Erin's staying with me for the week, which is lovely. She got in on Friday afternoon, and we've spent the extended-weekend snuggling and cooking and talking and running errands. It's been well over a decade since I've had a partner come to stay with me for longer than an afternoon, excepting Emily for the couple of years we were in DC and not living together. (And this past Xmas, I guess, though that was its own kettle of awkwardfish.) It's worked out rather well.
We went and got most of the Cargo furniture on Saturday, and it fits into the space pretty well though not quite as easily as I'd hoped. Gonna take a bit more rearranging to get it the way I want. Also, I'd like to get some art hung up sooner than later, in the hope that that'll help it feel more ... more real, more mine, something. I'm really good at getting my space about 80% of the way there, and then just not bothering with that last 20%.
Trips to the old condo are now most definitely Difficult, emotionally. Emily's solidly settled in and she's made the space her own. It's good to see her doing well. It's also rough to surround myself with... with how effectively I've been removed from something that used to be shared. There are still a couple more things that I need to do there: sorting artwork, for one. Maybe if I know / admit in advance that it's gonna be rough it'll be easier. Maybe.
I said "extended weekend" and I meant it. I took yesterday off work to get my second tattoo.
I've gone into extended detail about my first
. This one took much less dithering and deliberating. A couple of weeks ago I went in and spoke with Rachel Lige, an artist that Erin recommended, and tried to describe the idea I'd had in my head. She made approving noises and asked a few questions and used words like "negative space" that I hadn't had the vocabulary to put into my description and quickly sketched something that looked like it might conceivably approximate what I was thinking of. I put down a deposit and made a tentative appointment for, well, yesterday, and emailed her some reference material that afternoon (a few silhouettes, plus the Le Guin
and the Richard Siken
poems), and tried to think no more about it.
Until last week when she sent me a preliminary design, and it was just about perfect. As an added bonus, seeing it, rather than trying to visualise, gave me the ability to describe it. "On my left pec, a silhouette of a hawk in flight, dark purple and filled with stars, over a dark grey sketched-in landscape." I wrote back to her with a couple of minor suggestions and confirmed Tuesday.
The whole experience was markedly more pleasant than the previous one. Some of that's having Erin there for much of the time (she ducked out for an hour or so to run a few errands), some of it's feeling more comfortable with Rachel than with Gilda, some of it's just having been here before and knowing a bit better what to expect. It took, mm, somewhere between three and four hours. Much of it was painful but not so bad: bits directly over ribs or sternum pinched unpleasantly, and the area down towards my armpit was just plain more sensitive. Then the last half-hour to forty-five minutes, in a combination of 'going over parts that have already been poked raw two or three times' and 'body is just Done', were sheer unpleasant agony. So we got most of it done, and I'll be back in a month or so for touchup and to finish some of the outside bits.
It looks lovely, though right now it's more red than I'd like. One expects that that will improve as it heals. The landscape's more detailed than I'd expected, and maybe darker, but I'm happy with it. I'm particularly pleased with how the stars in the hawk came out.
I was distinctly lightheaded when I sat up: not just a standard low-blood-pressure thing, but a very specific floatiness and absence of conscious thought. It's neat. I'm glad Erin was there: she fed me half a litre of chocolate milk and guided me to the Ethiopian place on the Drive where we ate raw cow and spicy lentils, and then took me home and generally kept track of me. So that was lovely, too.
I've already got vague ideas for next/additional pieces. The first tattoo I ever considered, back when I was still in engineering, was an electrical ground symbol on my Achilles tendon, and I still (or maybe again?) think that's relevant. I've recently kicked around the idea of a tiny orange
, though that might be a passing fancy. And I've a mental image of a larger, brighter, piece on my right shoulder and upper arm. No sense of what it is, just that it... ought to be there, somehow.
In the meantime, I can focus on healing up from this one.