The last two days have been…uncomfortable. I feel like I have been flayed.
The result, however, is staggering.
Day Five of My Meatshop Tattoo
Having spent much of yesterday transcribing runes, Peter is keen to get as much dotwork done as possible today.
In theory, that is great. In practice, it involves getting up at 08:00, sitting into the tattoo chair at 10:00 and staying there until 19:00 (with the exception a short lunchtime, during which I somehow manage to squirt fresh lime juice onto my still-bleeding arm – HOW?!).
Peter starts with the rest of my forearm: the wyrm, bindrune and armour. Pretty quickly, the effect he is going for becomes clear:
Parts are searingly painful, parts I can barely even feel. It’s a strange experience, large-scale tattooing. For Peter, however, there is no blissful change in pace. For him, it’s nine hours of dot…dot…dot…dot…dot.
Even at a rate of 10 dots per second (or so) it would be mind-numbing work for the average person, let alone a human being bubbling with as much creative energy as the Walrus. I almost feel guilty. Almost. After all, this is his crazy idea! It came to him in a dream!
With the exception of the occasional coffee and stretch break, however, he powers on. When my outside of my forearm is finished, he moves on to the inside of my forearm – then my biceps. Typically a very sensitive place for most people, I characteristically barely feel a thing. He flies through the work.
Despite the lack of pain, my arm is starting to suffer. Those who stand next to me can feel the heat radiating from it: Camilla, The Meatshop’s charming and hilarious reception sprite, discovered this whilst trying to find me an interesting type of tea to take my mind off the process.
By the end of the day, my arm is a swollen mess. It is all I can do to shuffle home, shower and flop into bed. Not even the snoring, shagging people of the Downtown hostel can keep me awake tonight. I am high as balls on endorphins which, for somebody as endorphin-accustomed as me, is hugely impressive.
We have made amazing progress in one sitting, but Peter is getting concerned about my skin. The sheer amount of punishment it has endured over the last 16 hours could mean it will soon start to rebel, kick out the ink and scar. Whatever we do tomorrow, we will be taking it somewhat easy.
Day Six of My Meatshop Tattoo
Somehow, my arm has made some kind of miraculous overnight recovery. It’s half the size it was when I went to bed and, despite the now constant throbbing pain, we are back to drilling it full of ink. Today, we’re doing the back of my arm. The most uncomfortable part (for me).
We are not, however, going to have time to add the colour into it. The addition of the runes and sheer surface area of skin that Peter has en-blackened with individual dots has meant that we simply don’t have time during this visit.
This doesn’t bother me. I love it here: I love Copenhagen, I love The Meatshop and I love being tattooed. I love the Danish people (those I’ve met) and I love the people in The Meatshop even more. If money wasn’t an issue (which is always is), I would probably never leave.
In short, y’all need to buy my forthcoming book. Please.
Vikki arrives early on Friday afternoon and, as is her way, immediately purchases all the cakes in Copenhagen. Thus, our fate is sealed. Fuelled by cakes and Troll Rage, Peter and I plough through the rest of the skin on my arm. We finish with my elbow, as some kind of grim finale.
By the time we finish, even the music has died.
There are now well over half a million dots on my arm. It has taken 36 hours of tattooing to get this far, using a machine that punctures my skin 80 times per second…and it has been worth every micro-stabbing.
Now, to sleep.