Posted by Censor Librorum on Jul 27, 2006 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

Some years ago, I had the word “you” tattooed above my left breast as part of Shelley Jackson’s book, “Skin.” Her book, “Skin” is unique in that it is told in living words–around 2500 of us–who agreed to be tattooed with a word from her book. Read all about it on her web site –

It took me weeks after reading about the project in the newspaper to contact her. I finally did, and she sent me my word. I had no idea what word I was going to get, since the author assigned us our words. I don’t even know where I am in the book–only She knows. After weeks of fretting and trying to work up my courage, I waited until my spouse was away on a business trip and went down to Bowery Tattoo and did the deed. I looked at myself in the mirror–you in Garamond font–and saw there was no going back.

This whole experience has been a mix of emotions and reactions. Everyone wants to see it; most people think it’s neat (but they would never get one!); my sister thought it was funny–she got a black magic marker and wrote on her chest “F–k” and stood next to me; my son said, “Mom, that’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done.” A Jewish lady antique dealer on Atlantic Street in Brooklyn told me since I was tattooed I could not be buried in a Jewish cemetery. My lover has gotten used to it–she kisses it, and says she thinks it’s pretty sexy–“but don’t get any more, please.”

I got an email announcement from Shelley, my Author, telling us the publication date of her latest book, “Half Life.” She is traveling out to SF for readings, and invited all her Words in the area to come by for the reading and get their copy of Skin! These are the first copies off the press–“press” being her inkjet printer and sewing machine. She will have a reading soon in NYC which I plan to attend. At this point, I am ready to meet other Words, to see and talk to them, and marvel at and savor the special bond that so connects us. I would also like to meet my Author, look in her eyes, face to face, creator and creation. I can hardly wait for the moment to come.

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