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Day 105: My tattoo...
Day 105: My tattoo...
Ok, I'm taking a break from my normal format as an person who asked to remain secret asked about my tattoo.
So...do you want to hear the story about it? Ok, it's a bit of a long one.
I was a heavy alcoholic at age 19, and I had just quit after being arrested. I had a lot of problems then, and I was a legitimate a-hole, a real piece of work.
So I'm going to AA, trying to straighten myself out, and I had issues with God, as I thought that the stuff I did was so bad, that there was no way he could forgive me for what I had done to my family, friends, everyone. I hated life.
So my sponsor at the time, he suggested I find a higher power. At that time, I couldn't relate to God or any version of him. So my sponsor said, it doesn't have to be any God, but someone you can relate to as a higher power, someone you can find good in, as an example and work to emulate him and to work to bring the good out in yourself.
The only thing I could relate to was my comic books. And at the time, I LOVED Spider-Man. To me, he represented all that was good in the world. A hero. And it clicked. I would try to emulate Spider-Man. After all, his motto was "With great power comes great responsibility."
And that made sense to me, because while I couldn't spin webs or have spider sense, I knew that the things I did have some control over, well, I knew that if I could have that power to do good, then I had a great responsibility to be that person. Someone that could be a force for good. And slowly, with help, Spider-Man helped me reconnect with God over time.
Ok, fast forward several years now...It's 1997, and I'm headed to New Orleans for my first vacation in over several years. I was highly strung out, and needed a vacation badly to get away from everything. I saw a friend of mine down there, and I happened to watch her get a tattoo. And for some reason, it all clicked. I needed a memoral tattoo of Spider-Man, to help me remind me of what I had learned. A lesson if you will. So I went to the tattoo place the next day, got some drawings of Spider-Man from a recent comic, and had them develop a tattoo for me. And within a couple of days, just before I left to head back to Chicago, I got the tattoo.
Later, I happened to actually meet the creator of Spider-Man, Stan Lee, and I had him sign his name on my arm. That same day, I went to another place and had them go over his signature, so I would never loose it. The next year, I actually met Stan Lee again, and I showed him his signature, and he literally freaked out. He could not wrap his mind around it that someone actually got his signature and tattooed it for life on his arm. It completely amazed him, and he said that was the first time ever that someone had ever done that.
Ok so what does this all have to do with my tattoo? Well, for me, it is me. Spider-Man symbolizes all that is good in the world, and for me, it's a constant reminder to be a good person. To never falter again and to do what's right. That with the great power I have to effect this world, no matter how small, I have this great responsibility. It means a lot to me.
The main thing for me though is it symbolizes my redemption to this world. That through all the bad I caused when I was younger, I've become a better person. I still have a long way to go, but I believe now, if I keep trying, anything is possible.
That's it for tonight. Thanks for reading.
2/23/2006 6:35 pm
Great story AGN Joe! I always wonder about the stories behind people's tattoos, this was a really good one. Thanks!|
2/24/2006 8:53 pm
Thanks NSAAddict. I seriously think if you get a tattoo, it has to mean something. To get a tattoo without meaning...it just doesn't feel...right, you know?|