In the weeks since, I've thought about how it is that scars make us human. Far from thinking it a mistake, I am so proud of my new tattoo that I have been walking around sockless, even in the pouring rain and the freezing cold. I pull up my foot in restaurants to show it off and find myself talking to total strangers, to kids with holes in their noses and navels and pictures of writhing snakes and dragons all over their bodies.
When we chat, I like to think that what they see is not an often tired, wrinkled 53-year-old woman but a fabulous tattooed lady with an open book on her ankle, a woman with a story to tell. And that, to me, is a beautiful thing. It makes me feel alive.
Having a visible tattoo definitely opens you up to a lot of random human contact. I get at least a couple people every week (especially food service folks) talking to me about my set of family crests on my forearm. At first it freaked me out (I don't talk to strangers much), but since I've put two and two together and realized I signed myself up for this by getting the tattoos, I just go with it now.
It's actually kind of nice.