His skin was inked with memories of moments that he called home. But every moment passed by faster than one could capture an image, and every memory was untethered from the grasps of recollection, so that every time he looked back, it was always something different. He said he’s on the road looking for stability. “How ironic?” I thought.
“I want to be able to come back to a home where my phone charger is always in the same place … that’s stability for me” He said.
I didn’t know what he meant until he told me that he has 5 phone chargers in his car and they are all either lost under piles of clothes or broken and forgotten with all of the McDonald’s meal boxes that were shoved under the seats. Home for him was truly the road.
He picked a daisy from the ground and planted it in my hair. “But I’m a train-wreck right now. I left my family and had to provide for myself. I’m only 19 but my shoulders slouch from the burdens of my thoughts about tomorrow. I want to go to school so I’ve been saving up by working and picking up shifts.” He pulls another daisy from the ground and pauses, “But just when I thought I was close to making ends meet, a heroin addict steals my money”. He delicately places the flower in my hair and stops to admire his work. “But I’m happy” he said. “I’ve made many mistakes… I know that now, and everyday I’m learning from them. I’m a train-wreck right now and that’s ok, because I’m learning how not to be one.”
I looked at this beautiful 19 year-old and realized that his tattoos were not memories he was trying to preserve but lessons that he had learned from.
His shirt was 4 buttons open revealing a tattoo on his chest, and while I was trying to read the words I noticed that his white chest bore a sharp contrast to his tanned face and forearms. “Surely from hours of work under the sun” I thought with admiration.
I pulled a daisy from the ground and stared at it. “I feel bad for pulling something so beautiful out of its place.”
He chuckled and said, “They’re going to die anyway, I might as well create something beautiful out of them”. He picked the flower from my hand and placed it in my hair. I looked at him and in that moment I realized that he’s been doing the same thing to his body.