Wednesday, September 7, 2011 was the day that I decided to get my last tattoo, an Enso (Zen) circle. I swear, It’s my last.  I had been researching design concepts off and on for a year or two but every time I went to NYC, I would chicken out of getting it done. Yeah, I will only get a tattoo done in NYC at Fineline Tattoos by Mehai. He is the only person that I trust to permanently alter my skin with art…

The last two tattoos that Mehai did for me, he started off by saying, “that’s ambitious.” I always wind up getting something much bigger than originally planned. Bigger is not always better but if you’re going to go there, then go there.

So, I make my way to the shop, it was raining off and on but it felt good.

Once in the shop, Mehai and I discussed the design > He shows me some other options > I decided on the final look > he shows me what it will look like > I say go bigger > he does > he sets up his table.

Minutes into the design outline, a young woman walked in and started looking around. Then she started talking to Mehai about getting a tattoo, pain, cost etc. She then engaged me.

Next thing I know, she takes a seat and starts asking about my tattoo. What it meant? How the pain made me feel etc… It was all kind of random.

She had a Caribbean accent. Turns out she was from Jamaica. Kingston in fact; visiting NYC for the first time. She was in town performing at a few shows to promote her music.

Before you know it, Mehai said that he was done. This woman said nice tattoo and then disappeared almost as quick as a thief in the night.

After she left, Mehai asked me if I knew her. I told him no and we both laughed.

It was actually cool talking to this beautiful stranger who took my mind off of the torture that I subjected myself to.

Not too long after leaving the shop, I bumped back into the beautiful stranger who was actually next door from the tattoo shop at East Village Radio doing an interview.

Oh, her name? Makeida “Keida” Beckford.

I asked her for a photo, she said yes. Before I left, she gave me a CD. A fair trade!

After I got on the train headed to SoHo for my Sip and See in torrential rain, my new tattoo started hurting like hell. I guess my little endorphin rush wore off.

Check here to view more of my NYC Analog Street Portrait series.