The Scratch

Illustrated Man Series

The disjointed ink history of tattoo enthusiast and collector —

Tatec the Tolerant

Chapter One: The Scratch

In 1986, a SingleWhiteMaleUrbanProfessional was sent to a coastal shipyard town on a corporate boondoggle. He was a brash young man determined to permanently stamp his male identity on his skin.

At night, he cruised the seedy side of old town looking for the neon lights of skin canvas art shops. In his hand was a sketch of overlapped astronomical symbols scrawled on scrap paper.

He hesitated anxiously before entering the dim den emitting a menacing metallic buzzing. He saw walls covered with exotic symbols, cartoon figures, nautical themes.

The old flesh buzzard, his eyes cloudy with cataracts, lazily jackhammered jagged lines of black ink into the young man’s pale loins. The resulting epidermal stain resembled asymetric circles intersecting off axis.

The freshly marked man, feeling vaguely violated, returned home the conflicted owner of his very own ‘Scratch’.

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