We sat on the cold leather couch and as each minute went by the anticipation grew. When my artist finally came up to us, I felt about two centimeters tall compared to him. He was well over six foot, his tattoos covered his arms and traveled up his neck. His ink told his experience for him. He brought me over to the chair to let me see his drawings for my tattoo, and after about five minutes of corrections and placement, he got out the tattoo gun. The owner of the shop took my arm and placed the orange razor gently down to clear my arm of hair. I laid down on the tilted black leather chair and waited.
Then the buzzing began. In the shop the buzzing never really stopped however it is a completely different sound when that buzz is destined for your arm. My friends smiles grew larger as they told me to breathe, I turned my head over to the right to see my mom flashing me a comforting smile. He picked up the tattoo gun and I took a deep breathe as time stood still. I waited to feel this new type of pain and finally, the needle broke skin. It was an odd pain but the meaning of it overpowered the burn.
I finally felt like I was complete. For the first time since my granny passed, I didn’t have a huge hole in my heart. As the ink slowly formed a hummingbird I smiled because she was finally with me again. After four years of my granny being gone, it felt as if I had a piece of her with me, and I did. She was a remarkable woman who happened to love hummingbirds as if she was one of them, so as I was sitting on that cold leather seat I felt as if our hummingbird was with us once again.
This was my first tattoo, and it meant the world to me. I was 16 when I got it, so we had to drive to Arkansas for it. My granny was finally with me again, and it was one of the most amazing feelings I have ever experienced. However, despite that this tattoo was in dedication to my late granny, I never failed to get criticized for it. Whether it was rude comments or judgmental stares, I don’t get a break from it. People who have never had a conversation with me, judge me for something they don’t understand.
Someone I consider a friend gave me hell about it as well. He had never lost someone like my granny and never wanted to be inked, so of course, he didn’t get it but in his mind, there was nothing to get. He thought I should have waited until I was 18, waited two years to have my granny back when I could have a piece of her with me now. I was young but I knew that I would never regret honoring my granny, even in this ironic way. She had always hated tattoos.
It doesn’t matter to me what others think, and even though I don’t understand the judgment, I couldn’t care less. My granny was an amazing woman and to have apart of her with me makes me complete. Judging someone for what makes them happy is a waste of time, especially if you don’t know them. My tattoo means the world to me, I express myself through body art, whether others understand it or not.