A,B & E (4)

If the sun heats up the sand, to such a level of discomfort you can barely walk on it, why doesn’t it do the same to the metal insertions in people’s bodies out here ? That would really give them something to cavort around for. And do tattoos absorb or diffuse ultra-violet light ? Would it not function like matt paint ? I can’t find anything about it in books. I only ask, since I’m troubled by the ins and outs of whether they apply sun cream to their cuticular respray jobs. Doesn’t seem right somehow. Right in the sense of fitting. They should further immolate for their art. Of course, if the ink provides it’s own sun screen, then the quandary does not arise. There again, it might be rather hard to spot a melanoma against a tattoo canvas. Like pentimento. But if you think about it, and every day out here on the beach, such is the ubiquity of body pictorialism on pallid flesh, I cannot but help chew on the subject, the cell machinery must have already been stirred into mutinous action. To heal the subcutaneous breech of rapier needles. Endlessly knocking its head against a steel curtain. I know how it feels.

Tattoos. In theory, I welcome the urge to own your own body by shaping it to your own design. To draw upon your skin as a canvas. To render yourself-portrait of one’s own devising. But tattoos on girls just doesn’t sit right with me. Call me old fashioned, call them ladettes. (Actually, call them pneumatic hermaphrodites, so all-embracing is their adoption of male tropes). But there again, it isn’t even just the blemishing of feminine flesh that rankles. All of them, male and female alike, exhibit such a paucity of inspiration and verve. Is that really how they envision themselves ? How they elect to daub themselves ? Take the overabundance of Celtic symbols. Alright, some may be genuinely extracted from Caledonian, Irish and Welsh stock and thereby wish to underscore some notional heritage. But the bulk are Anglo-Saxon, basking in constipated extirpation of those very stirps. Therefore I’m convinced no matter where they hail from, all sail in brackish witlessness as to the origins of these geometric interweaves.

Do they identify themselves with the heroic tribal resistors of the Roman Legions, or with the later anchorite Christian scribes ? Smart money’s on the tribal illiterates rather than the illuminati. Yet how ironic, that an artform dripping in twining interdependence, should be adopted by a complexion of youth, so comprehensively alienated from meaning altogether. Symbols too knotty to pierce, only become held as significant, through being accepted by a sufficient clump of adherents. Rubber stamped, so whither individuality ? They hanker after the uniqueness of their personal branding, yet en masse they contrive the selfsame classification palette. A lost panoply of ancient tribes, paid tribute by a modern tribe that does not wish to be bound together at all, but yearns to assert personal virtuosity. To have a secret, special meaning reserved only for their mind, a cribsheet written on their skin. Unfortunately, all the pat answers have flowed into one another and become a tangled mess, leaving them without an inkling.

Spirals that seemingly have no beginning and no end, (depending on the proficiency of the tattoist at concealing them, oh yes I’ve traced this many a night), as representing connection to the cosmos and recycle of life. Yet these non-believers renounce the afterlife totally. Whirling sigils and heraldic beasts, guardian family spirits, when they have pretty much repudiated family also. And what of the warrior caste they align themselves with ? I don’t see them undertaking too many heroic quests, though in fairness they are often to be seen bearing a fallen comrade from the drink-sodden field of battle. If the ink were green rather than black hued, then they would be solemnizing their skin with the exalted vine. Which at least would be more legible.

So yes, I’ll opt for their regressive association with the primitive, rather than scholars and holy men. Superstition over abstruse thought. (To them an everlasting light is a zippo lighter, while most are blessed with the creative spark of wet matches). Each fibril of knotwork, another anodized briar branch of reinforcement. A decorative razor wire they have welted to their skins. Serving as a ‘keep out’ to any warm-blooded trespass beyond the surface and to caulk any seepage of character from within their own metallic prison. Amulets against self. But all of that fades to a most bruised black, compared with the porcupine hide of piercings !

One can accept the sight of antic flesh on a beach. In fact you expect it as the local Olympian pursuit round these parts. Sprinting into or out of the sea; discusing with a plastic frisbee; beach volleyball or playing paddle-bat tennis; Greco-Roman wrestling between lovers on sun beds. These are legitimate ogling wobbling opportunities. 5.9 for artistic impression and all that. I'm here myself with more than half an eye on a gold medal slow-dance partner for tonight. But then it’s anything but a knockout, as your attention is snagged by the detail of a ring or chain, performing its own whipping and pinched version of the dance of exhuberance. Jesus ! A case in point ! Look at the state of that, emerging from the sea like it’s been salvaged. She’s going to have her own eye out if she hits top speed across the burning sand. For on those unfortunate occasions, when due to concupiscence, drunkenness or extreme flashback, I am forced into a canter, well let’s just say it’s no bad happenstance that I forever sport my sunglasses. But she’s got metal extensions that swing like a flail. You see those bolts in her brow there ? Not quite Frankenstein’s Monster, but so long as her mate has some jump leads handy, he ought be able to get her out of bed and started of an afternoon, once she’s flown back home to her life of graphic underemployment. In my day, office workers just used to starve themselves and paint their nails of a lunch hour. Now these fatted calves seemingly go and hand over good money to be skewered.

