Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

My New Friend

My New Friend

So after 2.5 hours in the chair, a lot of jaw-clenching, and couple of white-light-angels-singing moments, I have a new friend on my right arm. He’s a giant squid. I like him a lot.

The lines are done now. In a couple weeks, I go back for shading.

I know I’m going to be asked about him for the rest of my life (at least until I move out to that cabin in the woods and start my shotgun collection), so I thought I’d start keeping a list of answers to the “why” question. Here are a few I’m toying with.

  • Squid? What squid?
  • I just love calamari. Don’t you?
  • My parents were killed in a freak squid accident.
  • That’s between me and the squid.
  • I got suckered.
  • Get it off. Get it off!

Truth is, it’s not about the squid. Tattoos are symbols, not to be taken literally. My new friend is a reminder that I am connected to many things, that there’s mystery in the deep, and that if I really needed to, I could take on a whale.

I plan on making up new meanings for many years to come.

See also: On Permanence and Scars of Choice

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Hi, I’m Derek. I used to make websites. Now I grow flowers and know things. I’m mostly harmless. More.