181 / 365 – Tattoo

DAGNY KIELLAND

John came home this weekend with a new tattoo. It’s not his first one. The first two he did were hidden, one on the back of his shoulder where he always has a shirt on, and one on his left ankle. He always has boots on, or mostly always, so nobody would see that. But this one was big, and lots of colors and lines flowing down his upper arm. I screamed at him. I guess everyone is getting tattoos, it’s not such a big deal. My mother would totally blow a gasket if she saw that. My father would too — well, he doesn’t blow up so you can see it. But he probably wouldn’t talk to John, or me, for awhile. Just scowl at us over dinner. I said, “Oh great, that’s one more thing I’ll get to hear about.” My mother is pretty much mad at me already about just about everything. All the things they did to me and I screwed up the chance to go to college and got married to early, and to John of all people, and when he went off west to work I think they were feeling better about it, but now I think she knows that I’m a mess, just sitting here in town with John 200 miles away and getting into way worse trouble than I ever did in high school. I keep talking about moving out west with John, even though he tells me there’s nowhere we could live, everything is too expensive because of all the guys out there working in the oilfields, and he won’t have me living in that trailer where he lives with those two other guys. He won’t even let me see it. The two times I’ve gone out there we’ve stayed in a motel. I’ve been begging him, I don’t think I can survive this if I’m here and you’re gone all the time. My dad doesn’t want me to go. He says he hears the stories and it’s no place for a woman to go. Now when he sees that tattoo he’s going to say, “See, what did I tell you.” I just can’t win at this.

 

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