319/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. In my adult years, I have loved drawing attention to myself through my appearance. I am a confident man who enjoys expressing myself in multiple ways – I’ve already talked about my hair (literally the pinnacle of my aesthetic self) but today is about the body art that I adorn myself with and the two gentlemen who so greatly helped in getting me to the point where I got inked. I have always wanted to get tattooed and would looked longingly at others over the years at artwork that looked incredible in my eyes. However, the other thing that would catch my attention (or sometimes rather not) was the location of such artwork. In my mid to late 20s, I decided to go get my eyebrow pierced – yes, it was de rigeur to be so avant-garde (oh how it really wasn’t as everyone had one but not the point 😉 ). I found myself at Sacred Heart Tattoos on West 10th and the owner happened to be my piercer. There I am lying down at his station and he’s sterilizing the equipment and putting on his gloves while he’s been conversing with me. He then just stops and says “You are not getting an eyebrow piercing. You are not ready for it. In fact, it’s not you”. I was shocked. I didn’t know it but he did. He was right. He read my body language. He told me that he could have pierced me and taken my money but I wouldn’t be happy. He told me to give it 6 months and if I still wanted it, to come back and he said one more thing. I would be one for a tattoo – a uniquely placed, meaningful tattoo when I was ready for it. His words stayed with me for over a decade and a half and every time I thought of getting a tattoo, I knew where I would get it done. To celebrate my 40th, I knew exactly what I wanted. Tattoos. Not one but two. The names of my kids – things I would never regret. I designed the font. Cursive and looks Sanskrit like lettering but the words are in English – Natasha and Ethan the names of my kids as we are Western with an Eastern influence. Each of them chose the colour of the font – Blue and Green. I also decided where I wanted them. Inner forearms. I took it to Sacred Heart. Sadly, the owner (whose name escapes me) was no longer there. I contemplated on hunting him down and for some reason I didn’t but was turned over to the Candyman. He refined the tattoos slightly. The date was set, all instructions abided by and I showed up. Once again, my nerves started showing and he stopped preparation. I told him I didn’t want them anymore. He asked the best clarifying question – do I not want the tattoos or rather, do I not want them where I had originally decided. He hit it bang on. I didn’t want them on my forearms as they would be too noticeable. He went through various body areas giving me reasons why they were NOT me. He was right. He then told me that I would be the guy who have them start on my inner arm up near my arm pits and work towards my elbows – thus hidden by a full shirt but peek-a-booing beneath a tshirt and sparking discussion because of the uniqueness of the font. How damn right he was in hindsight. I got them done (now over a decade ago) and I absolutely love them. I love the conversations – Ethan is my right hand man since his name is on my right side and Natasha is close to my heart since her name si on my left side. I love how stylish my ink is. I love absolutely everything about them! Thank you nameless manager 😦 and Candyman and thank you Sacred Heart for giving me something that I am proud to wear every single day of my life!