I have pierced the water’s skin with my bone needle, ink dripping
carelessly from her silhouette. It was an act of God that she happened
to be in the water when I was. My friends always joked that water was
my kryptonite. Well, once again, Lex Luthor has brought Superman to his
knees. I should have been mad at her for making me go to the lake. What
was she thinking? And it’s kinda funny because we would always joke
about how if I was ever drowning, she’d save me. She’s my
own personal lifeguard. I felt an overwhelming sense of relief when I
saw a mess of ink attached to a woman swimming towards me.
She let me tattoo her once we started dating. It seems like so long ago…
I could tell she was thinking about it too as she swam towards me; the
ink was so heavy. She kept coming my way, determined to save me from dying
in the stupidest way possible. After all, nobody wants to be responsible
for their own death. I reminisced about her asking for the tattoos. What
was she thinking? But if she wanted ink, I’d give it to her. And
my bone needle pierced the surface of her skin over and over, as the months
and years passed. Before she knew it she was covered from head to toe
in my tattoos. I warned her that I don’t have a light hand. She
took it like a champ at first, but ink that heavy was gonna take a toll
on her eventually. “I can handle it,” she told me, “my
tats work on me.” And she was right; her tattoos really seemed to
fit her body better than mine fit me. I’d listen to whatever she
told me anyways. Her drawl could move mountains.
And now she’s swimming frantically towards me. She wants to get
me out of this mess. As she gets closer, I realize what’s coming.
The lake turns black around me as I see the markings covering my body
washing off. I should have expected to see the ink drifting towards her-
this poor girl wanted every tattoo I could give her. I swear I hear our
song and she does too, even if it’s only playing in my head. The
tattoo I gave her the first time we listened to it together is on her
shoulder. She’s reached me now, treading water in the middle of
this ink-tainted lake. I take her by the hand and say, “Baby, I’m
drowning” and she says “I know. I’m here” and
just like that, it’s over. My bone-needle tattoos her one last time
and the ink in the water clings to her. All my ink… all my shit
is dragging her to the bottom of the lake. She’s a swimmer but I
know she won’t make it back to the surface.
And then I push the tips of my toes downwards and realize I can stand.