This was the Best Tattoo I’d Ever Seen

For a moment, I believed the universe spoke to me.

Michael B. Wharton


Fashion portrait of a beautiful young girl with a haircut with a tattoo on her arm in a stylish pink dress on a gray background.

My name is Michael. I am at a party with my friend Edgar. He played saxophone for the Broun Fellinis. (sic). I was the manager.

A woman walks by with a tattoo that reads, Michael, it’s time to wake up — she was the messenger from the Big Everything.

What would you think it meant? I know what I thought — it seemed like the universe was speaking to me.

I don’t mean the universe speaking in the way it speaks to us during beautiful dawns, or at the sight of dolphins in the ocean,

I mean speaking as in, “Hey Michael, yes, you. The high one with the dreadlocks standing next to Edgar, also with the dreadlocks. I am the universe and I am talking to you.”

Needless to say, I was gobsmacked. But I digress. We had just finished a show.

Around this time, San Francisco was our town, and we felt like kings.

We loved to go to after-hours parties after shows, because, while you are working, you don’t get to socialize.

In full disclosure, there were altered states in play. Cannabis is entirely legal in the state of California.

We stood on the stairs at the center of the space, watching people come and go. The striking woman walks past.

I could not believe my eyes.

I sent Edgar to do additional recon, just in case I was aspirational regarding tattoos, striking women, and the universe.

I asked Edgar to deploy complete discretion and try to confirm. Within a few minutes, he did so.

This fact meant I would have to go in for further recon. This broke our rule of not getting tangled. Never talk to anyone except each other or say hello.

Rules like these protected us from acting like big dummies after shows.

I threw all caution to the wind and asked the woman if I might take a few moments of her time for an important question.

I assured her that my question had nothing to do with either accepting Jesus Christ as her Lord and Personal Savior, or Amway.

She laughed and said, “Well, in that case, of course.”

I asked her what the sign on her arm meant, and she asked who wanted to know.

I pointed at myself and said, with probably comic urgency, “Michael!”

She smiled, and I could tell that this was not her first Michael question. Her friend rode motorcycles, had an accident, and fell into a coma.

She and eleven buddies received the same tattoo, one after each other, on the same day.

In no short order, Michael woke up. I thanked her for the fantastic story and went along my way.



Michael B. Wharton

Editor of Bold, Abundance and Stealing Fire. Has written for xlr8r and Role Reboot. Formerly NIH, Aol and Revolution Health.