Letters to Strangers: Nice Ink

To the Guy Who says ‘Nice Ink’


I can see in my peripheral that your pace is slowing down as you get closer. I can feel your eyes thru the top of my lowered head straining to see as much of me as you can get a hold of. And I can hear you silently begging me to look up long enough to use that line you’ve been rehearsing in your head……”Nice Ink”. This is the part, in that same internal  rehearsal, where I offer a big smile and invite you to come and sit down so that I can hear all about the meanings behind the scriptures and the various symbols that mark your own skin. You will  pull up the sleeve of your striped polo to show me the portrait of your dead dog and I will say ‘awwww’ and ask you trivial questions about your life together. And then, somewhere in this short time frame, you will have impressed me so much with the ‘tats’ you designed yourself we will become best friends and maybe even lovers.

But  alas, that was just the rehearsal, because in reality I know this is what’s happening before you even make it all the way over and without even having to raise my eyes. So I do what I always do, and bury my face deeper into  my book and bring my hand up to push my head phones just a little further into my ears. My apologies if something about my sitting alone, completely engulfed in what I am doing gave you the impression I was interested in being friends, but it’s better this way. for both of us.


emery ruth