In certain instances, no matter how you try, it’s impossible to produce a logical explanation for some things. You try and try, taking multiple trips to the ‘wild side,” but still find yourself right back where you started; something just happened and you have no clue how it could occur. (This is the time where those of us who believe in magic, witchcraft, alien intervention, or multiple dimensions would assume something or someone from beyond the veil intervened.) But even if that’s the case, it’s still not much of an explanation, and it doesn’t really help move the story any closer to being understood. I’ve heard that sharing strange events is one way to get some ideas on causality, so I’m going to detail an event which happened to me on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017. It’s not spectacular and I may be guilty of telling the story too long, so I apologize in advance.
The Tattoo Shop
I was in a tattoo shop, waiting for my appointment to get a half sleeve tattoo. I had a football helmet on my left shoulder which I wanted gone; the current league is much too political and I’ve separated myself from their business. The replacement would be a real work of art, a richly colored artistic version of the Green Man; one of the oldest Pagan symbols known. I was staring at a five hour session in the chair to get the piece underway, and chose to walk around the shop instead of sitting down while waiting. The shop had a pool table in the middle and glass cases in a larger ring around the table with a wide walking area. One of the cases served as the artists desk, on which a very large two-month appointment calendar sat. It was almost completely filled in, because this artist is so good. He does much of his work freehand, plus he doesn’t have any standard generic tattoo books in his shop for people to choose from, making every tattoo, one-of-a-kind so to speak. He is a real artist, not just a tattoo guy. In fact, he had a visual experience going on in the shop; likely the artist’s touch. The shop was decorated with his extensive collection of tribal masks from across the world, rare movie memorabilia, and empty picture frames (but somehow they looked cool in that place.) It didn’t feel strange or uncomfortable in any way; in fact it was nearly the opposite.
So, there I was, alone in the waiting area. It was me, the artist, and a guy in his chair who was getting a cool multidimensional skull on his arm. The tattooing area was on the end of the shop, and it was semi-enclosed. I didn’t pay a bit of attention to the guy in the chair, instead starting to slowly pace around the pool table. Perhaps it was nervous anxiety about the lengthy session ahead of me or the fact that I hadn’t had any inking since 2000. Ironically, the same tattoo I was having covered over. As I paced, I took in the decor; the masks all had serious character, but it was the cases which drew me in for a closer look. Inside were set after set of ancient tattooing tools. There were Maori hand needling sets, sets with wooden paddles, hand picks, and more. It seemed as if each time I walked past, I noticed something that I hadn’t seen before. This endless circling might have looked maddening to some passer-by, but I was starting to relax with my focus elsewhere.
Now I’m not the nosy type, but in this case I just couldn’t avoid it. The tattooing tools had caused me to slow my pace, and as I passed the wide open appointment planner I just started to read. At first I just caught a quick glance of a single day. Sherrie, right thigh, unicorn and trees, entire day. Or Sam G., fix edges of monster truck, 4:00 PM. After each pass, I would ponder on the person; knowing I’d never meet them, and likely forget their name by the next pass. And there was Flo, eagle on shoulder with rose in its teeth, or Mickey who wanted a pentagram on her chest, and Javier who was coming back for a second session to finish his wife’s portrait on his back. I felt like I was part of the script of a reality show. Each successive circuit had me walking slower and slower just so I could read more of the schedule. After about a dozen passes, I had read most of the dates in both September and October, even rereading my own appointment notes. “Ralph – Leaf Man with wild branches – half sleeve – 3:00 until close.” I laughed silently. I would have to explain the Green Man to the artist when I was in the chair. My mind was already formulating which part of the history of the symbol I would tell him, and then, quite unexpectedly, something weird happened.
I’d made another pass, I think it was Mary or Marty’s birthday tattoo and it was an old hot rod picture. About two or three steps past the calendar, I had the realization that there was a pair of glasses sitting on the calendar; right in the middle of September. I saw them but failed to realize they were new, or had suddenly appeared. I’m still alone in the waiting area. These weren’t just any pair of glasses either. They looked like something of a steampunk design, with circular lenses that weren’t really lenses. Each side was identical and looked like a reverse-telescope type of magnifier. They were a metallic burgundy with gold accents and had gold temples with ear loops. It’s amazing how much detail I was able to see, especially since I didn’t really ever focus on them. As I made the turn to circle back toward the calendar, I was filled with an immediate anticipation to see these glasses again; to touch them and maybe even try them on. It was quite bizarre and my pace quickened only enough to be met with confusion as the glasses were not there. I stepped closer and scanned the room, behind the counter, and into the tattooing area, where the artist was just finishing up. I was still all alone in the waiting area, having just “saw” in great detail something which then disappeared before I could look again.
Believe me when I say that I literally stood my ground. I probably could have walked away, but I didn’t want to. I stared at September for several minutes, almost willing those steampunk glasses to reappear. Alas, it was not to be. I held that thought for many hours, only bringing it back into short term memory for the drive home. I’ve shared it with a few witches and psychics that I know, but no one had a good answer. I’m still both amazed I had that experience and curious-as-can-be about why.
I’m still curious about the events that happened that day. I did return to the shop several times afterwards until my tattoo was completed, but the glasses never appeared again. If you are curious about the finished project, I have combined some of the pictures together so you can see what it was and what it finally became. The picture does not do it justice, but I hope you get the idea.