As dumb as the time I was 19 and got a dolphin tattooed on my ankle because I had seen a particularly riveting episode of "House of Style" featuring Nikki Taylor who had the same tattoo? What can I say? It looked oh-so-cute on her, riding around on a golf cart as she was with Cindy Crawford. (I'm just lucky I didn't get a mole tattooed on my face.)
Or would it be as dumb as the time I was 23 and for the briefest of moments fell in love with Bruce Lee and thought to my 23 year old self, self! I want to be as strong as water just like Bruce Lee. Punch the surface, its strength lying in the fact that water flows around any force! Phenomenal woman, that is me! (I had a tendancy to identify myself with books and movies back then, often confusing myself with characters, mixing them together like a bowl of stone soup to which I had contributed nothing.) Later I went to the library and looked up the Chinese character for water, not knowing if the symbol I ultimately chose meant still water, tap water, river water or sewage. I tattooed the symbol on my ankle next to Nikki Taylor's dolphin, and then I went to the farmer's market with some friends and cried when a large man stepped on my freshly bandaged foot. Phenomenal woman that I was, like water for chocolate seemed more like it, so I went to Cold Stone Creamery and ate a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream cone to find my strength. I guess what I'm trying to point out to myself is this: there was a time I thought I was a dolphin, a martial artist, a time when I thought my life could be summed up by a symbol in a language I don't even speak. Now, of course, I look back and laugh, the tattoos now blurred, turning blue like the bicep of an aged sailor who has long since lost the line of his horizon. I am wiser and have no desire to ride around in a golf cart with supermodels. So maybe this, this year or years of what seems like something that will forever define me: failure or liberation, moving on down and out and in some sort of direction far, far away. Maybe this will one day blur, too. Fade blue by the sun accompanied by a thousand yard stare of my very own. Maybe one day I will look back at this and laaauggh. Remember when I used to blog? I will say. How I sat at the kitchen table wearing that sweatshirt with the embroidered birds and sighed, thinking it was the end of something, when really, it was just the beginning? And then I will smile. Yes, of this I am sure: and then I will smile. Happy Friday the 13th, tout le monde. Stay lucky.