Food for Thought

A Day in the Life: Piercing My Conch

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Hello friends! Welcome to another day in the life. If you’re new, the way this works is that I’m not going to edit or over think what I’m trying to say–I get one shot to write it right. We’re just here to hang out for a minute to review my day.

It was a wonderful Wednesday to mark the start of Summer in Western Massachusetts this morning. I had the day off of work and made plans with a friend to go to Lucky’s Tattoo and Piercing for their free piercing day. Buy the jewelry, donate $5 to the library and the cost of the piercing work is waived. Not technically “free” but free enough.

I spent the morning enjoying the cool weather before the sun came out in full force. I was a little bummed when I woke up because I ran out of Ivory soap the night before and had to use Dove. I don’t mind Dove, but it’s too gentle and smells funny. I want something that leaves my skin feeling aggressively clean and tight, especially when I wash my face. I put Ivory soap on the shopping list, along with liquid dish soap which I sometimes use to get dirt and mud off my legs from going barefoot outside all the time. Anyway, nobody wants to read a full paragraph about soap so let’s move on.

Breakfast was a smoothie bowl with watermelon. I chose a very simple tee shirt and shorts, my preferred outfit when getting pierced (Workout clothing is perfectly acceptable to nervous sweat through). For makeup I went minimal but on second thought, in the car mirror I threw on a swipe of dark blue lipstick.

I picked up my buddy Leah at 11 and we headed into Northampton. She is the physical opposite of me: short where I am tall, long thick hair down her back while I struggle to maintain my short wisps, and a fashion sense that favors short shorts and tank tops while I usually cover myself wrist to ankle on the hottest days. Her voice is so soft and high pitched its nearly inaudible. She speaks quickly to get a word in edge wise before she’s drowned out by my booming, practiced radio voice.

We drove with the windows down and caught up on the stories and news of the minute. She ate salsa out of a Tupperware container with a makeshift tortilla spoon. I ate peanut butter toffees I found in the cup holder of the car. It felt like Leah and I hadn’t had a chance to go out since the last day in the life so I had a great time driving around and shooting the shit.

The tattoo shop didn’t open until 12 but I learned my lesson two years ago when I had my nose pierced that within minutes of opening time the line will wrap around the shop.

Luckily, we scored a spot first in line. The process took about five minutes from start to finish, a starkly different experience than the time I showed up in the middle of rush hour and waited over two hours to have my nose done (A day that was also spent with Leah).

0621171927a-1I quite like how it turned out. This makes for nine active piercings and several other retired piercings. I hadn’t had an ear piercing since third grade so one thing I was surprised by was how little this piercing hurt. I watched several YouTube videos of this piercing being done as well as read countless threads on the internet. I figured I was in for a doozy. It was very quick and relatively painless. The sharp hollow needle resting on my skin as she lined it up hurt more than it did pushing through my ear. Frankly, I said “Ow” when she made a dot with the felt tipped marker I was so keyed up.

Afterward, Leah and I poked around the local shops. Every summer I find myself on the hunt for the perfect summer dress: something long, white and gauzy that will whip around my legs at a cloudy beach. Every summer I’m disappointed because I forget that sun dresses are made for people 5 inches shorter than me who look good in halter tops. I also forget I don’t look great in white. I also (also) forget that the only beach I like to go to has water snakes and leeches.

We also went to The Old Bookstore, a secondhand book shop located in the basement on a side street near Smith College. It’s the sort of place you’ll walk right by without seeing if you aren’t looking for it. I like the smell of old books and the familiarity of the organized chaos. The books are sort of grouped by topic: mystery, fiction, Asia, poetry (etc) with little index cards taped to the beams displaying thick marker arrows pointing every which way. That’s about where the organization ends. Books are stacked on chairs, the floor, shoved in old wooden shelves and hiding in corners. I let my eyes go a bit unfocused and scanned over the spines until one spoke to me. It’s not the sort of place one enters with a specific goal in mind.

I dropped Leah off at her house around 2:30 and was home by 3:00. I tossed down the rest of that whole watermelon and a few bananas. My mom and I binged watched four episodes of Teen Mom 2 (I’m not proud of it) then took the dogs for a walk in the woods.

My dogs, a big black lab named Roxy and a weirdly alien looking chihuahua named Stella love to run wild in the hills behind my house. Stella usually wears a harness for safety because she’s so little and so I can scoop her up one-handed before the hawks dive bomb her. The trail starts behind my neighbors house, descends to a stream, sharply climbs up a dirt hill, meanders around grassy paths and opens up into fields used for farming. We do a few laps and head for home.

My favorite part of the walk is stopping at a deeper spot in the stream where Roxy can “swim” (walk in knee deep water and dunk her butt). I found a cool rock that looked like a crystal or a hunk of glass. It might have been a hunk of glass.

Back at home, I laid on the floor for several hours eating a mushy bean-based dinner in sweatpants while episode after episode of Teen Mom flickered on the television screen. Bleary eyed, I broke free from that series of mistakes to read a book, have a small but potent existential crisis, clean my room, call my boyfriend and start writing this post. It is now 12:02 a.m. and technically tomorrow. I’ll brush my teeth in a few minutes then “go to sleep” by staring at my phone and reading “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” by Caitlin Doughty until 3 a.m.

Thanks for following me around today!

Take care,

Allyson

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