Saturday, December 19, 2009

Kitchen Tattoo (The Flaming Paint Brush)

It was a freezing Sunday afternoon in February. Shawn had waited to clean up the kitchen until I got there. Picked up the kids’ toys, swept the floor, and wiped down the kitchen table. His wife was cooking nearby. I stood there. The kids brought me stuff, drawings, toys, messages from imaginary people. Shawn prepared the stencil and stuck it to my arm. While he prepped his needles and gun, his son demonstrated proper whoopee cushion technique on one of the chairs at the table. Then we proceeded to about three and a half hours of drilling into my left arm, planted on the corner of his kitchen table. For the most part, his wife kept the kids away. They’re great kids, but I was relieved to know that the table wouldn’t be bumped during the drilling. We talked while Shawn drilled, and I looked out the kitchen window into the neighbor’s open window. A guy walked by periodically. He seemed pensive. I think he was curious and watching. Afternoon turned to evening, and the sun fell. When it was over, my left hand was asleep. I had to drive home with it still numb and waking.

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