I was sitting in the chair, stretched out with my left leg baring the skin on my outer ankle. At least ten other people were in the room with me, being with me, sharing with me. They were all doing the same thing I was doing: getting a tattoo. However, among them, I was the only 'virgin' so they let me go first.
The tattoo I chose was a small black dagger. It was tiny compared to the other tattoos people were getting but it meant the world to me. It was a symbol of me cutting off part of my life, my past, which I no longer felt connected to. "With this dagger, I thee rebuke and rebuff that which is no longer a part of whom I am or who I am becoming."
The sound of the tattoo gun turning on made me jump. In turn everyone around me laughed. It was a good laughter, one filled with memory and understanding. As the tattoo artist moved in to work his magic, so did my friends. Some of them smiled at me. Some of them touched my arms, my shoulders, my hands. All of them watched me deal with the first few minutes of pain.
Then pain became warmth and warmth became pleasure. I felt the rush up my body and my face flush. I was so shocked at the endorphin rush, all I could do was look up in wonder. The knowing laughter came again and someone kissed me in the joy of it.
fullcontactmuse -- Rites of passage