tattoos: things I sometimes forget about my distant past, and then am reminded

For a couple of years, I lived in a house with a bunch of other people (it started as 4, but became 7 as roommates’ friends needed places to live, we just pared the rent down for each and never told the absentee landlord). One was an Air Force pilot and dealt meth (which we called crank) on the side. One drove heavy equipment for CalTrans all summer and smoked pot and watched pirated cable all winter. One was a psych nurse who seemed constantly paranoid and freaked out. One of them took apart a tattoo gun to see how it worked, then built his own using a slot car motor as the motor and a heavy guitar string (which he dipped in ink) as the needle. He was a decent sketch artist but spent a fair bit of time helping his friends control the infections after he inked them.

This video reminded me of watching him work, though it’s a damn sight more professional.

We finally all had to leave the house when the pilot, who was responsible for getting rent in cash to the landlord, who lived near the air force base, stopped on his way there to buy some crank in hope of selling it to double his money (he never used it, just “invested”), and was busted. Because he’d been on his way to some training thingie in Texas, he was just gone, and we all assumed he was still at training and had paid the landlord, until we got a “pay or vacate” notice mid-month. We vacated.

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