Posts tagged ‘Resolutions’

January 24, 2013

Future Ink

There is a list, written on the back of a Waukesha State Bank deposit slip and pinned to the cork bulletin board in my bedroom, of doodles and scribbles. When each entry was inscribed, each represented a potential tattoo. Three of the entries found their place on my arms and are now crossed out with a single line. Most of the other listings, having seen their significance fade, have also been crossed out.

The three that made it to my flesh are the Chi Rho, the Star of David integrated with the Alpha, and the Cross integrated with the Omega. The rejects include melodramatic lyrics, sophomoric egotism, and pure whimsy. Still on that list without their names crossed out are the logos for the Minnesota Twins and the Washington Redskins.

When I was eighteen, I started looking at tattoo designs. Influenced by the art in my church, I was looking at variations of the Chi Rho. I wasn’t hiding it from my parents, nor was I telling them about it. I was in my room researching designs when my dad walked in.

So, you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, huh?


Well, you’re not getting one without me.

If I’ve never mentioned it before, my dad is awesome. Unfortunately, it took us two years and the fact that I was transferring to an out of state school for us to align our schedules. My mother thought we were prodigal idiots as we left the house. Her tune changed when my dad returned with a red heart emblazoned with her name etched into his bicep.

I spent little time contemplating what was next: it was definitely the Star of David integrated with the Alpha, followed by the Cross integrated with the Omega. The challenge lay in the specific designs. They were a theological set, whether or not I got them simultaneously, and they needed to match. Over the next three years the plans followed the seasons, cycling activity and dormancy with no results and no regression of desire.

A friend wanted to get his first tattoo and was also having trouble settling on a design for Habakkuk 2:1. We set a date a month out, picked a studio in Wicker Park, and frantically began sketching designs. I hammered out what I roughly wanted; my company’s design department polished. I walked out of the studio on a brisk November evening with blackened, bloody biceps and no plan as to what next.

That was fourteen months ago.

Since then I’ve contemplated getting pray without ceasing around my bicep. I’ve also starting planning a family tree of sorts with my grandparents’, parents’, and siblings’ initials. Both are still gestating.

But the Minnesota Twins and Washington Redskins. These might be my most fierce loyalties outside of those to my God, my family, and baseball and football as institutions. I came out of the womb wearing nothing but a backwards Twins cap and a Louisville Slugger. So these two teams’ logos are still on the list. Nothing gaudy, just the classics; probably one on each arm.

But they may never grace my skin. Call it a New Year’s resolution of sorts if you wish. But I’ve decided that I will not get either until that team wins its respective sport’s championship. Until the Minnesota Twins win the World Series. Until the Washington Redskins win the Super Bowl.

I plan to be in Minneapolis and Washington D.C. for those championship parades, whenever they happen. Perfect time and place to be canvas. I could be ninety, rolling my wheelchair into the tattoo parlor. I could only get one or I could die without either. The significance of either tattoo would be that much higher, the victory celebration only more poignant.

Confession: I would be partially pained if I had to get the Skins’ logo first. Having to confront the possible reality of that last sentence was painful; I almost reneged on my resolve. I see magical seasons in a healthy RG3’s future; let’s see what magic the Twins can conjure. I hope it’s a lot. And imminent.

So, I wonder, how many of my peers have tattoos or plan to get tattoos. It’s very arbitrary age range, but those between the ages of 20 and 35. How many?