I’m a talker. It’s what I do.  Truth be told, sometimes I’m uncomfortable in large groups, but get me one on one and I’m a chatter box.

While walking the deck of a cruise ship I came face to face with “tattoo guy,” a man I’d guess was in his forties, nicely dressed, clean cut but whose face was completely tattooed.  While he never told me his name, in the few minutes we talked, he told me that he had once been a very successful stockbroker – until the crash of 2008-2009.  He said he lost everything and had a breakdown. 

He began tattooing himself.  His face and neck were a conglomeration of patterns and color.  With a hint of sadness, he thanked me for talking to him.  He said most people either ignored him or were afraid of him. We wished each other a good day and while we crossed paths, smiled and waved over the next few days, we didn’t speak again.

It saddens me to this day to think that in an attempt to deal with an inward pain he had permanently altered his exterior self.  He said he wished he’d never done it, but he realized that some mistake just cannot be undone.

Author’s Note:  The photo attached to this blog is not of the “Tattoo Guy.”  It is my son and his tattoo in honor of his grandfather, my father who passed in 2019.