Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tattoos and Reading

When I was a teenager I used to read a lot. I remember walking to the library and picking out books excitedly on a weekly or semi-weekly basis. My first reading love was horror: Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Saul, etc. From there I started reading the cheesy stuff of Sidney Sheldon and Lawrence Sanders. It was also in that public library that I got my first real dose of gayness. No, I did not blow anyone in the bathroom! I discovered some gay novels and magazines, which at that young age was like an exciting taboo. I remember reading John Fox's novel The Boys On The Rocks and completely relating to the title character, a teenage boy who begins exploring his sexuality. I also remember reading John Rechy's Numbers, which chronicled one young man's sex odyssey as he goes around having sex with random strangers. At the time I thought it was bizarre and didn't quite understand someone randomly having casual sex with strangers, boy how young and naive was I. At 39 I now look back and understand what he was writing about.

But sometime in my mid-twenties I kind of lost touch with reading. I would attempt to pick up a book here and there but would find that I wouldn't have the concentration or focus to really finnish it, even though I may have found it interesting. Now that I think of it it's probably because I set about actually living and experiencing things instead of reading about them. As a kid you read and hear about things and as an adult you do them I suppose. Still, the desire to go back to the world of reading remained with me, if vaguely buried deep in my subconscious.

Then not too long ago I was in a bookstore with a gal pal and she showed me a book she read about a girl who becomes a vampire. She said it was funny and sarcastic. I picked up a few other books by this same author and found one that had an interesting premise: a guy in San Francisco is appointed the role of Death. The novel is A Dirty Job and the author is Christopher Moore. I bought it and started reading pages here and there, finding it interesting. Then for a few weeks I stopped reading it. Which brings me to now.

Just a few days ago I had an appointment to get a tattoo. Stay with me, this is related to reading.... So I thought about what to do while I get my tattoo, since none of my friends were going with me like they had during past tattoos. Talk to the tattoo artist, look at the decor of the tattoo shop, check my e-mails from my phone, read a magazine.... then I thought, why not bring my book and read while i'm getting inked? So I brought it along and while I lay there, shirtless on the table while the artist sliced some ink into my chest I found myself picking up where I left off and enjoying myself. Midway through a customer came in and started talking to my tattoo artist. She must have been a regular because he told her he needed to show her a piece he was working on for her. While he took a break from my tat the woman noticed the book I was reading and enthusiastically said how much she loved it. We chatted for a while about it, and it was nice to bond with a complete stranger while laying on a table shirtless with ink being sliced into my body, haha! She even talked about how she was inspired to get a tattoo based on the cover art of the book. So all in all I found it pretty amusing how getting a tattoo has indirectly jump-started my enjoyment of reading again. Don't know how long it will last but for now i'm going with it. Hell, if i'm going to consider myself a geek bear then reading would fit in well with that category, no?

No comments:

Post a Comment