Recovering @ Chillies and learning a valuable lesson in love.

2 days post tattoo

Sue and I wake up extra puffy and swollen the morning after our tattoo trauma.

Roy, views us both and jokes – ‘What time does the show begin?’

As a thankyou for being incredible hosts, I take Sue and Roy to Chillies for lunch, a Western Mexican grill-house that serves the best burgers in South America (according to Sue). As we’re seated in the diner, Roy’s taunt rings in my head and I self-consciously take off my sunglasses.

T, to Sue – ‘Do I look like a bad drag queen?’

Sue – ‘No! I think you heal very fast, not like me!’

I looked at Sue, who didn’t look bad at all apart from swollen eye-lids that were slightly red, and realised that we were both being extra hard on ourselves.

At that moment a handsome waiter walks past our table and stares at me, but not with a ‘grab your pitchfork and run!’ horror, but with a flirtatious, seductive look and a cheeky grin.

Seeing this, Sue turns to me with a smile that said ‘See, you and you’re permanent eye-liner are going to be just fine … ‘

Sue, sitting across from me and close to Roy – ‘You know, after Roy and I had been married for many years, I asked him once to close his eyes and tell me what colour my eyes are’

Roy, who was in the middle of devouring his juicy Chillies burger, chokes, then starts giggling at the memory fondly.

T – ‘Oh no, don’t tell me you got it wrong?’

Roy, his blue eyes squint from laughing heartily, honestly says – ‘ I thought they were green!’

I look at Sue with her olive complexion, that tans so easily, and her dark hair. Anyone would have correctly guessed that her eyes were brown!

Sue, her warm brown eyes filled with disbelief, even after all these years – ‘He said green! Not even black! But GREEN!’ throws her hands up in exasperation.

Roy, who has loved Sue from the moment he set eyes on her 39 years ago, was doubled over laughing. He too was amazed that he had answered a question, that should have been so easy, so wrong.
I learnt something very important that afternoon, that just because your loved one doesn’t remember your important features, like the colour of your hair or the colour of your eyes, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love or appreciate you! No, it means that they are colour blind.

My first tattoo … well, sort of.

Scene 1 – The part where I didn’t think
In a casual conversation while helping Sue hang the washing one morning.

T, spontaneously while pegging a pair of Roy’s shorts on the line ‘ Hey, we should get our eye-liner tattooed’

Sue in a slight Peruvian accent- ‘ Yes, do you want to do it today?’

T, surprised at how quick and easy the decision was – ‘I’m game if you are’

And that was that.

Scene 2 – The part where I did think
That afternoon we’re at the beauty parlour.

Sue, 61, anxiously –‘ Let’s not tell Roy (her husband), he’ll come at us with a whip!’ laughing, then adds in a matter-a-fact tone ‘ … Actually, he won’t even notice.’

We’re given a choice of who wants to go first and as I was still struggling with the word ‘permanent’ I graciously, if not cowardly, gave Sue the honours.

I watched nervously as Sue lay down on the reclined parlour chair with the spotlight shining in her face, looking ever so calm and relaxed as the beautician prepared her tools.

The beautician shows Sue a needle, then proceeds to inject an anesthetic into her eyelid.

The loose anxiety I felt turned into a tight ball of fear – needle?! I didn’t know this would involve a needle? In my eye!! As usual, I had only thought about the outcome and not the process.

I then watched the beautician tense Sue’s right eyelid while using the dentist drill sounding device to tattoo the eye-liner. During this time I could see Sue’s eyes flickering wildly underneath.

Brave T thinks, ‘Come on, if Sue at 61 can do this then so can you’

Shit scared T thinks, ‘Be reasonable, the womans had 3 children – she can bear anything!!’

Scene 3 – The part where I cried and discovered I had no balls.
Before I knew it, the beautician was helping Sue to the recovery bed with two white cotton patches over her eyes. It was my turn.

She didn’t even need to get to the needle part, only the topical numbing cream part, when my eyes started weeping heavily.

T, face covered in tears but not actually crying – ‘Is this normal?’

Beautician in Spanish with Sue translating – ‘ You have very sensitive eyes’

Answer equals abnormal. . . shit shit shit shit shit!

I felt a stinging prick as the needle entered my eyelid. More tears, now accompanied by a runny nose – Not pretty.

The beautician, who I hoped wasn’t feeling tired and sloppy from her hour session with Sue, started tattooing the corner of my right eye.

T, doing deep yoga breathing, thinks – ‘ooh, this tickles, but it’s not so bad, I can do this’

As the beautician made her way to the centre of my eye-lid, the tickling sensation became almost unbearable and my eyes started to flicker wildly as Sue’s had done. I could see a white light shining through my eyelid and started to fear that my eyes were going to fly open from the irritation, and then the tool that sounded and felt like it was making thousands of tiny incisions all at once was going to go directly into my eye!

T, panicked – OMG, any second now she’s going to tattoo my eye-ball!’

I seriously thought about getting up and leaving. Then I had a flashback to the scene in the movie ’40 Year Old Virgin’ when the guy leaves in the middle of his painful chest wax looking ridiculous with a chest full of thick black hair except for a couple of bald strips across his nipple. No, I couldn’t leave, not with only one eye done.

I lay there and took it, making low whimpering wounded animal noises every now and then, and slight head jerks whenever the tickling or sting got too much. Much respect to our beautician – a talented professional who when doing my left eye injected an extra load of anesthetic. Smart move!

Scene 4 – The part where we look like bad drag queens
Sue and I arrive home sore and tired, wearing large sunglasses to cover the immense swelling in our face, a swelling that was visually intensified by the black dramatic lines that now framed our googly eyes. We had that surprised, punched in the face without smudging the eye-liner look going on.

Roy, anxious, to his wife Sue – ‘Come on, show me what you’ve done’

Sue reluctantly takes off her dark glasses.

Roy, 71, standing nose to nose with Sue, stares at her face in high concentration and finally says – ‘I can’t see nothing… what did you do?’