top of page

A walk on the slightly wild side...

Like everything else on my body, my earlobes have sagged.

Not surprising for earlobes more than eight decades old.

Not really a concern until my recent birthday when I received a gift of the most fabulous, whimsical, gold earrings.

I have gone without earrings for a long time; one of my original holes for the pierced earrings had closed up. The other stretched and slack. My earlobes long and empty for years. Like the Buddha.

The new earrings called for new piercing!

A friend recommended a place in Ocean Beach; I headed off for the atelier at noon on a sunny Saturday not long ago.

I can’t remember feeling so out of place for eons as I walked the two blocks to the salon.

Not a soul in sight on Newport Avenue un-inked.

Tattooed muscle men, beach babes, dog walkers, bikers, bartenders.

I felt undecorated. Unartistic. So damn old.

Stepping into a phantasmagorical jungle salon replete with shocking pink flowers and birds, neon lights, and seductive scents, I found myself a bit intoxicated.

After selecting tiny turquoise titanium posts which would occupy my new pierced holes for two to three months, a Rubenesque-ish woman, tall like me, welcomed me to her parlor where within fifteen minutes, the deed was done.

I lingered as she reviewed the aftercare for my new piercings. I was captivated by the art on her arms. Both fully covered with artful images. Very different the left from the right.

On her left, a sharp black and white full sleeve of images—reminiscent of Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro—dominated by a portrait of a handsome man. Her father, she told me.  

In stark contrast, the other arm covered in muted colored nature forms—flowers, birds, vines—blurred, with soft edges like the sfumato style (“to evaporate like smoke.”) Leonard mastered so effectively.

For a moment, a fleeting moment, I contemplated a tattoo.

Instead, I paid for my piercing, added a bottle of saline solution, and headed home.

My body adornment done for the time being.



128 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Love those earrings! Cannot wait to see you wearing them. Remember what the late, GREAT philosopher, Jimmy Buffett sang about tattoos: "A permanent reminder of a temporary feeling"


Oh damn! I thought for sure you'd exit the shop with a tattoo. Nicely built tension. And how I love those earrings. Bet they look great on your newly pierced ears.

PS I didn't get a tattoo until my 80th birthday. I love to watch it change shapes with the various sags and wrinkles of my arm as I try different positions. A kind of built-in entertainment when I'm bored.

bottom of page