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Absinthe Dreams
and propane nightmares.
state of mind
I remember vividly the pain of my BME heart. I remember crying, shaking and twisting myself into positions I did not think possible.

Imagine after this, my horror at finding my body had rejected green ink and part of the outline, and I would need to have it re done.

I suck it in and decide to get booked in for my birds to be coloured and my heart to be re coloured.

The big day arrives and I am bricking it from the night before. I manage to shove some food down my throat before catching the bus with my mum and heading to Peterborough, we go shopping and we hit Starbucks (caffeine before a tattoo? Oops!) before going to Subways for lunch, after the last time I want to make sure I eat. I make the mistake of having a can of relentless (more caffeine but
plenty of sugar) and then we head to the sweet shop.

We go to the shop and find Jane is running a little late, not an issue, not a problem.

I’m still bricking it. Starting to realise how much pain I am going to be in. I hop between the tattooing upstairs and the shop downstairs chatting and trying to calm my nerves.

I was booked in from 3.30pm but we don’t get started till 4pm. Not a problem either – I’m booked in till 6pm. “We’re going to start with the black outline on the heart; we’ll see how we go after that.” Jane says; I nod.

We already know the colour scheme for the birds.

I then find out that I don’t remember quite as vividly the pain, as I thought I did. I am now told I went pure white as the needle went in.
Jane was fantastic and pretty much slung in the ink as fast as she could because she knew I was suffering. We didn’t even get half of the side done before I was crying. Jane and myself decide at this point that we will do the heart re colour another day and I will get some numbing gel beforehand.

My mum is holding one hand and in my other I have my small marmite Paddington bear. We start on my right bird first, the girl; pink, blue, green, red and white. The pain is intense. Not quite as bad as my heart by any stretch, but still intense. I feel the needle drumming on the bone, sweeping over the collarbone and going down over the top of my boob. The rest is easy enough. I have to apologise repeatedly for my squirming on the bed; Jane says its fine.
We then all (Keith, Mum, Jane, Tomm and Myself) that I could make my own
dairy milk advert with the faces I am pulling – add some music and wahay!

My Dad shows up just as I swap sides so Jane can get to my boy bird. I’m not cold but I have Goosebumps and my eyebrows (of all things) are sweating. I’m not quite as white anymore but still very pale.

What happens over the next 45 minutes is… interesting and quite strange. It has never happened before.

I remember the ends of the wings and tail being done and the spikes and heart being done, I remember looking and having a very close encounter with a tattoo gun.

My dad is sat at my feet, holding onto my leg trying to stop it shaking but I’m still not cold. I have Paddington in my right hand and the other is rested on my left thigh. Jane asks me to turn my head a little to the right so she doesn’t smack me in the face with the a** end of the tattoo gun and starts on the green of the body. I
don’t feel it- not the pain anyway. I can feel the needle as it rumbles over the bone of my chest, my arms and legs randomly tense and my feet twitch occasionally. I can hear the machine working, I can vaguely hear conversation
but I can’t concentrate on it much, although I understand enough to answer
something that is said to my mum by piercer Tomm.

My jaw is shaking, like when you’re too cold and teeth chatter, it stops occasionally as I swallow. My right hand is shaking slightly but my legs have stopped. Apparently my eyes were open but I don’t remember seeing anything. I lost about 40 minutes during this time. I remember Jane telling me she was done for the session. It was 5.25 when I looked at the clock again and we were done. I was bleeding a fair bit for what is normal for me and I’m still slightly confused about where I have been for the past 40 minutes. In a daze I sit and have
various pictures taken, a few with Jane and after paying I am blankly led down
the stairs. I feel totally relaxed. Not light headed, not faint. Totally at peace…it sounds strange and if someone had told me that is what would happen and how I would feel I would probably have laughed at them before.

After the fact, my dad told me I had a vacant expression on my face and was having random spasms down my legs and feet but was not in distress and I was answering questions coherently. Questions I cannot remember being asked. I was then told, by my mum, that I lost about ten minutes of time while having my first bird done, I was in the same “trance” and asked “Where is my daddy?”
Keith and Jane swear it happened but I don’t remember a thing about it
and unless joking around I don’t call my dad “daddy”.

What can I say except it is all a state of mind? It’s strange how so much pain can cause a person to go into a trance. It felt quite strange like I was there but I wasn’t. I wish I could do it more often, I hope in the future I will.

I’m told now that it was brink between awake and passed out.

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