American Tattooer: Behind the Machine
American Tattooer: Behind the Machine
I - A D AY I N T HE L IFE
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! SLAM! CRASH!
I knock my phone off the dresser while attempting to silence the ridiculously loud alarm it is spewing at me. I so want to just smash it into tiny little pieces, but then I would have no phone. After finally managing to pick it up, and silence the obnoxious sound by pressing the snooze button, I roll over and stare at the ceiling. I am awake again. It's a new day. Damn. I lay there hoping to fall back asleep, but to no avail, my brain has already began to flood itself with information. My alarm goes off again, and I just turn it off. Rising from the comfort of my bed takes a considerable force of sheer willpower, but I manage to stand up. My joints crackle and pop in protest, and my back feels like it's been hit with a sledgehammer. After stretching for a minute or so, I head for my morning ritual of the three S's. You know the ones, the ubiquitous Shit, Shower, and Shave. I find my pants, and dig through my giant pile of clothes that I haven't put away yet. My goal is to find a shirt that I haven't worn this week. One that doesn't smell like a goat rubbed its unwashed testicles on it.
You must understand the daunting task that I have been performing. Almost all of my shirts are black, and they are all inside out. In order to find the right shirt, I have to pull it inside out just enough that I might be able to see the printed graphic on it. All my pants are black as well, and mixed in with my shirts. Once the shirt has been chosen, I put on my pants first and then the shirt. Now for my socks. I dive once again into the mountain of laundry in search of two matching socks. This takes quite some time.
I put my contacts in and then finally, put on the only pair of shoes I own, my old black converse, and gather all my stuff to head out the door. I try to double check to make sure I have everything, my wallet, keys, computer bag, phone, backpack, money, sunglasses, and brain. I haven't had any coffee yet, mind you, so I am performing all of these tasks like a zombie swimming through a sea of molasses, and not one of those cool 28 Days Later super fast zombies either. I grab a microwaveable breakfast sandwich, and a couple cans of Mountain Dew from the fridge on my way out.
Once outside, the dry Texas heat immediately takes my breath away. It is really bright out, and the sun is beaming at me mercilessly. My beloved '98 Mustang with its badly oxidized blue paint job sits next to the curb, sun-tanning, just waiting for me to start it up so we can get this show on the road. After throwing my backpack, and computer bag into the passenger seat, I unlock the trunk and pop the hood. I have been topping off the radiator almost every day for the past few months, and do so again. I have already had to pull over a few times this month because it almost overheated.
After starting the car, I look down to see that I have two unread messages and one missed phone call. The phone call is from "Unavailable" and I think to myself, Yea, me too . The two messages are from one of my clients who decided to text me at around 8 a.m. this morning. It is now 1:30 p.m. As a general rule of thumb, I never answer my phone until after 2 p.m., which is when our shop opens.
It never ceases to amaze me how anyone can get a driver's license in this state. Seriously, you should be required to pass an intelligence test, asshole test, anger management test, douchebag test, and bitch test first. I stop on the way at the nearest convenience store for a double shot of espresso and a coffee/energy drink. After fighting traffic, hitting every red light, and even getting stuck waiting for a train, I arrive at my destination intact.
I swallow some more coffee, grab my bags and head inside. The alarm beeps at me as soon as I step in the door, and I punc