Biography of a Tattoo

“What if human sexual desire turns out to be merely an ‘animal’ instinct? That is, what if it’s just a biological urge which […] fixates itself on certain physical types, shapes, faces, personalities, and out of all that […] we try to construct ‘meaningful’ relations?” ~ Stan Perksy, Autobiography of a Tattoo (1997)

I have three tattoos: the Cameron Clan seal (to represent my father’s family), a Hereford bull’s head (to represent my mother’s family), and Cindy Lou Who over my heart. There is only one “true” story as to how she came to be there. I’ve been told that others abound. I’ve never heard them. I don’t gossip and don’t give a flying fuck about people who do. But, here for the record, is the biography of my Cindy Lou Who Tattoo.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am, well, girl crazy. In fact, if you are a young brunette of my acquaintance, I can pretty much guarantee that I have dreamt about us, in some exotic locale, fucking like two feral dogs. One such young woman crossed my path nearly three years ago. I was smitten the moment I saw her. You see, I am also a perennial, hopeless, capital-R Romantic. The moment I saw her, I fell in love.

Head over heels.

Well, I think it was my heels. I couldn’t see them at the time.  When I stepped on the scale I weighed 5lbs less than Homer Jay Simpson. Yup. I was 5lbs lighter than the icon of fat slatternly faineance.  I had really let myself go.  No self-respecting woman would want to be with me. So, I got off my ass and started jogging, fixed my diet (no deep-fried foods, no deserts, no junk food), and started taking a real care about the amount and types of toxins I’d fed into my system on a far too regular basis. Over that summer, I lost 30lbs. After that summer, on her birthday, I had Cindy Lou Who tattooed over my heart.

Why Cindy Lou Who? Because she was the cute little creature who gave the Grinch his heart back. So did she. In more ways than one. We never got together. No exotic locales. No feral dogs. But she is my friend. She makes me smile, and my mood always brightens whenever she enters a room. Coming to grips with who she was made me come to grips with who I was and wanted to be.

I still love her, but as a dear dear friend.  She is by no means perfect, and she does not stand above me, looking down from a pedestal of my own design… But any girl who comes for my heart has to get past that tattoo first. It’s not a symbol of what she is worth. It is a symbol of what I must do to attain the things I desire and deserve.


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