The first thing I ever pierced was my nose. In 10th grade. With a sewing machine needle. I had to do it so that my mother wouldn’t find out, so I did it in the shower. It took me 3 days to get the needle all the way through.

Then I got married. Had babies. Let my piercing close so I would fit in with the normals.

Three of four years ago, I got my nose ring back. And at the same time, I pierced my tongue.

Couple years ago, I got my philtrum pierced. In piercing slang, it’s called a Medusa.

Day before yesterday, I got snake bites. Two piercings on opposite ends of your bottom lip.

I’m probably not done. Probably. Not by a long shot.

So, whatever possessed me to become interested in body piercing in the first place? Especially since I grew up in small-town Alabama where the only thing anyone got pierced was their ears. At Claire’s in the mall. And double ear piercings were serious badassery!

I’ll be honest. Completely and totally honest. The idea of piercing my nose came from Linda Perry. The singer for the band 4 Non Blondes. They burst onto the alt. rock scene back in ’93 with their one-hit-wonder, smokin’ and tokin’ manifesto What’s Up. Everyone thought she was weird. She had dreads. The video starts with a shot of her in combat boots walking up to the microphone. And from there on out, she just gets weirder and weirder; to the normals, that is. To me, I fell in love with her so damn hard I probably skint my knees bloody.

The dreads were badass. The hat rocked hardcore. Her atypical feminine/anti-feminine disposition captivated me. Her facial expressions exuded passion (though, to everyone else, she was just weird).

I’ve always been trying to get up that great big hill of hope for a destination. She spoke to me. In every one-hit-wonder, clichéd way imaginable. Tell me honestly, what lost and troubled 16-year-old didn’t roll down the windows screaming “So I wake in the morning and I step outside, I take a deep breath and I get real high…..” while toking on some bud back in 1993?
And you know what? I sure as still do. Sing real loud with the windows down, that is.

But all that aside, Linda Perry had a nose ring. A big-ass, flauntin’ nose ring. And from the moment I saw that video on MTV (the real one), I knew I had to have one. Claire’s didn’t do nose rings. Obviously. So there was only one choice to be made. I must pierce my nose. And so. I did.

And between that day and the day I went to Evolution Ink here in town with a friend of mine while Sarge was in the Philippines and got my nose ring back, I’ve felt more like me than I have in all the years in between. The tongue piercing was a totally impulsive decision that day.

So, for this part of the story, cheers to you, Linda. I love you.

I started to feel the pang of the needle again a couple years ago. And this time, it was yet another fantastically beautiful female who inspired me. Ever heard of the Suicide Girls?

It was Nixon. Nixon Suicide. There are several things that attracted me to her. Firstly, the bitch is in her goddamned 30s and could smoke any woman on this planet with her level of hotness. Go ahead. Google her. She’ll freak you, make you wonder, make you wince, make you drool, make you jealous. And it was this picture right here that put my Medusa in motion.

But day before yesterday. The snake bites. That was all me. No inspiration needed aside from a faceless picture I found on a Google image search so that I could show my piercer exactly what I wanted.

And so, I woke up and went to a doctor’s appointment, and after I left, I drove to Evolution again. By myself. Without telling anyone. And I sat in that familiar black leather chair and felt the needle again. And for that brief moment out of all of the googolplex brief moments the Universe has stood, I was in heaven.