The Tattoos Who Were Bored

When he walked into the parlour the tattoos became excited

With his bushy beard, crash helmet and pony tail they knew they were in for a life of adventure. Even as they were being inked onto his arms they dreamed of the noise of the Harley, the elements crashing against them as they cruised the highways and byways, living the life of a rebel, an outsider, an outlaw, as someone who lived outside of the rules and did what they wanted, when they wanted

No one was going to tell them what to do. It would be a hard living, hard drinking life for them full of brothers and sisters in arms, leather and denim clad, sleeping out under the stars, biking from town to town until it was time to move on and cause chaos and anarchy somewhere else

But they were wrong. So very wrong. He turned out to be a ‘Hipster’ who worked in a cafe selling deconstructed biscuits dishes at a ridiculous price to other hipsters with more money than sense. They lived in a part of town that was really a shit hole but everyone pretended was ‘up and coming, buzzing and trendy’

He seemed to socialise not with rebels who lived by their own rules but by other young men with big beards who said they were ‘creative types’ but never really seemed to do anything. They were all nice enough but did not really have opinions on anything and only really cared about what their latest gadget was

The tattoos were bored; really bored. If they had to listen to one more crap 80’s tune or be around people drinking nothing stronger than a large, decaf, soya milk latte they would scream. Nothing ever happened in their life that excited them. They were images of a life that shouted so much more than this. They knew they were nothing more than an attempt by the man to look more interesting than he really was. He had done it just to be ‘on trend’ and they also had a horrible feeling that they were only a few years away from getting the laser treatment. They would be no more before they had have even had the chance to live

Something drastic had to be done. They collectively decided on the best course of action and waited for their chance. It came at the next music festival being held in the local park. Their man had fallen asleep in the sun after one craft beer too many with friends. As he slowly cooked in the sun they heard the sound they had all been waiting for. An engine roared as its rider switched off his bike and walked towards the beer tent. His leathers, the denim waistcoat, his very demeanor meant he was the real deal

As he pushed his way to the front they made their move. Slowly they slid off of their hosts arms towards their new saviour, gently sliding up his legs to nestle amongst tindred spirits on his heavily tattooed arms who greeted them like long lost friends

‘Welcome aboard brothers and sisters, strap in and get ready for the ride’  

As he swung the first punch they were covered in warm beer and not long after felt the wind rushing against them as he made a getaway on the Harley

‘This is more like it’ they squealed like excited children as they roared off down the road looking forward to where they were going to end up next

Weirdy Beardy

It’s only when you grow a big beard that you tend to notice the feĺlow beardy’s around you. Conversations are struck up with perfect strangers about how long they’ve been growing it, grooming tips or generally to complement one another

The man in the coffee shop had a magnificent growth that had the unusual distinction of being both groomed  and unkempt at the same time. This is what first drew my attention to him. The second was the fact that he communicated by writing on index cards to the staff to make an order

When he first sat down on the opposite table I pointed to his beard and gave him a thumbs up sign. He smiled and returned the gesture. He then held up a beautifully written card that read “It’s instruction time” and closed his eyes

For the next ten minutes he sat in peaceful contemplation, a slight smile on his lips, nodding to himself from time to time. He then opened his eyes and began to write in a journal, drinking his coffee in between pages. When he’d finished his writing he got up, showed a card that said ‘Goodbye’ and left

This routine continued for the next few weeks without fail. A thumbs up, holding up his card, ten minutes meditation, a few pages of writing. It wasn’t until one day that I happened to sit closer to him that I noticed the movement in his beard. It was just before he started his routine and at first I thought it was a trick of the light

buddhaBut looking closer I saw something climbing slowly up, hand over hand, towards his left ear. As it reached his earlobe I could clearly see it was a tiny buddha that poked its head into his ear. My bearded friend closed his eyes and started to smile. I took it that the little figure was chatting to him, giving him advice and instructions which he would write down when he’d finished

I couldn’t take my eyes off the scene unfolding in front of me. The figure continued to talk to him for ten minutes before slowly climbing back down into the hairy undergrowth. When the man opened his eyes he noticed me staring. Instead of writing he smiled at me and left

The next day he wasn’t there nor the day after. On the third day when I arrived one of the staff handed me a small box.

‘The man with the beard and the cards popped in earlier and wrote that he wanted you to have this’

I sat down with my coffee and opened the box. There sat a tiny, smiling buddha  looking up at me with outstretched arms. A beautifully written card was also placed inside that simply read

‘It’s instruction time’