Easy as Floating


Minutes before his four o’clock appointment, the tattoo artist disappeared.  His kid sister, home for spring break, sat at the reception desk, obsessively straightening neat piles of papers while the four o’clock appointment watched the clock and tapped his foot against grimy yellow tiles.  She cleared her throat and stood.  She smoothed her skirt, noticed the half-finished scene climbing up the man’s arm: a family tree, she supposed, a name scripted into each leaf. 


“Let me see if he’s finished.”  She checked each of the back rooms again, quietly opening doors and peering intently into rooms.  She dialed his cell phone.  He didn’t pick up.

* * *

The flight ended.  The tattoo artist unbuckled; stepped from the plane; made his way to the baggage claim; waited for his suitcase to circle around.  He blinked at the sudden brightness of the happy people reunited at the exit, hugging and kissing, some even crying.  He counted sixteen bouquets of cut flowers wrapped in brittle paper.  Ten bundles of helium balloons, yellow and green and pink, bobbed in the musty air.  A young couple held a sign Welcome 2 America, Cassidy! An elderly woman gripped with eagle talons a gift bag bursting with purple tissue paper begging to be rustled.  All around him, people expressed in gifts what they could not say in words. 

Outside, the wind stole a red balloon from the grasp of a child.  He wailed; pointed; demanded that his mother reclaim it from the sky.

“I can’t, honey.”

“But why?”

She shook her head; bit her lip.  “Let’s watch it disappear.” 

They stood, necks bent, as they stared at the balloon becoming gradually smaller until it was just a tiny dot of red ink against the backdrop of the sky. 

The tattoo artist smiled.  He will make his life anew, rendering sketches and inking designs into the skin of strangers. 

You can’t easily make tattoos disappear.

But disappearing a tattoo artist?  Easy as floating a helium balloon into the blueness of the sky.

 This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.The word was flight.

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Easy as Floating

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Easy as Floating


Minutes before his four o’clock appointment, the tattoo artist disappeared.  His kid sister, home for spring break, sat at the reception desk, obsessively straightening neat piles of papers while the four o’clock appointment watched the clock and tapped his foot against grimy yellow tiles.  She cleared her throat and stood.  She smoothed her skirt, noticed the half-finished scene climbing up the man’s arm: a family tree, she supposed, a name scripted into each leaf. 


“Let me see if he’s finished.”  She checked each of the back rooms again, quietly opening doors and peering intently into rooms.  She dialed his cell phone.  He didn’t pick up.

* * *

The flight ended.  The tattoo artist unbuckled; stepped from the plane; made his way to the baggage claim; waited for his suitcase to circle around.  He blinked at the sudden brightness of the happy people reunited at the exit, hugging and kissing, some even crying.  He counted sixteen bouquets of cut flowers wrapped in brittle paper.  Ten bundles of helium balloons, yellow and green and pink, bobbed in the musty air.  A young couple held a sign Welcome 2 America, Cassidy! An elderly woman gripped with eagle talons a gift bag bursting with purple tissue paper begging to be rustled.  All around him, people expressed in gifts what they could not say in words. 

Outside, the wind stole a red balloon from the grasp of a child.  He wailed; pointed; demanded that his mother reclaim it from the sky.

“I can’t, honey.”

“But why?”

She shook her head; bit her lip.  “Let’s watch it disappear.” 

They stood, necks bent, as they stared at the balloon becoming gradually smaller until it was just a tiny dot of red ink against the backdrop of the sky. 

The tattoo artist smiled.  He will make his life anew, rendering sketches and inking designs into the skin of strangers. 

You can’t easily make tattoos disappear.

But disappearing a tattoo artist?  Easy as floating a helium balloon into the blueness of the sky.

 This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.The word was flight.

Labels: , ,

13 Comments:

At August 9, 2012 at 2:42 AM , Blogger lumdog2012 said...

I love the scene you've created at the airport. Vivid and real. You've got me wondering about the ratio guy's reasons for taking off.

 
At August 9, 2012 at 4:31 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

lumdog2012 has left a new comment on your post "Easy as Floating":

I love the scene you've created at the airport. Vivid and real. You've got me wondering about the ratio guy's reasons for taking off.

 
At August 9, 2012 at 11:27 AM , Anonymous Carrie said...

curious...why did he take off? If he's going ot be doing hte same work, what makes this new location better?

 
At August 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

Brilliant descriptions at the airport, I can see this scene playing out. I still want to know why he left so abruptly though.

 
At August 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM , Anonymous Imelda said...

The airport was nicely described.

I am very curious about this tattoo artist. Why?
The ending was almost surreal to me. :-)
~Imelda

 
At August 9, 2012 at 7:33 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading! I have to confess I overheard a conversation about a missing tattoo artist and this what came out.

 
At August 9, 2012 at 7:33 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Tara!

 
At August 9, 2012 at 7:33 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I'm guessing he did something illegal. Thanks, Carrie.

 
At August 9, 2012 at 7:34 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks lumdog!

 
At August 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM , Anonymous Trifecta said...

You have some great detail in this piece and you've painted a vivid snapshot of airport culture. Thanks for playing along with us again this week. We hope to see you back tomorrow for the new challenge.

 
At August 9, 2012 at 8:08 PM , Anonymous Stacy Overby said...

Interesting. Talk about impulsive decision making at its finest. I'd love to know what prompted the decision to leave.

 
At August 9, 2012 at 10:51 PM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

I guess it is easier to make a tattoo artist disappear than it would be to erase his work. I am also curious as to why he left.

 
At August 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

So curious about why he's disappearing! Love the image of the disappearing balloon.

 

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