I’ve got no tattoos. I almost don’t even understand the concept. Or at least my mind never goes to the “contemplating a tattoo” place. Sure I understand it’s people decorating their bodies but it’s just not a thought of mine. Someone would have to see a picture and like it so much that they decide to permanently paint it on their body. Or they would have to decide they want a picture permanently painted on their body and then go out and find a picture they liked enough to do that with. Neither of those streams of thought have ever entered my mind.

I’m not against tattoos in any way. Most of them I’ve seen are pretty well done and generally attractive. Some people even have whole thematic concepts going on as tattoos blend and merge across their whole bodies. That takes some thought and dedication. Neither of which I have ever had in relation to tattoos.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m an artist. I’m most interested in whatever piece I’m working on right now. Pieces I’ve finished hold less interest for me. So I might grow disinterested in any tattoo I would get as soon as it was finished. This could also be the reason that so many others get more and more tattoos. But I know plenty of artists who have tattoos. Could have nothing to do with it.

I don’t decorate myself in general. No ring, earrings, bracelets, or jewelry. Sometimes I wear a watch but that’s not decoration in my book. It’s a tool for telling time easily when I need to.

I think the no jewelry thing started for me when I was a kid. I got the usual kid jewelry presents every now and again. A gold-ish chain with a cross on it, some leather or charm bracelet, or a small trinket ring. They were a chore to keep track of and not lose or break. Every gold chain I ever wore was broken in a pickup football game or wrestling match that happened around the neighborhood.

Jewelry became a burden. Anyone who gave me a present of jewelry when I was a kid was giving me a bit of responsibility that I didn’t want. There was no upside for me. Eventually I stopped wearing anything I was given, not that it was ever a lot of jewelry, and just put in in my sock drawer. That way I always knew where it was if someone asked and it was never going to get lost. Or worn.

Piercing is another thing that passes me by. Probably because of my aversion to wearing jewelry in general. Piercing is an easy way to keep track of your jewelry though. Just affix it to your skin.

But once again the thought process that leads to getting a piercing has never entered my mind. You have to like a piece of jewelry so much that you want to punch a hole in your skin and attach it to yourself. Or you have to want to attach jewelry to yourself by punching a hole in your skin and then find some jewelry you like enough to attach. I don’t even know how to get to that place.

Jewelry, tattoos, and piercings are really old ways of decorating the human bodies. They have been going on for thousands of years. I wonder what the future of human body decoration will bring? Computer chips embedded in the skin to change color on demand?

Imagine a programable tattoo. Nanobots crawling all over your skin and making a new design whenever you want. They could change the taste, smell, or even sound of the skin. Press someone’s knee and the smell of strawberries is emitted along with their favorite tune.

I don’t think and of those computer controlled ideas have the level of commitment of a tattoo. I’m sure there are a lot of people who mark their lives as pre and post whatever their tattoos are. But computerized jewelry could offer a wider variety of things than you average jewelry collection. I think I’m going to enjoy the future.