Tattoos, Tributes, Trips and Tears
Pretty much since Ryan got home from L.A. on Sunday, I was in a shitty mood. Not specifically BECAUSE he was home... but upon reflection, it was not unrelated, either.
The "after" shot was taken before the ridiculous swelling started. But lemme tell you - it was G-R-O-S-S. Oh wait... lemme show you my cankle two days after:
Overall, I put my non-awesome mood down to too much Chuck Ragan. Specifically this song. I love it. And it makes me sad as fuck. It's all about Chuck coming home from being on the road and seeing his amazing wife, Jill, again. "I'm gonna lay my head on the chest I know..." It seriously breaks my heart listening to this song. (And I probably listened to it 85 hundred times in the past month.) Something about the desperation. The NEED to get back home to the girl of his dreams. I love it, but it kills me.
And listening to that song over and over, and then going to pick up MY husband at the airport after several days apart... it really just hit me that that will never be Ryan. He is not someone who will write songs about how he can't wait to be back home with me. He is not thinking about laying his head on my chest when he gets home. I mean... he pretty much didn't talk to me at all in the car on the way home.
I am used to this. It's just how he is. He is always ever so vaguely a creep when he gets home from tour - even if it's only a few days. I don't understand it, but I am used to it. Doesn't mean it doesn't make me sad, though. Doesn't mean I don't envy Jill Ragan. Doesn't mean I don't wish that he was just dying to lay his head on MY chest that he knows. And it doesn't mean that I have figured out, yet, how to not end up sad because of it.
I was sad Sunday night, sad Monday night, and woke up sad this morning. I wanted to turn my mood around. I was literally thinking of how determined I was to do exactly that when my phone made the "you've got a new email" type noise. I poked the button and read the following, from my dear old friend, Adrian - the subject of the email was "Stop stalking me!" (We have not seen each other in 5 years.):
"I'm in Estonia right now. The woman at the restaurant already reminded me of you, with a great smile and genuine happiness, and then I noticed her name was Piibi-Mari. Too fucking cool."
Wow. IMMEDIATELY, my shitty mood just lifted. Gone. I mean, that was just too awesome. And I loved it and I loved Adrian for sharing it with me and I loved my husband for loving me in the way HE does (even though it's different than the way Chuck loves Jill) because his love for me is AMAZING.
And, really... HE is amazing.
And here is yet another reason why:
A year ago last February, a very good friend of mine (of OURS), Peter Pallasch, passed away. Pete was one of those people who was just INSTANTLY a good friend. I met him on fucking FRIENDSTER of all things, at a time when I really needed a friend. And he was absolutely that. And so much more. He literally held my hand and got me through my divorce. He was hilarious, talented, fun, beautiful, and about as awesome as anyone you could ever meet. He was Pete. And I loved him. And when my current husband met him years ago, HE loved him. We lobbied SEVERAL times for him to move here. We offered him a free place to live. Ryan wanted to start a band with him. We love him. We really and truly loved him.
And then, that terrible day, two days after Pete's birthday... his roommate found me on Facebook. She knew we were good friends and wanted to let me know that he had died in his sleep that Saturday night. His birthday. I actually JUST realized that now. Fuck...
Anyhow. Pete was, along with being an amazing beautiful man, kind of a dirtbag and a drunk and just your stereotypical scuzzy musicial/rocker/wild child. I say this with nothing but respect, because I LOVED this about Pete. But he was not a fancy man by any means. And yet... he had this tattoo. Five bright, colorful, and sweet posies on his arm. Huge. Like - they took up his whole forearm. Pink and purple and blue and orange... so NOT a dirtbag tattoo. But so wonderful and so, just, Pete.
Getting back to my amazing husband... well... today... in the most astonishing and beautiful tribute ever, Ryan got... "Pete's tattoo" on his own arm. It is his first really VISIBLE tattoo. (He has several others, but they are all mostly covered by his shirtsleeves.) Our friend, Sarah, at West Anchor Tattoo recreated Pete's flowers on Ryan's arm - and I am just floored. She texted me a pic when she finished and I am not gonna lie- I teared up a little. It is perfect. Amazing, really.
|Pete, on the left. Ryan, on the right.|
Just looking at this, my heart breaks a little. But in a good way. I don't think I could love it more.
When we first started talking about this, we knew Sarah had to do it. When we went down a couple weeks ago to talk to her, I decided that I wanted to get the travesty of a tattoo on the back of my leg that I got when I was 19 fixed. I have hated it since that day and have had other artists tell me that the only way they could fix it was if I could get them a genie to grant them magical tattooing powers. Well, I guess Sarah has them, because she TOTALLY fixed it. I went to see her last Tuesday, and in three hours, it went from my worst tattoo to one of the best. And she only did the outline!! (We both cannot WAIT until she starts to get the color in there!!)
Getting tattooed again was a strange thing for me. I mean, I did the cancer tattoo. But I knew from diagnosis day that THAT was coming. This was just, you know, a tattoo. A cover-up, even. But something about doing something that was so much a part of my "old life" again... it felt AWESOME. (Even though my foot swelled up like a grapefruit the next day!) And extra bonus - it really is beautiful. And having more beauty in my life and especially as PART of ME... it makes me feel SO GOOD! It might take longer than I want to save up the dollars to get it colored in, but it is already an Art Nouveau masterpiece, as far as I'm concerned. And Sarah is a genius.
|Before and after Sarah's awesome touch-up/cover-up began.|
Yeah. It got even worse that night. I texted Sarah "just in case" and she said it was pretty normal for having had THAT MUCH work below the knee. That combined with my "on my feet all day" job and yeah. Swollen as fuck. She recommended staying off of it and throwing some ice on there. So I did just that. And because I have several vacation days left this year, I decided to take one and stay off it.
I also convinced myself that riding in the passenger seat of my friend Mallorie's new car with an ice pack strapped to my ankle was technically "staying off it" - so I did not feel guilty when she and I decided to take an impromptu trip back to Lily Dale Assembly in Upstate New York. We went there last summer when Mallorie was researching Victorian Spiritualism for some artwork she was doing - and we honestly had a totally bunk time. But this was different. We felt more open to it this time. Maybe it was because it wasn't planned. Maybe it was because all we did was go to the Medium wing-ding at Inspiration Stump, hit the gift shop to get a new crystal for Mallorie's new car (her old car was stolen last month with the crystal she bought at Lily Dale last year in it - the whole purpose of this spur of the moment trip was to replace it and to get her some highway practice in her new manual transmission whip), and then split. I barely walked a block on my goofy swollen foot! Perfect-o! The whole Inspiration Stump thing was cooler this time, too. Maybe because we felt less skeptical. Or maybe it was just a better "energy" there this time. Whatever it was, it was cool to listen to the various mediums giving messages to random audience members.
I'm not gonna lie - I had my fingers crossed for a message from Pete. Or my Grandpa Joe or Grandma Mary. Or one for Mallorie from her mother, Merlyn. (Love that name!) No luck, per se, but honestly - it was still a great time.
And with that... I am tired. I think I covered all the things I wanted to share. And I hope this "just about life" post was a good first one.
Love love, Phoebe