He got his first tattoo on the day he graduated from high school. He was only seventeen, but his fake ID was a good one. He and two of his friends got Fibonacci spirals; in retrospect it was trite and cliched, but at the time they were high on the danger of it and on their own cleverness. When he was handed his diploma and shook hands with the headmaster, the fresh wound on his wrist twinged painfully and he couldn’t stop grinning.
He was drunk when he got his second tattoo; his whole pledge class was. The letters Gamma Iota Rho on the top of his left butt cheek are a bit embarrassing, but the design is at least tasteful - unlike poor Fleming.
His third tattoo was the first with any real meaning behind it. He can’t actually read the Hebrew text down his left arm, but he knows what it means - can recite the passage if anyone asked him to. “I shall put my spirit in you and you shall live and I shall place you in your own land, then shall you know that I the Lord have spoken it and performed it, says the Lord.” He was almost late to his grandfather’s funeral because it took the artist longer than anticipated.
The rest followed in varying states of sobriety: an image of horses from the Chauvet cave paintings, one of Giotto’s lamenting angels, the floor plan of the Dome of the Rock, a map of the world among others. If you saw him with his clothes on you would never realize how much of his skin was covered in ink which suited him just fine. His tattoos weren’t for anyone else; they were his alone.