Last Saturday I rung in my 27th birthday. It was a big day for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the conquering of several of greatest fears including karaoke and the injection of ink into my flesh.
It was a fantastic day from the start. I managed to conquer the DMV on my third attempt and finally relinquished my California ID, admitting once and for all that I have moved back to the mid-west. My new friend and neighbor Abigail hosted an all girls brunch and I made a gigantic pig of myself before wasting away the better part of my afternoon watching chick-flicks and napping, something I haven’t done in months.
Marcella and I had been chatting about going for tattoos for a while now. I have been talking about getting one for years, particularly since I went to Russia and had the “Chaika” (Seagull) or symbol of the Moscow Art Theatre burned onto my heart. For what was such a transformative experience I thought it was only fitting to have a permanent reminder to carry around with me.
This year has been my year to finish things, to set my mind to long-held goals and cross them off one at a time. I have conquered my fear of the water (or at least I am getting there), I successfully completed a play and a film and a grant application. I saw a relationship through to the end and I managed to do it without falling apart.
And it has become addictive, this finishing things business. Now I want to finish even more things, novels and plays and feats of athleticism that just might kill me.
So I decided for my birthday I would get that damn tattoo I had been yammering on and on about for so long. Poor Marcella had no idea what she was in for. I had failed to mention that I am completely terrified of needles or that when I get really scared I can’t stop smiling and I blabber in a high pitched voice that would drive sane men crazy. And it about did. After an hour and a half of waiting we finally got into the room to get inked. I kept covering my face with my hands and shook my head violently trying to calm myself down. Marcella laughed and told me I was spastic. The tattoo artists made fun of me and patiently tolerated my incessant questions. I held onto the edges of the table because I was afraid if I held Marcella’s dainty hand, I just might break it. The whole procedure took all of a minute in a half. I barely felt a thing but whined like a baby, ‘cause that’s what I do. When it was over I looked into the little hand held mirror at the small patch of decorated skin behind my right mirror and laughed at why I had made such a big deal of it all.
The tattoo artist said that he didn’t believe in medication but that maybe I should try Riddlin.
Maybe he was right because after that I felt high as kite and spent the rest of the evening celebrating with more than 20 of my closest KC friends. We had dinner, and dive bar Karaoke – which accomplished overcoming my second fear of the day. We closed down another bar on their outdoor patio and went back Marcella’s for a party that will go down in the history books.
All in all it was one of the best birthdays I have ever had and I spent the whole night thinking how lucky I was to have all of these wonderful people in my life and how crazy it is to know that last year I knew none of them. I had been alone and lonely in yet another new city and now I have so many supportive people in my life and so many new and exciting opportunities.
And I have no intention of stopping this finishing business. Next stop, August 8th and a parachute. Time to go sky-diving.