Did you see what I did with the title there? Damn clever eh?
It was about two years' ago that I got my tattoo, to this day the first and only one. It's a circular patterned thing, supposedly some kind of Polynesian design. I chose it because I liked it, there was no deep meaning and no hidden declaration of love for my family or anything like that involved in my choice.
Tattoos are trendy at the moment, of that I'm sure. When I was a kid they were the sign of a hard working class man, a Navy fellow or a builder, a wedding planner or someone like that. These days we've all got them. Whatever country we live in they're the must have fashion item of the day, a prerequisite for people thinking of getting into advertising. Many music studios won't let you in unless you can show that you've got a bit of ink somewhere on your person.
I've mentioned it before but I'm against ugly or unstylish people having tattoos. In recent years I've seen some of the most plain looking people, usually Australian, with body art. People who look as if they're about to go for an audition on one of these "What not to wear" programmes. Really, there's nothing worse than glancing at one of these square types and then having to do a double take because you catch sight of the devil on their left ankle or a tramp stamp crawling towards an arse that looks like one of the ones found at Pinnawala with a trunk at the other end.
When I got mine done I put a bit of thought into the position of it. Music Biz bro has one of those all over tattoos, starting just above the elbow on one arm, crawling across his back and shoulders and finishing up just above the other elbow. All well and good for people like him and D, but not for me. I wanted a bit more subtlety, something that wouldn't be seen all the time, that could be hidden whenever I wanted it to be.
The top of my left arm it was then. With hindsight I'm not sure if it was a good place to choose. I achieved my objective in the subtlety vein, but the result is that it rarely gets seen. If I have no shirt on or a sleeveless thing on then all can see and admire it. If you're lucky enough to sleep with me you'll probably see it too. But it's bad enough being a drummer at my age, I'm sure as hell not going to start wearing vests as well.
When I got it done I was warned that tattoos become addictive. I laughed in the face of those who told me so. How wrong I was.
Here's the thing, as the Americans say. I think I might want to get another one done. I want it to be a bit more visible, but not so much that every Sri Lankan Aunt will look at me and think I'm a bank robber or a creative. I've been biding my time and gathering my thoughts and I've concluded that I'd like something a bit meaningful, to reflect Sri Lanka and drumming, two of my loves. I'm not the kind of person to get my daughters' names done or anything like that.
I've been looking for a nice line drawing of a Kandyan drummer for inspiration but so far haven't been able to find one. That's as far as I've got. I still don't know where I'd put it and I don't know exactly what "it" is.