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Gosh - Tactical Ninja

Jan. 5th, 2011

09:32 am - Gosh

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I am at my desk. I left it tidier than I thought I had. I've just caught up with the one other person who has come back this week, and now I'm trying to remember where I put the thing. You know the thing that is the key thing to guide the other things I have to do this week? Yeah, that. No idea where it is.


My colleague-in-early-starting is also in my team. A couple of years ago she had a kidney transplant and now she's on immuno-suppressants. Over the Christmas break she had a very unpleasant time in which a very minor infection landed her in hospital for 6 days with life-threatening symptoms and a few days missing from her memory. Yikes.

In the course of our conversation about this, she happened to mention the way immuno-suppressants mean that you have to be careful being around people with cuts on their fingers because it could mean another trip to the hospital if you pick up any bugs off them. At this point I felt obliged to tell her that my entire back is an open wound, since it could impact her health if she 'comes into contact' with it, and I have no idea what 'comes into contact' means in this circumstance.

It was interesting watching her response, and gave me some insight into how the other half thinks, since I spend most of my time surrounded by people who see body art as normal and valid, and aren't squicked by the idea of inflicting pain on oneself for it.

I do understand that scarification is considered to be pretty out there, even by folks accustomed to tattoo and piercing. I think there's a perception among many people that cutting equates to trauma and fear, because most times you end up with a permanent scar it's the result of an accident, and accidents usually include aspects of trauma and fear. And I can understand that it definitely isn't something everyone would be interested in doing. But it's quite a step from "Not really my thing" to the kind of faces that my colleague pulled when she realised what I was talking about. The concept is so far outside her paradigm that I had to be pretty graphic before she understood what I meant by scarification, and then she was all *shudder* "OMGomgomg", and now she won't meet my eyes.

I'm mostly interested in making sure I keep her immune system safe from my open wounds, rather than keeping her psyche safe from my freakazoidiness. So hopefully when she gets back from her coffee she'll be able to discuss this with me.

Meanwhile, I guess I should get used to that kind of reaction. It's particularly gory at the moment but it'll get less so, and I'm not planning on introducing myself to people with "Hi I'm Tats and I have lacerations all over my back", however I guess I should start thinking about what I'm going to say when people ask about it.

Two questions I suspect I'll get asked a lot:

1. What does it mean?
2. Why did you do it?

I haven't really formulated a glib answer for either of these, although on the first one I think, unless it's someone I know well enough to discuss really personal stuff with, I'll just tell them it's a time machine and if they hug me I'll take them to another dimension. The second one is harder. I do have my reasons, but explaining these would also reveal a lot of my inner workings in a way I'm not comfortable doing with a stranger. It also seems strange to me that body art seems to require justification - do we have to justify wearing jewellery or makeup, or styling our hair a certain way? So why do we need to justify other aesthetic choices if they're permanent and involve pain?

I also understand that it's natural for people to be curious about these things - they're also the first questions that pop into my head when someone gets a piece done. But I don't really have answers-suitable-for-not-close-friends sorted yet so there might be some toe scuffing and evasion in my future. Choice.


Meanwhile, I successfully put work from my mind for two countem two whole weeks. And in that time I realised that the world will not end if I don't get all the work done in time. When I leave for Hong Kong I'll leave a pile of paper including the rule book and a list of links to where material and forms can be found. If anything comes up while I'm away, someone can bravely take on the stuff I do every day. About time someone else learned how to do it..

Gosh. Work. Mah brainz, they no worky!

Comments:

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From:khaybee
Date:January 4th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
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For question #2, it seems that a variation of, "To mark a milestone in my personal journey" is enough of an explanation without getting too personal. It is also a good place from which to state that further questions are too personal.

It is beautiful. I am glad your experience with Scott was good. I have huge respect for the man.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 4th, 2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
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That is a very good answer. Thank you! ;-)
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From:ferlengheti
Date:January 4th, 2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
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you already take me to another dimension when you hug me. it doesnt happen nearly enough.
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From:thesecondcircle
Date:January 4th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC)
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Were I in your situation, I wouldn't have gone into detail. I'd have said "you know I have a really large cut on my back right now (technically true) -- will that be a danger to you?" And if she said "how did that happen" I'd say "hey, you know, these things happen" and let her draw her own conclusions.

I mean, if people see it and ask that's one thing, but it's on your back and won't necessarily be on full display at all times (unless your work has a WAY more fun dress code than mine).

So since we have similar professional jobs, I'm curious why you did choose to talk about it when you didn't have to? Or talk about it in the way that you did? Or really what I'm asking is how you reconcile the more mainstream parts of yourself with the less mainstream.

On a different note -- It's beautiful and I can't wait to see it healed and neatly scarred. I'd like to hear whether the healing hurts more than a tattoo because well-done scar work is AMAZING.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 5th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
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Mostly because I didn't think of that! I was kind of like "Um, I should tell her so she knows what to do" and then blurted.

Luckily my work colleagues, while fairly staid themselves, are used to my pink hair and most of them have seen my brand and and know about the firespinning and whatnot, so have some idea that I'm 'a little alternative' so are less surprised when I do things that are considered a bit radical than they otherwise might be. I think most of them see it as a sort of novelty.

This colleague took a couple of hours to think about it, then came over and got really interested in the technical details of how it was done and what it was like. Yay! ;-)
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From:lifeofreilly
Date:January 5th, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)

it reminds me

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It reminds me of DMT visualizations. :)
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From:tatjna
Date:January 5th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)

Whatever you do

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NEVER google Machine Elf Porn.

Just saying..
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From:lifeofreilly
Date:January 5th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)

Re: Whatever you do

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Done. I'll avoid it!
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