The shop is called Genesis Ink. They answer the phone by saying, “Thank you for calling Genesis Ink. In the beginning there was blank skin after the fall, there is art. How may I help you?” They say this every call; its their thing.
Adam is the owner of record, but he never works the needle. That is not his skill set. Eve makes the creation myths here. With her shaved head and chewed fingernails, you just know you will put your fate in her.
You don’t get to pick what’s going on, you just show her the skin you want anointed and she closes her eyes and applies the stabbing kiss. I’m not going to lie to you. It hurts. It hurts hard. And she ain’t no speed queen. She is slow and plodding, like dogma.
When she puts down the needle you are near complete. Adam will then toss aside the cycle magazine he was reading and looks at what his wife brought on your flesh and name it. “That is called Sunset.” “That’s Turbulence Everlasting.” “Broken Love,” “That’s Lightning Strike.” “That, that is Max.” You pay Adam more for the naming than the ink.
And you forget how to leave. You sit in the front of the store and stare at the stars painted on the wall.
Near midnight, Eve flips pages of an old porno mag and says to her husband, “He was here again. Came when you went to the bank. Your Old Man. Slamming the door open. Sat himself in the chair. Pointed to his arm, the only blank skin left on him and he said make something perfect right there. He waited. I waited. He said anything pretty Eve, just not a snake or an olive branch. I guess that was your Old Man trying to be funny. He said I was one stubborn bitch. I told him thanks. He said I could sure hold a grudge. I told him I know. He swore at me and split. I can always out wait him.”
Adam says nothing. He picks up the spray cleaner and makes everything in the shop hygienic and pure again.
Adam looks up at the clock and says, “Midnight. All you pretty canvasses need to get out of my store. “ This is how he politely kicks your ass out. On the curb, you feel nothing, not even the new ink on your arm. You feel nothing, but banished and free.