Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Henna Tattoo

As she was standing around waiting for the high diver to launch himself off of his shockingly high perch at the state fair, she saw them. 
The ten year old girl saw them. 
The tattoos. 
The henna tattoos at the booth she was standing next to. 
Her mother was standing twenty feet behind her. 
She saw her daughter approach the booth. 
She watched as she began flipping through the pages of tattoos that were offered.
And then her mother announced "look up, he's going to dive now!"
And the daughter peered up into the sky. 
The diver had extended his arms to his sides. 
Like an airplane in takeoff. 
And he dove and flipped and hit his mark in the giant bowl of water below him. 
And the family walked away. 
But the girl didn't forget. 
As the day progressed the girl saw many things. 
Hand carved tomahawks, brightly colored hanging lamps made of plastic, giant stuffed unicorns at the carnival. 
Deep fried candy bars and lemon shakeups. 
As they were leaving the expo building, where people were selling hot tubs and lawn furniture made from recycled plastic jugs, she asked her mother a question. 
"I saw some henna tattoos earlier. Can we look at those again before we leave?"
"Sure" said her mother. 
So they stopped at the booth again. 
The booth that had peeked the girl's interest earlier in the day. 
The booth that hadn't left her mind all afternoon. 
The man at the booth who did all of the talking tried to sell her a face painting. 
"Get yer face painted like Elsa from Frozen for ten dollars, kid!"
"How much is this?" she asked. 
He glanced down at what she was pointing to and said "those are twelve dollars.  You don't want your face painted?"
"No thanks, I want a tattoo."
So her mother inquired as to what the process was. 
Black henna tattoos last two weeks. 
The woman who would be applying the black henna showed her one that she had just had done on her own arm the week prior. 
The girl sat down and the process was over in minutes. 
She had her tattoo. 
No pain involved. 
She had received an Egyptian symbol. 
A hieroglyph. 
It smeared a bit overnight as she slept.
But, it's a tattoo on a ten year old.
It can't and shouldn't be perfect. 
Maybe she needed it to keep an extra eye on her sister. 

Right after application. 
It took twenty minutes to dry. 

The next morning. 

Smear and all. 

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