• Melissa Maxx

BLOG POST:A Cautionary Tale of Tattoos, Bike Messengers and Blondes.

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

My first blog post was a bit...um...heavy, so today I want to focus on the funny moments in life. The incidents that become stories. The adventures that make you giggle decades later.


Let me tell you the story about my very first tattoo...


(This is not a picture of that tattoo. This is a cover-up of that tattoo done at by @rubys_ink. Keep reading, all will be revealed in good time. )


Once upon a time, a long long time ago, I lived in Boston. At the time Boston had something called “blue laws”, which were antiquated laws restricting things like alcohol purchases and getting tattoos. (basically all the fun stuff)


The repressive laws forced young tattoo seekers to either go out of state, or go underground, to get their artwork done.


I decided I wanted my first tattoo. I mentioned this to my roommate Jill, who was a bike messenger. Jill told me she had a bike messenger friend who also did tattoos out of her apartment, on the side.


Jill said she would gladly make me an appointment, and the best part,was that her friend wasn’t charging for her tattoo work that week!


The appointment was made. Jill accompanied me to a small, dingy apartment in Somerville. Once there, I lay down on a cot in a living room, with cats walking across my body (normally a treat for me, but in this case seemed a little less than hygienic) as the tattoo artist got to work on what was supposed to be a dainty butterfly tattoo.


When she finished, I said to Jill, (not being able to see it myself) “how does it look?” Jill hesitated, and then said, “… It’s BOLD!”


That wasn’t the answer I was looking for. I was confused, and if I'm honest more than a little bit concerned. Spoiler Alert: with good reason.


The tiny, delicate, butterfly that I had envisioned, turned out to be a ginormous black moth-bat looking hybrid. 😩 A monolithic "Mothat" a stupendous "Both".


But wait,… there’s more.


The “artist” then turned to me and said, “that will be $60”. She then left the room.


I looked at Jill in shock and then, whisper/yelled (whelled? Yispered?)

“I thought you said she wasn’t charging????!!!!”


Jill look confused and replied, “ I don’t understand, when I spoke to her and asked about making an appointment, she said she was free all week!” 🤦‍♀️


(yes Jill was blonde, not that there’s anything wrong with that)


Epilogue: After many excruciating laser tattoo removal sessions, and quote a few tattoo coverup sessions the "Both" is no more.


Epilogue to the Epilogue: This was not the only er, unfortunate tattoo decision I would make in my life. For proof you may want to dig up an old episode of the TV show "LA Ink" for further adventures in tattoo cover ups! 😳


Epilogue to the Epilogue to the Epilogue: My dearest Jill has since passed away. I think of her often. Her legacy is not in just who she was, but who she allowed ME to be. Jill ignited in me, a life force that was always there, but that I was too afraid to tap into.


Moral of the story: Tattoos don't last forever, but true friendships and funny stories do.