This past weekend, my tattoo artist Derek and I started work on what will ultimately become a half-sleeve, meant to commemorate my experience at the Keys ultra. The first stage is done, a bouquet of tropical flowers and palm frond on my left shoulder that is currently itching and peeling under my cardigan. When everything is complete, my upper arm will be a tropical jungle of brightly-colored flowers and birds.
When people find out that I have several tattoos, they are often surprised. “You don’t seem like the kind of woman to have a lot of ink,” they say. I get it. I have that kind of middle-class, wholesome, blonde-ponytail, white-teeth aura specific to those of us brought up as Utah Mormons. My people do garments, not tattoos.
Truthfully I don’t have any of the markers that would indicate I belong to a tattoo-friendly subculture. …
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