It took years to find the design I wanted, and I found it in a sort of happenstance way. During my first visit to Brooklyn, New York, in fall 2000, I was leaving the Brooklyn Museum when someone randomly handed my then-boyfriend a flier for a spoken word event. He casually read it as I watched. Then he flipped it over and I snatched it out of his hand and gasped. It was The Black Butterfly — exactly what I wanted, but didn’t know I did.
I saved the flier for a year. This would be permanent, for a lifetime. If I grew old — like, 80s old — it would still be with me, so what was the rush? On the one-year anniversary of the day I found it, I headed to a reputable tat parlor on West Fourth and had it inked on the back of my neck in plain view and surprisingly hidden at the same time.
I thought about that decision. It was calculated, careful, not whimsical. And it … concerns me that more people don’t. By people, I don’t mean Chad Johnson, who recently tatted an image of his soon-to-be ex-wife, who he was arrested for head-butting and currently is refusing to divorce; or Rihanna, who just got inked with a gigantic image of the Egyptian goddess Isis with her full wingspan extending across Ri-Ri’s rib cage; or even Chris Brown, who just got a “Mexican sugar skull” on his jugular (that looks like the photo of his battered ex). They’re celebrities; they don’t count, even if they do influence.
(Continue reading at Clutch…)