Graham went home this weekend to see his sister get married, and while I couldn’t take the vacation days at work, I did drive him to the airport at 6am on Saturday morning. Which wasn’t terrible, considering I was already awake because I was still living in the limbo hell of the early shift schedule.
I say “was” because starting today, I don’t have to be at work until 9:30am. This might be nothing to some of you, but the difference in how just two more hours of sleep made me feel was so significant that several people in my office remarked that I looked and sounded so much better than usual. I know that plenty of people out there work third shift for years and years and years, but I know my body. It was not meant to be up at 5am every day. It does not like being forced to sleep before 9pm. That schedule made me irritable, nauseated, and near catatonic by 6pm but still unable to go to bed. The headache I had for a full week hasn’t shown up for two whole days, and not just because I slept late(r) today, but because I didn’t spend half of yesterday dreading the four hours of shitty sleep I’d have to fight to get before dragging myself out of bed before sunrise (again).
But back to Saturday morning. I couldn’t get back to sleep once I returned from the airport, so I dicked around on the Internet, did some dishes, and finally decided to take the bus to the U District to kill some time (and get a cider slushie!) at the farmer’s market before the tattoo shop across the street opened at noon. I’d been avoiding it for a while because it feels strange to go to a new shop where I don’t know anyone and (BRAGGING) my arms aren’t in any of the portfolio books. I know that sounds shitty, but there’s a degree of comfort in a familiar environment, especially one that’s filled with people who don’t feel comfortable enough. I spend enough of my life feeling like I don’t belong in places, so at the very least, I like to feel like I belong – or am at least not a total reject – where a lot of other people might not.
The people at this shop were very nice, and I did meet the owner back in November when my artist guested there. AND someone had their 8-week-old bulldog puppy there, AND they let me hold him while they wrote up my information, AND I came home smelling like sleepy puppy spit and the cats were FURIOUS.
My appointment is next weekend for my right forearm, a waiting period of pretty much zero compared to the usual, and thankfully short because it’s going to take a loooong time to get my left forearm done. I’ve got the idea in my head already and I’ve found the artist I want, but he’s in Columbus and I have no reasons besides a tattoo to travel there, so either I wait until he shows up to guest or do a convention in Seattle (I already sent an e-mail) or I book the most ludicrous plane ticket of my life in 2015 and get this thing done. In Ohio. And not even in the part where my friends live.
Without going into a lot of detail (it feels weird to try to explain your tattoos and the reasons for them, also I know of one stalker who steals tattoo ideas on the regular and HEY, FUCK YOU, YOU UNCREATIVE FUCK), the to-be-made-in-Ohio-probably piece will be a saint. A martyred saint, actually. Although while I am no longer Catholic and this particular saint is not the patron of anything that pertains to me, I think the imagery is savage and beautiful, and while it doesn’t apply to my life these days, it does signify a pretty significant portion of my childhood where I was taught through lessons and vivid artistic example that self sacrifice was the noblest possible act. Also, as fucked up as my brain is these days, I do realize that for many years, I passed by images just like this one – some worse, like St. Batholomew, who was flayed alive and is usually depicted draping his whole skin over his arms like a cape, can you even – and, for the most part, grew up to be a well-adjusted person, so it is possible to understand that beyond the brutality is a reason for art.
Because I’m not Catholic anymore, I don’t think it’s at all disrespectful to say HEY POPE FRANCIS, YOU ARE ONE COOL MOTHERFUCKER!
You guys, listen. I fully realize that even though the Pope is the supreme leader of one of the world’s oldest and most prominent faiths, his authority in the real world is basically nil. I get it. And as an atheist who didn’t care much about the Pope’s opinions while I was still a Catholic, I don’t think it truly matters what the Pope thinks. Also there’s the abject awfulness of the Catholic church throughout most of history. I mean, obviously. But whatever. Because you have to understand that it is a wildly unexpected thing for the Pope, the acting hand of Jesus Christ on Earth, to kind of shrug and say he’s got no problems with the gays? THAT. IS. REMARKABLE.
And not only did he imply that he has no problem with homosexuality (“If a person is gay, seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge? They should not be marginalized,” he said, seeming to miss the point that historically, his entire job is judging), but he also called other Catholics to practice the same sort of tolerance. And this never happens within the Church. Like, ever. I mean, it’s one thing for regular, non-nuts Catholics (just like their regular, non-nuts Christian counterparts) to practice equality in their everyday lives because it’s the right thing to do, but for the boss to say this? The boss whose predecessor said there were no gay priests at all only a handful of years ago? This is CRAZY and I LOVE IT.
No word on birth control yet and women are pretty much never going to be priests, but I respect the hell out of this guy’s nerve, and even though I’m not living my life based on what he says I should (let’s face it, he’s Catholic so it’s more like should not) be doing, it’s a lot better than the Kommandant they used to have.