Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Honored By Thy Neighbor

You ready to get sappy?  Personal?  It's about to happen so steel yourselves.

When we moved in to the shop in April of this year, everyone and their momma (as well as my own momma) gave me grief about the somewhat unorthodox location.
The owner of the building is a bully and a blowhard, the surrounding area is industrial on its best day and lousy on its worst.

But the thing that stood out the most was the neighboring shop.

A tattoo parlor.

So I marched over to meet my neighbor.  Big tough dude, all tatted up.

Said he went by J-Rock but that I could call him Jason.

Let's be honest.  We perceive those we see by their outer appearance, don't we?
To some degree, we do.
Even if we are better than that, even if we are as evolved as we think. 
Even if we are peace, love, and understanding.  We do. 
It's human nature and it's kind of a gross part of the human condition.
I'm here to tell you something.
 For every "difference" we may see, there are are many more similarities.
Inside each person?  A story, a heart, and goodness.
There are lessons to learn from someone different from us if we are lucky enough to get to know them.
Over the last six months there is no one person that has been more of a friend to my shop, no one that has looked out for us the way that Jason has. 
He has moved furniture, delivered a giant old window for one of my customers, blushed when accidentally swearing in front of my mom, commiserated about lack of signage, picked up my tiny signs when they've fallen down, brightened our day with his (and his adorable dog Buddha's)presence. 

When I went out of town over the summer, he not only was the person that I trusted with my one set of shop keys and alarm fob, he was the one person I knew would show up to deliver the keys to the person working the shop for me.  On his day off.

All while being a big tough dude, all tatted up.

And in a few days, our shop's best buddy, is leaving and on to greener pastures.

In a few days I leave for Southern California to help my beloved aunt clear my grandparent's home.  We lost Grandma in January and Grandpa a very short time later. 
They are so loved and missed...this trip will not be an easy one.  Losing them was the catalyst for the dream of this shop to become a reality.  Life isn't long, I thought to myself, better do it. 
Do it for them.
I wish they were here every day and not just as a picture on the shop's wall.

So today, in honor of them, my friend Jason gave me my first and only tattoo. 

My friend Cindy came with and got her third.

My tattoo is on my inner arm and it's my Grandma's actual handwriting from the very last Christmas card she would send me.

Now I can look at her handwriting everyday and know that they are with me every step of the way.
And I also know that there is no one else I would have trusted to do this for me.
I am blessed to have had the opportunity to start this business with a neighbor unlike any other.
Helpful, awesome, talented, and wonderful.

If you are looking to have work done by a really amazing artist and even better person, go see J-Rock at his new location in Tacoma starting November 1st.
You can find his business BTU TATTOO here.

 It won't hurt a bit.  Promise!


1 comment:

  1. Oh, so sorry you are losing such a good neighbor. Given the attributes of your neighborhood you may want to start a candle ritual to attract another good one.