I’m old. The first blush of youth has long passed me by. The innocence has long ago been lost. The gilded age of the teenage years have long been residents of my memories. The thing is, I’m not so old that the grave is a stone’s throw away. There is still a good five decades or so for me to go, I think. But I have lived a relatively uneventful life.
Now, I have chosen to take steps that would, back in the day, be considered rebellious and downright foolish. You can thank KPop for that! And One Republic for their song, I LIVED.
I have a collection of rings. Unfortunately, my hands are small. I’m a small person. The rings I want are not compatible with my tiny hands. Biker rings, rocker rings with the skulls and the Fleur de Lys symbols, skeleton hands, the tall tubes…. Aaaaargh!!!! Why couldn’t I have been born with long fingers!!!! At least, the steel are compatible with my collection of silver jewelry I had long ago accumulated. I have been looking into military style boots, with the heavy track soles in black. I have yet to find one that I like.
Last year, I gifted myself with a second pair of ear piercings. I have plans to add a fifth one. Yes! Only one! So one ear will have three and only two on the other. This last one will be a cartilage piercing. It can wait two more years to coincide with a milestone.
The one thing that people are wary of, in my circle, is the stated wish to get tattoos. I have it sort of planned as well. Two words on my inner wrists and something on my right shoulder blade. What the image will be, I haven’t decided yet. Maybe a Phoenix Rising or Scorpio Rising. Maybe a water dragon for the water god, Lono, whom I have acquired a somewhat obsessive desire to delve deeper into.
One of the words on my wrists would be the cheer from the Philippines, Mabuhay! It means, Live! or Thrive! The other would be translated – hunger – bisin. The two will be done in the obscure script called Baybayin. The first is a reminder to me to live. Not merely exist, but to truly live. To examine my life and know all the adventures I’ve taken. The second is a reminder of what it takes to be successful. One must always remain hungry, for when one is satisfied, then there is no need to climb higher.
I have this recurring fantasy of baring my back in public and having a massive airbrushed work displayed. It wouldn’t be permanent because I’m the type that likes to change myself occasionally. And that’s too large to be permanently stuck on my body. But one on my shoulder blade should be okay. My fantasies of art include a tiger with its tail flicking my neck. Or a writhing Asian dragon with the tip of its ornate tail climbing up to the back of my ear. My hair would need to be cut very short or swept up to show it off completely.
Why? You might ask. One Republic’s song has a line that goes:
...I did it all! I owned every second that this world would give. I saw so many places… the things that I did… yeah, with every broken bone, I swear I LIVED…
I want this to be my epitaph, carved into the minds of those I leave behind. I do not plan for them to bury my carcass in some forgotten cemetery. I have stated that I expect to be cremated and my remains scattered in the ocean or to the wind. The specific places I named was the mountains of Tibet and Hawaii. But the local waters of the Bay Area would have been fine as well. I’m sure some are saying to bring my ashes to South Korea. My significant other had stated that I ought to be mixed in the barbeque grill ashes that way they will always have particles of me within them. A little too morbid for me.
But until it’s my time to go, I hope to live as fully as that song says. With every broken bone I swear I LIVED.
The tattoo and the piercings are just my small rebellion against conformity. It’s long overdue, but my advancing years make it easier for me to decide. Soon, I will bear the pain of the needles to mark on my body my philosophy, a reminder to my older self, a command to go down trying until the very end. And when they shove me into the oven, I hope my wrists will be prominently displayed so they that watch will remember my command, my advice, and I hope, my example.