Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Japan, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Australia, Britain, Italy, France. This is where I’ve been since I left home in January 2010.
I’m sitting in my friend Pierres apartment in Pantin, France. Right on the outskirts of Paris. Not far from the city center. Pierre has big hair, like Morrisey, or like Kid from Kid n Play, he’s got big hair and a small apartment with an even smaller bathroom, it wouldn’t be possible to sit on the toilet if it weren’t at a 45 degree angle.
The sky outside the window is slate grey, I can see light sparks of blue spreading through the clouds, it looks like winter. My toes are cold and my jeans are ripping below the crotch, soon the entire back of my leg will be exposed. Right under my butt. I’ve been wearing these jeans since I left San Francisco, they’ve been sewn together six times and they won’t stay together anymore. Fortunately, I tell myself, the back of my legs are covered in fucking tattoos so at least the hole in my pants shows bad ass dragons instead of pasty white 33-year-old skin. Hobo=me.
I saw some of my closest friends while I was in London. We worked the convention at Tobacco dock and I hid in the comfort of their familiarity. We saw Big Ben and went on one of those buses that turns into a boat, we ate good food, drank good wine (and a bit (or a lot) of whisky, vodka, beer and tequila). It was fantastic to see them, I was a little afraid that when they left I would be sad. I wasn’t. I felt a breath of fresh air. It felt great to be in the presence of people I knew well.
When Aaron and Jason left back to San Francisco. Holly and I went to Italy and stopped in Venice, Florence and Rome. It was jaw dropping, immense, everything. Holly cried in front of a church because it was just so fucking beautiful.
We tore through Italy in six or seven days. We saw the Sistine Chapel, the statue of David, the Vatican, the canals of Venice, the Colosseum – it was overwhelming to move so fast through all of these places. To see all of these things in person that we had seen so many times in books, was a surreal experience. There was no escaping the crowds of people. Old, fat, skinny, white, brown, yellow with creamy flapping mouths eating gelato. Fighting couples and sweaty crying kids. It was hard not to feel like we had accomplished something by seeing these sites, but it was difficult not to get jaded at the 20,000 other people seeing the same sights at the same time.
After Holly left to go back to San Francisco I went on to France. I tattooed my buddy Pierre with this at Mystery Tattoo Club:
And now I’m just killing time, until November when I head off to Helsingor, Denmark to work for the month at Royal Tattoo.
That’s it. Here’s some sexy legs to look at.
Thanks for reading,
Paris, October 2011