3am is the only decent time to get a tattoo, like they say

Dearest ______,

2:57 AM
I am in a small room somewhere in Little India. There are nine of us in here. The room air-conditioning is keeping us cold despite the density. I quietly thank the gods of knit and stockings for giving me the foresight to wear exactly these today. The room air- conditioning is humming steadily, but the one true sound that this 3 by 4 space emits comes from nowhere else but the mechanical buzzing of the tattoo machine in the middle of the room. Aside from the low moans coming from this guy huddled on a chair, getting his second tattoo of the night down the spinal chord, the needle’s buzzing seems to be the only thing that keeps the artist in rythmic check; that keeps the moaning guy in anxious, painful suspension.


Four of our newly-acquainted-already-bonded gang of misfits have already gone to sleep. Two of these were only too ecstatic a couple of hours ago, just waiting for their turn. One of the four had just gotten his 3- year old ink job re- touched from 6:30 until 11 last night. This is a peculiar, fun, and literally bloody vigil of sorts:

Here is an amazing Filipino (celebrity) tattoo artist, a bit of a distance away from home, making tattoos at 3:00 AM.

Here is a random group of enthusiasts, who have also travelled (into the heart of Little India), to seek this master of skin art out; to get permanently marked with symbols of their lives as they know and live it now.


What will these symbols mean to them in a few years?

They will remind them of that surreal evening which quietly turned into dawn,

when they were cooped up in an air- conditioned room with eight new acquaintances sitting around one artist, waiting for their chance to become the canvas;

when they decided to get these permanent reminders of nights just like that night;

when they were all just in their 20’s and thinking that everything was already “as good as it gets”.

Only, of course, things always get better. Like nicely- done tattoos.


3:50 AM


*If you would like to receive and read more letters, please feel free to subscribe. Thank you.

More letters, more love!

Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “3am is the only decent time to get a tattoo, like they say”

    1. hi ko 🙂 yup, his. i think he has an elaborate plan/ bigger design for the whole thing. and yup, it really kinda hurt, sabi niya. hehe!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s