Although I suspect most female tattooists are muff-munching dykes, Mafalda isn’t. How do I know, you ask? Well, earlier Mafalda met my hungry stare and smiled. So now I’m plotting a flight path across the room to Mafalda. To join the queue for her. Only there’s a problem. Tiago, a French frog intercepts me and some-why decides to tell me that he’s with her, with Mafalda. Oh, yeah?, my look asks. Yes, ya, his stare replies. I look him over, up and down, and smile into his vegetarian face as though he matters. He doesn’t. He’s not human or part-human at best. An anus. An asshole who’s stealing my ride.
‘I’m just admiring the view’ I say. ‘I didn’t know Mafalda was anybodies. Free love and stuff.’
‘No offence that I have her. She is very beautiful, non?’
I refuse to indulge him. The frog. Tiago. The asshole.
‘Long way from home? Paris?’ I say.
‘Oui. I drove down. L’interior de France is cool.’
‘So is the interior of Wales.’
Not! Everyone knows Wales is a shit-pit full of ugly savages. Anyway, what I’m really thinking is why we’re even chatting, Tiago and I. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-social. It’s just I’d rather discuss a different subject of mutual interest such as a terminal illness he might have. It’s preferable to discussing Tiago’s joie de vivre.
‘I split up with my Italian bird and, well, here I am with Mafalda’ Tiago says.
Mafalda fans her ass on cue. Twerking. There she is, bent over some guy’s back, tattooing, what? I don’t know. I’m not looking at her art-work. God’s handiwork is distracting me: Mafalda’s glorious ass. It’s more sculpted than her face and should be on her passport photo. Its hard to replicate and easy to ID. Few have such spherical perfection in their rear. Although Mafalda is spoken for, as a token gesture, I allow her tattoo my foot.
9.81ms2 is the message.
Mafalda doesn’t give a shit why I want numbers. She grips my foot and pummels it with an electric needle. She catches me off guard as the drill bites into flesh and gnaws on my bone. Aaagh. Focus. Breathe. Visualise. I stare at Mafalda’s face and relax into the pain. Aaagh. Sweating. I will suffer for you Mafalda. Thank you. I think of Jesus on the cross and say, thank you. I think of Mr von Sacher-Masoch and say, thank you. And nobody wipes the sweat from my brow. Aaaaagh. How exquisite, the pain, Mafalda’s touch, leaving marks, branding me. Aaagh. Mafalda speaks. Steady she mutters into my ear. Steady. Obey, Louis, I urge myself. And I steady for her. Like a steady stallion. Trojan me. Steady boy. Steady.
‘Why 9.81ms2?’ Mafalda asks.
She asks but I know she doesn’t really care. She’s too focused on stitching numbers onto me. Making art, on me, of me.
‘9.81ms2. It’s all that keeps me grounded’ I whisper into her ear.
Know what she replies?
‘Death sees to us all. It is all that sees. Death.’
It’s what Mafalda says. Honestly. I know it’s weird and I catch a weird look in her eye before she returns her gaze to my precious foot.
‘That’s heavy philosophy’ I say.
‘My dad said it.’
‘He sounds wise.’
‘He’s dead. He wanted a tattoo but was afraid of needles so I tattooed him dead.’
I’m trying to get intimate; to share secrets. I smile a knowing smile as sweat rolls down my face. Still, the situation isn’t serious. Nothing can happen. Nothing does. I go home and wank off to the sound of Mafalda. Steady tiger. Steady.
Thank you Mafalda. Aaagh. Thank you for steadying me, stenciling me. Until death. https://vine.co/v/hL51BYwzqgP
To follow the next instalment, insert email in the sidebar at the top of the page.