After a year, several hours and a considerable amount of ink, my tattoo is finished.
A lot of people don't get tattoos. That's okay. They think by embellishing your skin, you're ruining yourself. That's okay too. For whatever reason, some of us are drawn to tattoos while others are repelled by them. It's just the way it is. People, eh?
I've been asked to explain why I like them. Why? It's a tricky one to answer, especially when you're already coming from a completely different angle from the person asking. But I suppose, just like our most primitive ancestors were compelled to carve their lives onto the walls of their caves, I feel the need to document the most poignant points of my life on my skin.
'But if it's so important, why can't you just remember?'
I can remember. I can remember with crystal clarity. But I can also remember what I had for breakfast yesterday. Some things deserve more than a file compartment in the memory bank. Some things make you who you are, some things you owe everything to. In my case, those things were not things at all, but people. And their loss was like losing my right arm. So I dedicated that same right arm to them. To my mind, it really is that simple.
Mr Max McCartney and I sat down over a year ago now with some collected Pinterest boards and a sharpie. He drew straight on to my skin and it evolved from there. He's a true tattoo artist, a creative maverick, and I'll be eternal grateful to him for bringing to life the mess of sentiment in my head.