As I was making my way back to the office from house hunting, I saw two guys walking ahead of me. They were walking out of The African Shrine. As you know, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti used to own it. His equally musically gifted son, Femi, now owns it.
One of them had a huge tattoo on his left arm. I walked briskly ahead to catch up with him because I wanted to ask some questions . . . yea, I know, curiosity does some things to the cat. When I caught up with him, I realized he’s quite good looking (I’m a sucker for beautiful men). I really wanted to talk to him so I mustered up the courage to ask him about his tattoo. I was curious because I had not seen a neat tattoo in a while. It’s usually tacky and it puts me off.
Me: I like your tattoo
Me: Can I read the inscription?
Him: (Laughs) sure, you can.
Me: I like it . . . Thank you.
Him: No problem (smiles)
I didn’t ask too many questions because he’s a stranger and I didn’t want to be too forward. Plus I was a little nervous because I saw him come out of the shrine.
Afterwards, I began to think of my own interest in tattoos. I could never bring myself to get a real one but I did get a giant fake tiger tattoo on my lower back once. It became the talk of a party I went to one day when the tattoo was on full display because of the top I was wearing. I just laughed and enjoyed the attention I received from male folks and my gender alike . . .
Sis, do you have any tattoos I don’t know about?
Do I have tattoos? I most certainly do not! That is not to say I have not wanted to get one many times over. I just could never bring myself to put a needle on my skin for an extended period of time so I can end up with a permanent marker that I may hate in a few years. I guess my sheer fear of needles combined with my terrifying feeling of commitment always discouraged me.
So you got a tattoo and loved the attention you received because of it? That’s interesting because women always claim they don’t get tattoos for attention. I’ve always believed that anyone willing to permanently mark his or her skin would do it for the love of the marking. But your tale has got me to re-think my entire perspective on why people get tattoos. To be perfectly honest, I believe dudes get it for attention as well. Take the guy you saw come out of the shrine. Clearly, he loved the attention you gave him.
Speaking of the shrine, I am dying to visit it some day. You know a play about Fela’s life and music was on Broadway? I went to see it with a couple of people. I was not impressed. Everyone else loved it though. Even Sunmade thought it was great. Guess I’m hard to please. Oh well! I thought the music was not well produced and the Yoruba was just plain awful! Then I found out later that none of the actors were Nigerian. They were either American or Haitian.
In any case, I did not know the shrine still existed. It’s cool to know it’s still around! We will be visiting it together someday. Ready your innocent eyes haha. As always sisi, love you and talk to you soon!