This is from Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis:
Benjamin says, ‘The Human League are out. Over. Finished. You don’t know what’s going on, Kim.’
‘No, I mean, you really, don’t,’ he goes on. ‘I bet you don’t even read The Face. You’ve got to.’ He lights a clove cigarette. ‘You’ve got to.’
‘Why do you have to?’ I ask.
Benjamin looks at me, runs his fingers through his pompadour and says, ‘Otherwise you’ll get bored.’
And on Friday a get another tattoo. I’ve got to, otherwise I’ll get bored. I’ve got to maintain some kind of buzz and this new tattoo should keep me going for at least three maybe even four days.
So this new tattoo is on my left leg just below my knee (or at the top of the calf/shin if you like) and it’s made up of four words that go round my leg like a band. And these words have 29 letters in total and they are separated by this symbol / and they are written in the same font as my Bret Easton Ellis tattoo.
And the way this goes is that I finish work at 1730 and I take a Valium and two paracetamol and I go to the tattoo place where some guy measures my leg and makes a print of the design and as I sit there, the needle going through my skin, giving me some pleasure and some pain but mostly nothing because I’m drugged up, reading In The Penal Colony by Franz Kafka and Little Nicholas by Rene Goscinny (in a Greek translation) and I’ve also brought Less Than Zero with me but that is mostly for moral support and the guy is watching is watching a DVD called The Nazis: A Warning From History and then it’s done, 45 minutes, mayne an hour later, and I go home and I’m feeling spaced and the tattoo is wrapped up so I’m not sure what it looks like still.
And here are some pictures.
Picture 1: This is me, feeling the Valium waiting for things to start with Scott poking me because I’m not reacting
Picture 2: This is the guy transferring the print onto my leg
Picture 4: This is the mess on my leg before the needlework starts
Picture 6: This is some scratching happening
Picture 7: This is the same thing from a different angle
Picture 8: This is the guy doing the back of my leg
I cannot say what the tattoo says.