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Tattoo culture digs deep at Palomar

It’s been said that you can’t have just one, that they’re addicting and exhilarating and painful—but in a good way. Tattoos are a very personal and very permanent form of art, self-expression, and testament to one’s pain tolerance.

Whether it’s a meaningful reminder of a loved one or painful reminder of a spring break gone awry, behind every tattoo is a story.

Photo illustration. Stephen Davis/The Telescope
Photo illustration. Stephen Davis/The Telescope

The lyrics “you grabbed my hand and we fell into it like a daydream or a fever” are scribbled in ink across their thighs, Licata’s tattoo begins the line and Sabatino’s finishes it. The lyrics come from Dead Flag Blues by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, a song that holds special meaning to the pair.

“The lyrics mean something to both of us and we will always mean something to each other,” said Sabatino, admitting she was fully aware of the stigma surrounding couples with matching tattoos.

While the two are no longer in a relationship, Sabatino said she wanted to commemorate “a period of my life that I want to remember forever. I wanted the words that were tied to those emotions to be permanently in place on my skin.”

To Licata, the tattoo is no less significant. It is a sweet remembrance of a meaningful relationship.

He does not regret his choice in tattoo, stating “getting a matching tattoo with someone you love isn’t as a bad as an idea as everyone likes to tell you.”

“At one time in my life I was loved by someone willing to ‘grab my hand and fall into a love which was at times like a daydream, and at others, like a fever,’” he said.

For Franki Boker, her collection of tattoos is ever growing. With four so far, she plans to keep going and add more tattoos, saying some of them are “unfinished.”

Each tattoo is symbolizes something special for Boker. She has music notes for her love of singing, a cross for family members, a meaningful quote, and her favorite number—13.

“My tattoos are a little random, and nothing is too big because I haven’t found an artist that I think is detailed enough to take on my bigger piece ideas.”

Even her first tattoo, a gift from her mom when she turned 18, remains incomplete in her eyes. Bright pink roses, her grandmother’s favorite flower, wrap around a cross for her grandfather on her ankle. This is her only tattoo with color, a conscious choice for Boker, who intends to keep it that way.

“I one day hope to bring a few more music notes down my neck and meet at the top of my spine,” she says, talking about a dainty assembly of music notes that adorn her neck, just behind her ear.

Boker, however, is still unsure of just how to finish that tattoo, so she is “waiting for an idea to strike.”

Image Sources

  • Photo illustration. Stephen Davis/The Telescope: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
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