A walk on the wild side

Today I had my ears pierced. I have had them done before. When I was 16. In a pharmacy somewhere. But they were not evenly done and often became irritated and infected. I let them grow over.

But increasingly I have felt the need to wear earings and so today I decided to get pierced. To minimise the risk of infection and to “get it done properly” I decided to go somewhere where they pierce people all the time. I didn’t want some ditzy pharmacy assistant to go near me with an earing gun.

I went to Primitive in central Perth. The guy at the counter would have had 10 piercings – that I could see – so I knew I would be in safe hands. I tried not to let the images of tattoos on the walls or the primitive tribal art or the “we do branding” sign get to me as I signed the waver form and waited for my piercer – Ela – to see me.

In the foyer waiting with me were five others – rush hour at metal mart. In front of me a guy having his tongue done and a girl waiting for a belly ring. My ears seemed somewhat tame.

Finally after quite a wait, it was my turn. I followed Ela up the windy and it must be said somewhat shabby spiral staircase up to the piercing rooms – a bit like a beauty parlour except not so… beautiful. In my little room the instruments were laid out on a stainless steel tray still wrapped in their autoclave plastic. I was to sit on a dentists chair.

First Ela discussed what I wanted done and then using calipers also straight from the autoclave measured the distance on my ear to make sure it was symmetrical. She marked my ears with some dye and asked what I thought. What do I know I thought.

Lie back.

In the room there are blackened skulls hanging from raffia. Face masks from Africa maybe contrast sharply with the clinical nature of the chair and steel tray. Ela is wearing surgical gloves.

Breathe in… and out…

Owwww! The pain is intense as she pushes the needle through my ear and then the earing. A circular implant quality surgical steel earing. It burns for a bit as she cleans the blood – one presumes – away. Next one.

Breathe in… and out… and in… and OUCH!

If anything the second one is more painful… we’re not talking a quick acting highly inaccurate earing gun here but a “single use” needle.

But then it’s over and I let Ela clean up as I peruse my ‘aftercare’ sheet and wander past the girls waiting in the foyer… what are they having done I wonder… they look too young for anything… interesting.

And then I went out and bought a pair of ridiculously big fashion sunnies.