Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Post #790, wherein I tell of a story and of my own involvement in it coming to an end, for now

Once upon a time, in a land far away from mine, a lady wrote a story. This was no ordinary story, though, and the way in which it would be shared was also to be unique.

The story was called "Skin"; the author was called Shelley Jackson.

And the story was destined to be read by only a small number of people, seemingly just 2,095 in fact. Those 2,095 people would receive their copy of the story in the mail, in a yellow-brown envelope marked "Do Not Bend".

What must one do to receive such a rare and unusual literary work?, you might ask.

Aye, there's the rub...

I received my envelope about ten days ago. In it was my copy of the story, hand-bound, and with one word highlighted with a ring around it.

One word highlighted. One word in a story that contains 2,095 words.

Yes, in order to have received this very special prize, I, along with 2,094 other willing participants, had to "become" a word and have that word tattooed upon myself.

We, the 2,095 words, are the only people who will ever see the story in its entirety.

We, the 2,095 words, are the story.

This has been a long journey.

First, probably in late 2004, I applied to be part of the project, citing my interest in tattooing and my job being in publishing. I told Shelley that I thought this was an exciting project that combined those two worlds.

I was accepted, and I was sent my word, over which I had no choice, in March 2005. I had it tattooed in May 2005 and mailed my photographic evidence and model release back in July.

And now, finally... suddenly... it's all over.

Until I die. Ms Jackson has pledged to try to attend the funerals of all her words. Of course, I hope to outlive her. Is that wrong?

If you are interested in seeing some of the words' tattoos, go here. Mine is on there. Scroll down to "molt."

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Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

That's kind of a cool idea!

01 April, 2008 18:13  
Blogger furiousBall said...

If I had participated, and knowing my luck, my word would have been douchebag

01 April, 2008 18:35  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

What a fascinating idea, but if it were me, it would chap my arse to have the American, not English spelling on me.

Once an English teacher, always an English teacher.


01 April, 2008 21:57  
Blogger d34FpUpPy said...

i member when u was doin it :o)

01 April, 2008 21:59  
Blogger Avid Andy said...

ha that's (as shea would say) amazing.

02 April, 2008 00:26  
Blogger Ron, Apparently said...

I saw her featured on tv when this project was being put together. I applied for a word too, but never heard back. I think you got mine. Give it back, you thieving bastard....

02 April, 2008 01:27  
Blogger Milla said...

Beautifully written post, and such a beautiful project.
I don't know why, but I feel there is a lot of melancholy in your words -perhaps because that's why i generally feel at the end of the projects I undertake.
BTW, your word is beautiful.
BTW2, I can't open the link...

02 April, 2008 10:14  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

WC: Yeah, it is!

f/Ball: That would be unfortunate, for sure!

G/puss: I know what you mean, but on the other hand the spelling makes it a very American project, so it makes it even more "something different". Or something.

Pup: That's cos you're old school, dog.

02 April, 2008 11:31  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Andy: Yes, my friend.

Ron: You bring the scalpel, I'll bring my arm.
(Just kidding.)

Milla: Thanks, pet. Yeah, it does kind of feel sad that it's ended. Link works fine for me, though...

02 April, 2008 11:33  
Blogger Milla said...

I've just re-tried and it works now, thanks *. Earlier it said 'Page cannot be displayed' a couple of times.

02 April, 2008 13:37  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

what an amazing project to be a part of :)

02 April, 2008 16:25  
Blogger jIhAd PuNk said...

Dunno what the fuck I'm sheddin but it isn't skin.

Nice tats mate. I'm off to get a couple soon. I'll pic em on't blog.

02 April, 2008 19:19  
Blogger cappy. said...

so now she has all the members, you've recieved the actual book?
ok, stupid question i know but....

04 April, 2008 09:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look good man. Highly jealous! I applied right after I saw your original post, but she had 15000 applicants by then... Hopefully getting some new ink in a couple of weeks. I got one big one I can't afford, but I think I'm gonna be cheeky and get some smaller stuff done. I'll post onec SomeLies is rennovated!


04 April, 2008 17:37  
Blogger ~ erika gabrielle said...

wow, that's so cool! this project's so original. i remember those tattoo pictures you posted before.. so was her story good? worth joining and all the waiting? haha.

anyway, this is erika --your friend from the east. im sorry it's been such a long time since i've posted anything here--college and whatnot. yes, college! im an incoming sophomore now and work has been HELL.

well, i hope everything's great with you! :)

07 April, 2008 04:28  
Anonymous Franki said...

ahhh, and here i thought you'd tattooed the word Molt on yerself as part of the tattoo culture.

silly me!

09 April, 2008 20:50  

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