A Tattooed Head

I met a young man today at the recycle station in Santee. He was at the pay window processing his company’s recycle, which took longer than the usual two or three minute visit to receive payment for my household plastics and bottles.

His head was shaved and he had a tattoo on the side of it, just behind the ear. It was pretty big, took up about a quarter of his head. It was a cross between a skull and a grinning pumpkin–a happy skull tattoo. When he leaned back from the pay window I caught his eye and smiled, pointed to his head and said “you have a tattoo on your head!”

He turned his head around and bent down to where it was closer to my level. “You might like this one better.” It was a big heart with MOM in script across the middle of it. “I like both of them just fine,” I said. “I just don’t see many people with tattoos on their head. It’s unique.”

“Yeah, I get lots of comments on it.” He grinned.

“How did you decide what to put up there?”

“My mom is the best mom ever. My sister and I call her “The Mom.” I asked him if she liked it and he said that she loved it. Any mom would.

The other tattoo was the logo of an old band called The Misfits which I thought I’d heard of, but then later when I thought of it I must have been lying just to be conversational because I can’t think of even one song The Misfits ever did.

He said he’d gotten the “Mom” tattoo a week before his sister was married in Las Vegas. I told him my sister got married in Las Vegas, too, and by an Elvis impersonator who was just fantastic. (She and her husband were married in The Chapel of Love, it was too romantic for words.) He and I got into a spirited conversation about all things Las Vegas until it was time for him to leave.

It makes me smile to remember the happy skull tattoo and the young man underneath it. I like surprises like that.Misfits_logo


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