My new tattoo!
Again by the amazing Amanda Pepper at Thunderdome tattoo in St. Louis, MO.
A representation of my own forever existential crisis in my struggle against myself and my body/chronic illness. The quote is from the Neutral Milk Hotel song “In the aeroplane over the sea”. The idea of conjoined twins, the constant struggle to co-exist and work in unison is something I have always felt I could apply to my own feelings of living with chronic illnesses or issue of gender. The idea of mind and body not ever truly being in sync due to pain or just general non-cooperation.
It is a strange existence, but who’s existence is any less strange?
I also see the conjoined twins as a representation of my struggle to present myself to people as “who I am.” The aspect of feeling like being a sort of sideshow act. Put on display to entertain but never truly be learned, a novelty. It is still hard to accept who I am, but I know at least I can present myself well enough to draw an audience. It is a strange solace. I feel it in the strange sounds of this album.
I have been lucky enough to see Neutral Milk Hotel live 3 times. Every time hearing Two-headed boy and Two-headed boy part 2 have hit home in such a profound way. They remind me of every hardship, every family struggle, every hard decision, and every mistake I have made. It also relates to how I have grown closer to my own brother, strangely enough through this album and these songs.
This piece is on my left forearm and is truly meaningful in so many ways. Some people may find it silly
aka hipser-y, due to the origins of imagery and words. But I will always carry my struggles as badges of honor, in the form of beautiful art on my body. We all deal with our pasts in our own way. For me, reminding myself where I came from and what I can endure remind me life is worth living.
"Brother, see we are one in the same
And you left with your head filled with flames and you watched as your brains
Fell out through your teeth, push the pieces in place, make your smile sweet to see
Don’t you take this away, I’m still wanting my face on your cheek”
-“Two headed boy part Two”
Neutral Milk Hotel.