When I first noticed the strange arrangement of lettering running up and down my back, I wanted to rip it all away. So, what prevented me from doing exactly that? Weakness, my friend; nothing but a supreme fear of what might happen to my life if I decided to toss my backbone on the floor and stomp on it.
Looking back, not acting immediately was the worst decision of my life.
Have you ever thought about ripping out your weaknesses all at once, but in a moment of protocol and preservation, held off? Allowed the thoughts of a day job and a sanctity around your little mortgage or Honda Civic lease to keep you entwined to the physical abusings of your overlords? I sure as fuck have.
But I didn’t. That’s why I’m letting you know, right now, that if you ever begin to see the writing on the spine, you do exactly as I didn’t and get to digging immediately. You really ought to be aware of the fact that your life here is impermanent.
The faster you come to grips with the fact that, since you popped out of your mothers womb you have been hurtling towards an old barn door that is covered in rusty nails and splintered wood, the better off you will be.
Now, back to the letters.
I’m not a schizoid. I’m not a paranoid. I’m just a regular guy who doubles as a tattoo artist. I’m not a big fan of football.
I know evil lettering when I see it.
I can sniff it out.
You probably can’t. It’s not a skill that many people develop over their natural course. You probably grew up in a comfortable house, with a comfortable bed lining and a comfortable shower that spat forth comfortable water of a comfortable temperature right before you went to comfortable sleep.
I grew up in a barn, sleeping in hay, riding the waves of emotion of hunger and pain and death on a farm.
I learned all about lettering when I was a kid, and you still haven’t even the foggiest of what real lettering is all about.
See, lettering – whether tattoo or scrawl or the kind of lettering you find on ancient walls in tombs long forgotten – can be used for good or evil. My first real experience with evil lettering came a few years ago when my buddy Ludo, the Latvian beast, lumbered into my life and began chattering about how my tattooing was far too literal, less meaningful, and that I could have a much greater impact on the underworld if I just let my real lettering show through. If I trained the dark arts of dark tattooing.
That’s when I began to study. I mean, really study.