As I begin to write this, tears are starting to well up. Stop being a crybaby! I hope you all do not mind this brief break from your normal geek schedule.
Being quirky and different has always been my calling card. It has always been what separated me from the other children on the playgrounds. I always swung too high or climbed to the top of a precarious jungle gym. In high school, I did everything. Cheering. Played clarinet. Was a Captain in our Army ROTC Battalion. Member of the National Honor Society. On top of school activities, I was writing my first manuscript, cosplaying and playing video games religiously. In college, I wore sweet lolita clothing to class and ran the Japanese club. I attempted to join a sorority unsuccessfully and took every single creative writing class offered.
And there was one person there through this all.
My best friend, Cierra, and I have been friends since preschool. I vaguely remember when I first saw her in our 4k class, but I most certainly remember her during the Easter Egg hunt because we have that on some dusty, ancient VHS tape. I remember how in second grade we were not in the same class and it irritated me. I remember in college how we took one class together and it was disastrous because we could not pay attention to the professor. She was the first person I called when I lost my virginity and the first person I called when I broke off my engagement. There is nothing that she does not know about me because I am a diary that she has the key to.If you would have told me my first tattoo would have been a matching tattoo, I would have scoffed. I have wanted a tattoo for a very long time, but am a very indecisive person. Cierra brought up the prospect of getting matching tattoos before. I always said no. I wanted something geeky and that is something she is not. My best friend and I are so different, but yet we are one in the same. It is a balance between us.
I was looking through tattoos randomly and sent them to Cierra. She already has several tattoos so it was more of a tease then anything. I did not expect her to come back to tell me we were actually getting them. I did not expect to agree. She told me I could pick the tattoo, so I picked a simple one that I could manage to sit through. We went to Dr Ink in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (also where I got my belly piercing eons ago). I had a very nice and patient artist named Josh who combatted my nervous chatter with interesting conversations about the geek art he had hanging up in his room. My first tattoo experience was brief, yet painful. It only took ten minutes, but I am already planning another tattoo!
This tattoo was not really meant to symbolize anything more then just another experience in the enormous book that is a 24 year friendship. It ended up symbolizing more, at least to me. It just symbolizes my true soul mate. My very, best friend in this whole world. We’ll never eat burgers with black buns again or tear pictures of Johnathan Taylor Thomas out of a magazine. We will forever sing Drake’s Headlines at top volume and cry laughing at band camp stories. Now we have this ink immortalizing spontaneous college parties and broken clarinet reeds and getting in trouble for talking in class. I will always be the weird one and you – the smart, clever one. I will always need you to make my decisions and you’ll always need me to give advice. You’re the Ron to my Harry. Robin to my Batman. Sulley to my Nathan. Basically, I am making you the sidekick in references that you may not even get (because I want to be the main character sometimes!), but that’s the beauty of our friendship – we are not easy to decipher.