By Rosanne Pagano
His email said he’d be late on our last night of class: “I have to pick up some art.” Maybe I made a note on the roster. Ours was a summer literature class, pledged to reading nine classics in 12 weeks. We’d done it. Who comes late to a victory like that? Eventually he showed and opened his Post-it-littered book. Nothing amiss except for slight crinkling whenever he shifted in his seat. “My new art,” he said, raising his shirt to reveal a tattoo still taped with plastic wrap. Inked over his heart was an open book, its pages blank and waiting.
I adore the way this short story is told. It’s like viewing this tiny piece of someone’s life, through another persons perspective. I personally have wanted to get a tattoo for some time, and I can’t express how much I appreciate it being described as art, full stop. No explanation, no defensiveness, just a statement of fact. Some people like to see tattoos as something ‘rebellious’ or ‘shameful’, when in reality they’re an expression of self, a love of art. And for it to be a blank book. That speaks directly to my book nerd soul. To celebrate a big accomplishment by permanently inking an expression of the endless possibilities of one’s future onto one’s skin…. that really touched me. This was a great moment to capture here.
Being someone who has tattoos that mean something this felt really personal. That this class made so much of an impact that he went and got a tattoo of an open book still waiting to be written. School can be so impactful on students. It might just be a super fun class but most of the time it is the teacher who is leading the class that makes all of the difference. This class must have truly touched his heart and made him want to read more books so much so that he now has a book with him everywhere he goes. This class is now apart of his story.