Museum People’s Tattoos

As the Museum People’s Tattoos blog reminds us, many museum folks have a love for tattoos—their cultural significance, their artistic quality, their documentation of the natural world, and some, just their own personal meaning. The abstract stories behind mine, written by a younger version of myself, at the time I got them, are below.


Infinity (2009)

one day you realize
forevers are not forever
and only then you fall
for all those forevers you had

and only then you fall
for all those forevers you await
maybe one
maybe more
maybe none

one day you realize
you are perishable
and although neverending
infinity hides a notch
deep in your heart

only then your eyes smile back
again
as they did at dawn
and your soul dances
to the music of colors

water your gifts
with care
before they become givens
and shrivel

your eyes closed
embraced from behind
white kisses
and hope

all that
in your wrist
for real
forever

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Countdown (2005)

You open the eyes while Morfeo is still reigning. You get away from his fantasy kingdom. You sweat, you always do. You look around and see nothing but darkness. Shadows. You wake up and see someone next to you, someone who looks at you faithfully while resting. Your loneliness. Forever. You have breakfast. Fractals made out of cocoa and milk. You wash your face energetically. Cold. You ride your bike. You curse the luck of a colleague that will not do it again. You ride your bike. You arrive to your office. Lonely, dark, empty. A paradise, ephemeral, intermittent, vanishing. You work without stopping for six long hours. Proposal. Telephone. Proposal. Paper. Web page. Email. Proposal. Email. You yearn for the salty silence, the sea breeze, having goose pimples, a supernova in your retina, your feet disappearing under the sand, the swinging of the waves. Only then you realize how far away you are from yourself. You look at your conscience in the eyes. You smile. You have lunch. You fall and look at the sky. They hurt. Your fingertips, your palms, forearms, shoulders, chest. You close your eyes and imagine yourself climbing outdoors. You like to get home before it is dark. You call your parents, your sister, your grandma. You do it every now and then. You do not always like to talk for talk’s sake. Communication. You talk with your virtual family seven thousand kilometers away. So far, so close. You have dinner out. The design burns in your pocket. Among the nostalgic pages of the red notebook that someone gave you. With your stomach full. After one thousand and thirty seven days you finally show the drawing to a stranger. Thirty two minutes later you are not the same anymore. You are a little bit more… Yourself. A cake with the shape of a turtle. You go to bed and only then you are aware that your ID put yourself for the first time closer to turn thirty than to have turned twenty. ¿Twenty what? ¿Thirty what? You smile. You are happy. The world thinks it knows who you are, where you come from, where you go. It has no idea. You still feel like a kid… and you love it. Alive. A turtle is climbing on the back of your right leg…

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Original tattoo sketch by Luis Leiva

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