Sometimes it's possible to accomplish something important by doing
nothing at all. Well, actually, I did do something. I resisted. I
think that counts. Here's my story.
Many of my friends have been getting pierced and tattooed for years.
It's huge. Every neighborhood has at least one bodypiercing/bodyart
place. Seems like they outnumber taverns these days. Naturally, they
want me in on it.
"C'mon Mike," they say. "It's fun! It's addictive! What? Are you
afraid of needles? The pain feels good! And when it's over, you have
something to show for it!"
I find myself looking less and less like my friends because I'm not a
human signboard for little animals, death, and calligraphic text. To
compound the situation, I don't pick up the light in every room,
reflecting off little pieces of metal everywhere. (And I do mean
everywhere!) But I have a secret to share. I'll get to that shortly.
While they've been spending their paychecks on this hoopla, I've been
quietly satisfied with myself, exactly as I am. I'm not suggesting my
friends do it out of insecurity. Some do, obviously, but many got
started because their parents told them not to. I'm no momma's boy,
but I'd like to know what kind of a reason is that?
People are not packrats. OK, that's not true. I am a packrat. I keep
way too much stuff. But that's not really what I mean. I'm talking
about the fact that packrats are known to trade an item in their pack
for ever-shinier objects. I do it too, but the one that kicks me is
how my friends trade fifty dollar bills for yet another shiny piece of
metal, or yet another patch of scribbled skin.
Now, before anyone thinks I'm complaining, let me point out that I
believe in freedom to choose, and if that makes them happy, I'm not
going to stop them. What? Like they'd listen to me? I'm the prude with
no tattoo, remember? How would I know what it's like?
From my point of view, I don't need to find out. I don't think it's