Monday Dare: Dragon Water

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. You can click on the link if you’d like to see the full list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Stop procrastinating.

I have never, ever told anyone what I’m about to tell you. I mean, yes, some people know portions of this story, but not the most embarrassing part. This relationship has gotten to a point where I either need to marry you or tell you a secret. I choose #2.

I have six tattoos. The first three, I got three days in a row at the age of eighteen. Since I hadn’t been paying attention in class all semester, I needed laser-like focus and a week of dedicated cramming to ace my finals. I packed up my books and a trail mix snack to stay energized and headed to the local library. Three blocks from my destination, I started having second thoughts. I really didn’t want to study, and I needed a way out. What could….what could I do?

Fortunately, I was scanning strip mall signage instead of paying attention to the road, and my eyes caught on the word “Fun.” I pulled into the shopping center, parked in front of the “Fun,” and tried peering inside the windows. The windows were heavily tinted (a sure sign that you should probably run away), so I did the next best thing: I walked into “Fun.” Turns out, it was the Funhouse Tattoo Parlor, and no, we’re not busy at all, why don’t you come look at some of our work.

This was it! Ah-ha! I could get a tattoo and then I wouldn’t have to study! Well, I wouldn’t have to study *while* I was getting the tattoo, but who thinks past one-hour intervals? Oh yes, I thought, this makes so much sense to me.

You know who doesn’t belong in my circle of trust? Me.

I chose a fairy in haste. She was delicate and cloaked in an array of vibrant colors. Sadly, I hadn’t thought the whole tattoo business through and didn’t realize it would, you know, involve needles and pain. To this day, delicate Mindy (Yes, I named her. Be quiet.) is just a sad little outline. No colors. No stars bursting from her wings. Just…just an outline.

Spurred on by my success in delaying the inevitable for a whole twenty seven minutes the day before, it seemed like the right thing to do to visit the tattoo parlor again. Instead of finishing Mindy (since the area was still too tender), I ventured to a spot right above my new friend. Just months before, on a summer trip to South Korea, an elderly woman grasped both my hands and told me that I was as strong and precious as a Dragon’s Tear. It was the best compliment I had ever received, and I was going to have it inked on my body as a reminder to push forward no matter what.

I wanted it in Chinese characters, but I didn’t know Chinese, so I asked my brother’s 13-year-old Chinese friend to write it out. Maybe I should have had someone else proofread it before getting the tattoo.

For thirteen fucking years, I’ve had Dragon Water tattooed on my lower back instead of Dragon Tears.

Lesson learned. Well, not the intended lesson way back when since I never really got around to studying for the finals and did miserably, but it’s clear to me now that I should do what needs to be done as soon as the occasion arises. Because, let’s be real, I’m running out of room on my body.

Are you a procrastinator? Has it ever gotten you into trouble?

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