Journal, June 20

At 47 years old, I got my first tattoo. I realize by saying “my first” it indicates a motion to get more. We’ll see. Right now, it feels like someone took a belt sander to my forearm. Still, it’s a beautiful tat, one that my daughter and I designed over a series of 20 or 30 drawings, refining the design. The words, BE BRAVE IN WORD AND DEED apply to speaking out against what I deem is wrong, to act against the same, but it’s also an admonition to remember to be fearless in my writing. Funny, for a guy who is 6’2″ and who’s been told he looks angry all the time, I’m remarkably trepidacious and fearful – what will they say? What will they think of me? Don’t rock the boat. Don’t cause a scene.

The worse part of Southern society is the veneer of false cordiality. It’s about time I put all that behind me. While remembering to be kind.

In the shower this morning, it occurred to me that words are deeds. So there’s a wrinkle.

Kendall and Helen have left for Dallas – K until Saturday. Helen until August. When she returns, she’ll know a schisse-load more German, and possibly be a witch. I don’t know.

My tattoo artist was/is Aron Matthews at 7th Street Tattoo. Great guy, great artist. Check out his Instagram feed.

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