Does it have an unfortunate color, or any unusual markings?” she asked.
“Tattoos can take on a number of forms,” I said. “I have one who looks like a piece of dried-up fruit in the shape of a face, with the eye and mouth closed.”
“It could also be the artist’s way of getting attention from his client,” she said. “I’ve seen several that feature the image of a heart.”
I asked how to tell the difference between a tattoo that’s a picture and one that looks like a picture. She had a hint, however. “To truly differentiate between a picture and a tattoo,” she said, “you have to look for something very specific—such as the shape of the person’s head, the color of his skin, or his hair color. If no one’s looking, then a picture tattoo is one that looks the same.”
I looked across the room at one of the other visitors and they both looked a little uncertain. One said, “If you can actually tell the difference between a picture and a tattoo, that’s really cool to have.” The other said, “You can tell the difference between a picture and a tattoo, so why waste your time showing me one?”
I wondered how long their curiosity would last.
Then one woman reached into the bag, pulled a pair of scissors from her purse, and began carving a tattoo that looked almost identical to my arm.
“It’s almost like a cartoon drawing,” she remarked. The image included two eyes, and the word, “BUNNY.” I could tell that she was drawing on someone else’s arm, but couldn’t make out what was being done. I looked up the artist and found a man who had just finished shaving his arm. “That looks great,” I said, and he smiled.
It was after 5 p.m., the deadline everyone had agreed on, and some of the attendees had walked out from their rooms for the last time. We were all in one big room with people seated a few feet from each other—the front row, with a table next to the door in between the people we were attending to, and the back row of seats that made my seat so hard to use I was actually afraid the audience might step on it.
I had to get out of there, but I wasn’t ready to run. I stood for a moment and thought, “If the best part of this entire
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