Maybe it’s not so pronounced at home, I mean given the climate, flesh is nearly always trussed up behind fabric. Out here it's all on show and I’m telling you, it’s absolutely rife. A particular one night only, stand-up comedian of my brief acquaintance, regaled me with an anatomical sketch of his previous night’s mooring. To what end I couldn’t fathom, but I did listen with a certain appalled raptness. Unsure as to which of the two protagonists was more despicable. She with her cloven hoof predilections, or he for telling intimate tales out of school. Was I to be relayed in turn, to schmooze the following night’s selected audience member of participation ? As what, someone more soft and yielding than last night’s human pin cushion ? Soft and yielding ? Uh-uh, he was going to be a mite disappointed on that front. Nevertheless, circumspection was called for, as to what I broached with that loose-lipped lad. Could’t be making a clean breast of things, as had my antecedent. If that's not a contradiction in terms, seeing as according to him, her breast was disfigured by all manner of metal probes.

The estrogen egghunt didn't end there. Apparently, she was also the proud possessor of twin labial piercings, tied off in tiny, white balls as might affix corkboard pins. Memo to herself, or signpost landing strip navigation lights, for any intrepid night pilots ? Gliders rather than dive bombers one might hope. ‘Enamel or ivory ?’ I innocently inquired, for if I have to put up with an imposition of taste, then I insist on going with a full flavoured flow, rather than a drip feed of information. But of course, my dead-eyed witness couldn’t enlighten me further. His insipid sapidity unable to register any new sensation, despite presumably not having orally partaken of either material before. Rather, he informed me his tongue delightedly played with them for a seeming eternity. A ‘wicked’ sensation of licking a woman’s ‘balls’, no matter how shrunken. Freud would have had an orgasm. The target buoys bobbed up and down, among the roiling waves of her sex and he kept losing contact. She seemed pleased enough with his fingertip searches for them anyway, so perhaps there was some design to her self-stapling. I queried whether it wasn’t like having a pair of tiny eyes scrutinising him, or worse, just the whites of lifeless orbs ? Even more accursed than that, he conceded. Once it had gradually dawned on him that in fact, they rather resembled two beads of, well ejaculate. That somehow he was embarked on somebody else’s sloppy seconds, which crash landed him immediately. And yet the sexual metallurgists will protest til they’re blue in the face, that it only heightens sexual pleasure. More like vagina dentura if you ask me !

Behold another one, with wireless bra and wired breast. There with the tray of drinks buttressed against her sternum. Oh, double bubble and squeak ! For I spy a tattoo rippling beneath her costume, where she might cradle a feeding babe. If an infant wants to watch an animated cartoon with its supper, stick it in front of the TV like any normal Mum. This way, he’ll likely get indigestion, motion sickness and a squint all in one. Surprised she needs to utilise her hands to convey the alcohol. Surely she could just run a chain through her evidently pierced nipples and secure the tray across her cleavage ? More than likely, the overpriced drinks will be the most precious issue they’ll ever come into contact with. No, no ! She’s the clincher ! That one fellating an ice cream cone yonder. Also at her site of honeyed suckling, is to be found the bitter aftertaste of mummy’s noxious metal ringlet. The fleshy areola must have been sent packing, for a permanent metallic tenant. So the only possible lability, is not the hormonal brewing of milk, rather the tarnishing of cheap gold. Verdigris. What does it say about their own mothers ? That umbilical tie clamped and snipped at birth, cutting them adrift of their life-giver, how they now spike and padlock their own navels to return the deed with spite. Oh for a giant magnet to hoover them all up and drop them down in say Cephalonia, or Lesbos even.

Ah, who am I to chide anyway ? Or even to ‘scarify’, yes indeed, thank you. Sand gets everywhere don’t you find ? Even in your bloody cocktails ! It’s soft underfoot and to lie on, but when it adheres to you, it’s surprisingly gritty in those unmentionable places it seems to burrow down towards. You cannot escape sand, it perpetually returns you to the current disposition of your body. That’s why I find it surprising that having chosen these idyllic sandy beaches, our Icenic clan opt to recall the sensation of repudiated littoral shale back home, by stabbing their flesh with all sorts of aculeated insertions against their skin. Between a rock and a hard place. As a little girl, I lived in a soft place. A very, very soft universe. Once with Damon, ostensibly I still had around me all the trimmings of a soft world. Silk hangings, cushioning obsedian fortress walls. So in fact it turned out to be a very hard place indeed, attested after we had reciprocally tried boring through one another, only to recoil concussed. And now, out here, among the indeterminate sand, the conundrum is that it is neither quite hard, nor quite soft. And so I am lost for the present constitution of my body. These spikey metalheads give me no pointers either. So hard and unyielding on the surface, yet utterly ductile beyond. Who am I to cavil if they’ve voted with their mammaries ? I’ve pensioned off my womb through my own choices long ago.