By Jane Ozkowski
Saturday night, I found myself with a job at the National Motorcycle and Tattoo Show. I sampled kangaroo jerky and held out impotent pamphlets for motorcycle safety courses to bikers with face tattoos who refused to make eye contact.
And after I was at a friend’s house, drinking wine from a teacup and listening to a French band from Brazil. It was a record from the 1970’s, both authentic and ironic, and apparently, it kept skipping, and it might have been the wine, but I didn’t notice.
The tattoo booths, lined up at one side of the show, held overweight men with their shirts off and smelled antiseptic like some intimate sickness as though HIV had a scent. Even after I got on the streetcar, I could hear the tattoo guns buzzing like there was a man in the back seat giving out free tattoos to children, “Did you want an eagle or a crucifix?” He’d ask. “I’m only doing eagles and crucifixes from now on, or I can tattoo a picture of a cat on your neck.”
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