On my left wrist is a small, black infinity symbol designed to look like a snake eating its own tail. I don't even like snakes, and yet midway through university I paid to have this etched into my skin forever. Perhaps this is one of my favourite pieces of art, I love the shape of the snake's fangs, I love the motion portrayed in the body. Everything about this I love. It also helps that I considered this tattoo for a good several years before I committed.
It's every bit addictive as people say, but even for someone who enjoys bits of body art I'm aware of its permanence. Which doesn't bother me, really, my body is scarred and marked and stretched: skin is by nature permanent and why should I ever regret putting a piece of art on myself? I have plenty of permanent marks that I would wish away if I could, my tattoos do not fit that bill.
As soon as the last puncture of the tattoo gun was completed, I began contemplating my next tattoo. Upon the completion of our last exam we simultaneously had the word surgite, our university's motto, scrawled across our ankles. Since that moment I have been thinking constantly about what comes next.
For years my mind has been playing with the image of a shooting star. Lately it has been more on my mind than usual, and I'm coming to think that it will be next. That perhaps it will mean more than how pretty it is to me, perhaps it will also mark the fleetingness of life and loss and will symbolize the pregnancy that was gone so soon after I found out about it. A star blazing across the sky. That while beauty in this world can be gone all too soon it's still there, it still exists, and it is still a small form of magic.
Thinking about the small pile of allowance money I have saved, parting with a week or two's worth on this seems worth it. The idea has been settling into my mind and it seems more real and more right. It feels like me like something that belongs on my skin. Of course there's still plenty to do: choose a final design, choose a size, choose a location, find a local tattoo artist that I like.
There's time, though. My skin isn't going anywhere. As long as I'm here, so is it.