This will probably be my last tattoo. I’m 65 years old. My skin is reptilian from decades in the tropical sun. With eight tattoos already, I’m running out of prime space. However, I’ve been dreaming for years of a very special page that I’d like to add to my bodily journal. I want to proclaim in vivid colour my gratitude for the thousands of hours that I’ve enjoyed with hedonistic ecstasy in the blessedly warm tropical waters savouring the beauty and excitement of a world that few are ever lucky enough to see. Danger and beauty are the intermingled themes. I have in mind three specific creatures to represent these paradoxically parallel pleasures.
This is (arguably) the most poisonous snake on the planet. It is the Banded Sea Krait (I’m not going to bother with the taxonomic names in this post. You can use the search box if you want to find them elsewhere on Madang – Ples Bilong Mi):Strangely enough, of all deadly snakes, this one is probably the least likely to bite you, unless you are very foolish indeed. I have hovered only a few metres away countless times while watching them feed. All you have to remember is to watch it from the side, not from directly above. When it has to breathe, you do not want to be in its way as it swims to the surface.
This is getting rather too close, but I wanted to capture the stunning colouration of its head:
Occupying the opposite end of the hazard spectrum is . . . yes, Nemo, the Clown Anemonefish:
I have not yet decided which of these poses I prefer:
Now all I have to do is find a Hamiltonian tattoo artist good enough to punch the dream into my wrinkly old skin.
The search is on tomorrow.Tags: banded sea krait, Clown Anemonefish, spotfin lionfish, tattoo