I’m substitute teaching a class of ninth graders. One of the girls sits down. I notice she has a tattoo of a scorpion on her shoulder blade.
‘How old are you?” I ask.
“Seventeen.” she says.
“Liar!” the other kids yell.
I look at the roster that says she was born in 1995 making her 14. “What are you doing with a tattoo?”
“Which one? I have three of them.”
“What does your Mom think of this?”
“She cried when she saw the first one. Now she doesn’t care.”
She hears my heart breaking into a million pieces. “Come on Mister. This is Hollywood everyone has one.”
“But you’re fourteen!”
“Tara has one on her arm. Show him, Tara.”
Another girl shows me a martini tattooed on the dark skin of her forearm. I scold them like Old Man River. ”You realize you’re going to be stuck with these for the rest of your lives?”
‘That’s why I tattoo only things I’m passionate about.”
“But you have a tattoo of a Martini.”
“I’m passionate about alcohol.”