A flourish as the artists leaps up from the bed on which I am about to be tattooed. Colour is reduced to objects. There is power in B&W. It makes the eye pause, slow down it's movements, allows the brain to reflect, jarred at the abstraction from reality. There is movement in this place. The ink is moved from little bottles to under my skin. The tattoo gun pulsates furiously. The artist's hand steady yet moving, ever so slowly. The soul moves to a different place as the tattoo becomes real. It can never return. It is changed forever.
The fingers move. The text tells tales to another person, somewhere. The nails are growing, ever so slowly. The cigarette burns. The ash moves achingly toward the filter, a thing which is made to inhibit movement of the smoke and of potential in the lungs. In a moment this scene is over, replaced by a cocktail and the hands relocated and used for other tasks. But not for long, they will return. For that is the pull of the smartphone on our minds and of the tobacco in our brains... From far enough away we could well all be statues.
Ghosts. And people. They talk to one another. The shutter is slow to open and close. My hands move, unsteady. There is an image that may well be just defective or able to see into another dimension. These people are still for now. Perhaps they will take each other home, perhaps they will break apart and never see each other again except for, maybe, a desperate FaceTime call, drunk-dialled a few nights from now, begging the other to take them back. tears will move down cheeks, eyes desperate to hold them back. Drinks are brought up to faces. Kisses are exchanged. Feet shuffle underneath stools, hands are wrapped around valuables in pockets and purses, fearful that they may be stolen as they relax their guard on a night out, looking for love and connection and alcohol. Soon, they will all move away. Go home. Closing time. Alone or with company. Move from this place. Return another night. A city-cycle, a person's repetition ad nauseum. We choose the places we go and those places choose what to do with us. We move, back and forth, every day, in increments until our lives shift in heavy lunges, like plates crashing against each other and causing earthquakes. Until we are whole. Or close to whole. Then we look for more and move, ever so slowly - like ash on a cigarette, or ink under our skin, or a conversation with a stranger - in that direction.