You ever lose something irreplaceable and then just want to go die, even though that is completely dramatic? Me too. Two days ago my poor power box broke after a light fall. I performed a diagnostics and found that everything was in working order, except for the box. With a break like this, normally I’d switch to a backup, but my backup was broken too. Formerly a high-end box, the now stand with its powerful magnets connected directly to my tool cabinet. The perfect stand for my out of date power supply. Rule of thumb, when something breaks don’t throw it away just be very cheap and turn it into a stand. You’ll save so much money that no one will every be able to judge you for your thriftiness.
After an eventful Friday the 13th (see “The Perks of Friday the 13th”), my studio had a surplus of funds. I even built a DIY shelf (see “This may not be that important but…”). My power box worked perfectly then, until I nudged it on the floor. Brokenly, the black metallic cube stood defeated in a studio it helped pay the bills on. The machine was an ugly piece of metal, but I purchased the mess at a time in my career when I was finally over buying the cheapest box on the market. Instead, after years of hard work, I finally upgraded from the cheapest box to a cheap box because I was worth it.
Back in 2016, I was tired of using flimsy foot pedals that broke too often. I was running power boxes that ran out of juice not many hours after a tattoo. In doing my research, I found a unit that shipped at a decent price that came with a foot pedal. I bought the cheap Kingpin Tattoo Supply unit for $150, it looked like a tank and had a giant Kingpin Tattoo Supply logo that covered the top. I covered that logo quickly, with an expensive looking, “I Only Use the Best,” Eikon sticker because I’m classy.
The “box” is a crucial element of tattooing, the box is what powers everything. Connected by an outlet plugged into the wall, it helps people make decisions their parents are often upset about. The box I purchased was never meant for someone rich. People tattooing in the 90s would’ve passed on using this lump. Buying this box made things limiting, but I grew to like the simplicity. No screen to display the volts meant that I’d need to listen to the pitch of the machine to find my sweet spot . Over time, I began to fall in love with the old analog machine, a bond was formed.
I decided, even though this machine was old, I’m going to work my hardest to revive it to it’s proper function. So I went on an adventure throughout the city of Bloomington, in search of people who are good with their hands. I walked into a local hardware store that services most of Bloomington, called Kleindorfer’s. At this point, Kleindorfer’s is like a local landmark, the bright teal building is at the foot of a large hill by Bloomington’s largest cemetery, that I know of, with large black letters that spelled KLEINDORFER’S. When I arrived to the parking lot, I pulled in confident I’d get my answers. I’d know if I’d need to retire the box or if someone could help me find out how to fix it. Three employees gathered around to listened to my story. I told them everything, how me and this box have worked together for years so I’d hate to let it die. Even though it was a low end power supply, I didn’t care. This box and I had a rich history over the last two years, it’s presence always served as a reminder of places I’ve been. The box represented my struggle to conquer tattooing.
Struggles still continue, being a small business owner is difficult, but difficulty does not have to also mean expensive.
My next order to my tattoo supplier was going to be pretty expensive at this rate:
- Power Box $200-300
- Two-day shipping $50
- Plus my regular shop order $200
RIP to some of the Friday the 13th profits if this trend continued. When I became an adult, an interesting thing happened; I became wise enough to know that you can’t punch people in the face, however, life sure doesn’t seen to know care. In adulthood, life is allow to punch you in the stomach, hard. Police don’t lock up woes, only hard working therapist do.
I’ve had life drop kick me multiple times, in romance, in finance, and circumstance. Life is like Agent Smith, from The Matrix trilogy. If you’ve never heard of The Red Pill & Blue Pill from the Matrix, you’ve missed out.
The red pill and its opposite, the blue pill, are a popular cultural meme, a metaphor representing the choice between:
- Knowledge, freedom, and the brutal truths of reality (red pill)
- Security, happiness and the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue pill)
You ever have a car break down on the rainiest day of the year, that’s just Agent Smith. Ever wonder how you’re going to make the phone payment and afford Ramen, again, Agent Smith. Life can be very temperamental and always remains mysterious. I’ve left Bloomington with only my tail between my legs, no money, and looking at homelessness just to being nationally showcased on one of my favorite storytelling Podcast, The Moth,months later. Sometimes I feel like Neo in the Matrix and that I can control my mind to fight Agent Smith, other sometimes I’d rather give up.
Social media is a great tool that has allowed me to earn an income exclusively from the Internet. I don’t have to rely on “the kindness” of someone giving me work. I wake up, write, build shelves (read “This may not be that interesting but…“), tattoo, and film. I connect with clients that I’ve never met in real life, but have come to know through our various social media connections and conversations. If I follow you back on Instagram, you might be someone who gets a tattoo by me sometime because you’re woke. Woke people usually make good decisions.
Speaking of woke people, like yourself, let’s stay woke together an little longer and stay tuned for part two of The Resurrection of a Power Box, on www.tattoocrybaby.com via the section, The Story Behind the Tattoo. Bloomington, thanks again for supporting my black owned business. To my regional clients throughout Indiana and Southwest Michigan, thank you for allowing me to have a platform where my creativity can always be on display for you all.
Come back for part two,
Till next time Bloomington…