A PIERCEE’S POINT OF VIEW
By Maria Elena Fernandez
You are a pierced woman, he said, looking into my eyes and smiling.
I lifted my head so that I could take a peek: Brian Skellie, my piercer, had successfully stabbed me with a needle so I could wear a silver ring with a hematite stone on my navel.
I smiled slightly and let my head fall back. The process was amazingly quick and absolutely painless. Why. then, were there black specks dancing on the ceiling? Why was the room spinning ever so slowly?
It’s a strange feeling, isn’t it? Brian asked.
“You’re having a sensory overload. But it’s not bad, is it?”
Sensory overload? Is that what you call this drug-free lightheadedness?
“Not bad at all,” I said, and giggled.
It was my body’s way of responding to being deeply punctured.
If I had my way, my body would’ve never felt overloaded.
The few margaritas I had planned to drink before walking into Brian’s Candler Park studio would have numbed all of my senses.
But he warned me on the telephone: “Alcohol is a blood-thinning agent. If you drink, I won’t let you walk through the door.”
Ay caramba, no tequila?
I thought of my plain bellybutton and imagined it adorned in silver and hematite, my favorite stone. I had wanted a navel ring for so long.
Then I thought of the needle. I can barely tolerate donating blood. How could I do this?
I’m pretty sure a human being can endure this without an anesthetic, he told me. “Just think how pretty it is going to look.”
So I walked into the studio, alone and sober, expecting the worst. I walked out thinking, “That’s it?” That was it. In less than 10 seconds, I had a ’90s bellybutton.