Written by Mark Z. Danielewski
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House of Leaves, 2000
That part’s definitely true.
These days, I’m an apprentice at a tattoo shop on Sunset. I answer phones, schedule consultations and clean up. Any idiot could handle it. In fact the job’s reserved for idiots. This afternoon though, how do I explain it?, something’s really off. I’m off. I can’t do a fucking thing. I just keep staring at all the ink we have, that wild variety of color, everything from rootbeer, midnight blue and cochineal to mauve, light doe, lilac, south sea green, maize, even pelican black, all lined up in these plastic caps, like tiny transparent thimbles—and needles too, my eyes catching on all those carefully preserved points and we have hundreds, mostly #12 sharps, many singles, though plenty in two, three, four, five, six and seven needle groups, even a fourteen round shader. It depends on what you need.
© 2000 Mark Z. Danielewski; New York: Pantheon Books