Tattoo #1 – “done lying for a living” – October 21, 2010

An image of my back showing a tattoo reading "done lying for a living" in script. The text is black. My skin is red around the edges; the tattoo was recently done at the time of this picture.

Thoughts on October 21st, 2010: “The words are lyrics from a song by Matthew Good — fellow Canadian, talented artist, and probably my most favourite singer ever. Song’s called “Strange Days”. Most of Matt’s songs seem to be open to interpretation. Personally, I’ve always regarded the song to be about the struggle of every day life and trying to just be, and I relate strongly to it.

These particular words were chosen, because I wanted them to coincide with starting testosterone. Beginning T is a huge turning point in my life. It’s the point where people can no longer ignore who I am, because they’re going to start seeing it up close. And I’m done pretending to be someone I’m not (“lying for a living”). Up until this year, I haven’t been able to live fully because I was holding myself back. Coming out to myself was one of the most liberating moments of my life.

Thus, this.”

Tattoo #2 – “don’t take it” – February 15, 2016

A picture of the underside of my forearm showing a tattoo of what looks like black geographic shapes. In the negative space, there is text reading "DON'T TAKE IT."

Thoughts on February 15th, 2016: “I’ve known for a while that I wanted to tattoo something on this arm, and it’s sort of been a toss-up between getting something specifically to cover the scars on this arm or something to go with them. I’ve ended up with this, which I don’t think really does either.

I’ve had a lot of tattoo ideas that have floated around since I got my first one, including ones that have literally stayed with me for years and it’s really only a matter of time and money before I get them done. This one moved to the top of the list because it is a reminder to myself, and it’s a reminder that I have needed a lot recently.

I haven’t been quiet about it being TØP-related. The negative space concept comes inspired from the singer’s own tattoo. The words in the negative space are TØP lyrics (”don’t take it” – “it” being your life). I’m aware I haven’t been a fan for a long time. Maybe I won’t like them a year from now. And the band members are human beings. There’s always the possibility that one of them will do or say something shitty and I’ll be sad that I even invested time and money into them in the first place. And the tattoo is solid black so there’s very little covering up that can be done with this without lasering it off first.

But right now the idea that I’ve been introduced to this music for a reason and that it’s making life more bearable is more important than potential future regrets. If it helps me get through even just today, is it not meaningful? Is it not worth it?

I think so.”

Tattoo #3 – Eclipse – June 11, 2017

An image of a tattoo on my left upper chest area. The tattoo is of a light blue budgie, perched on a dark red rose-like flower with olive green leaves. Behind the budgie is a crescent-shaped moon with diamond-shaped stars.

Thoughts on July 14, 2017: “About a month ago, I had the pleasure of getting my budgie memorial tattoo done. I’ve had six or seven budgies in my lifetime. Eclipse was the most important to me, but unfortunately also the one I had for the shortest period of time.

For some reason, I often forget exactly how much she meant to me until I read things that I wrote about her in the year or so following her death. I know she meant a lot. She still means a lot. But remembering exactly how much always brings back nice feelings.

Eclipse was otherworldly. She was unlike every budgie I’ve had before or since. I feel like a sick budgie would somehow be less likely to seek help from human beings, but Eclipse still came to me and chose me to take her home. She spent all of her time seeking warmth from me (first in my hands and later on my shoulder buried in my hair).  She learned how to escape her soft crate (no cage because she didn’t move a lot and couldn’t fly well) and liked to sit on the windowsill in the sunlight. She was bold and unafraid.

She died a month after I adopted her, but she made my life beautiful when she was here. When I buried her, I saw a mourning dove fly out of a bush right next to me, which I took as a sign of her being at peace.

Eclipse died almost ten years ago. It’s probably a wonder she stayed as long as she did, but it will never feel like enough time. Now she can stay with me always. :]”