I’ve noticed how many chubby men and women have tattoos. And I don’t just mean a rose or scull here and there either. I’m talking, arms and legs, covered, like a comic strip in bulky flight.
This came to my attention in Brooklyn, where tats are as common as shoes and socks. Everyone has a tattoo, EVERYONE…but again, the larger the individual, the more extensive appears the artwork.
It fascinates me actually, me who can’t commit to a change in hairdo, let alone something irreversible, like a Basset Hound grinning from my forearm, and we know how much I love Bassets. Thank God I wasn’t drunk tooling through the East Village one day, because Carmela could be permanently stenciled on my collarbone.
I always compare a tattoo to wearing clogs since there was a time I wore nothing but. Now, I hate them, feel they’re clumsy and unattractive. Could you imagine in a moment of rebellious pique having them forever fastened to my feet?
We’d be in a straight jacket, speaking in tongues.
I asked a couple of people their thoughts.
A therapist I know, very straight but open-minded said, “It distinguishes someone, like their signature, also, this obese population you seem fixed on Susannah, may just want to divert from their obesity,”
I then asked a guy on the train whose arms were covered, and he said, ”What the fuck is it to you?”
I approached another hefty man with a big white pit, who had them. He was a Latino in his 60s, missing a tooth here and there, yet had Sally, in festive colors emblazoned on both triceps.
Before asking him any questions that might inspire him to slug me, I asked the name of his dog, who was the cutest, leaning cozily against his thigh like a contented sweetheart, and he said without pause…