Tuesday, October 7, 2008

the hell


Keeping on the subject of all things boy, I thought I'd write a little today about tattoos.


Remember back in the day when guys in movies would cut themselves on the arm and then mix their blood with their best friend so they could become blood brothers? Well, I'll admit I am pretty old, and, yes, my friends and I did that when I was a boy. But that was waaaaay before the age when society learned that such behavior bordered on suicidal. All my friends did that kind of stuff when we were kids, but nowadays even depicting those kinds of acts in a film is taboo.

So the boys in Ghost Medicine do that, too (and, by the way, there is no clear evidence of what year that story takes place, so we can at least be a little comfortable in the innocence of the age and place). And a couple of the boys in the story also end up getting tattoos, too.

I know you're supposed to be a legal adult to do things like getting tattooed, but you wouldn't believe how many of the kids I work with every day who have them. And, yes, I have "a few" of them, myself, too.

Among others, I have a wedding ring tattooed on my hand, so that one is always plainly visible, especially when I'm doing something like signing a book for someone. One boy who waited in line at a bookstore to have me sign a copy of Ghost Medicine said to me, "I'm just wondering... have you ever regretted getting tattooed?"


And he just kind of looked right at me when he asked it, too. Then he went on to say that he was going to turn 18 soon and he wanted to get one, but he wondered if he would be sorry about it later.

What could I say? I told him the truth. I said there was no way I could tell him whether or not he would live to regret it, but that I did not regret getting any of my tattoos. I said I looked at them as being wallpaper for my coffin, because that's what they really are.

I know today's post is a little serious by my standards. I'm in one of those downer moods. I'll try to get over it, though.

I'll try not to throw anything at the television tonight.

Last month, I wrote a few posts about boys and education, and the damage we've been doing to them at school. I'm not entirely through with that topic, though, so I plan on giving some more ideas about what we can do to create a more boy-centered (boy-friendly) learning environment coming up at times during the month of BoNoBloMo (Boy Novelist Blogging Month).