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While surfing around the ‘net the other day, I found a set of knuckles posted by Bill Cohen on the excellent Tattoosday blog. Bill wanders the streets of New York City and talks to random strangers about their tattoos. With his permission I am reposting the knuckles and story here.

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Billy has several tattoos, but he chose this set of eight, each letter spelling out the message.

“It’s the endless question,” he mused, “of the glass being half-empty or half-full.”

“So,” I interjected, “you’re an optimist?”

On the contrary, he informed me, optimism does not come naturally to him. He “would like to be” more of a “glass half-full” person, but he has had his share of challenges, to say the least.

Billy has been clean for two years, after a long struggle with heroin addiction.

The letters on his fingers come together when he makes fists, and he acknowledged that he often has “to beat it into [his] head to think more positively”.

“By ourselves, we are not complete,” he said, and explained how this simple interaction, two strangers meeting and discussing a tattoo, it’s this kind of event that is what life is all about.

Billy was very positive, talking about a tattoo that grounded him and gave him the strength to live his life in a more fulfilling way.

The fingers were inked at Cliff’s Tattoo of Long Island.

Thanks to Billy for sharing his ink and taking the time to talk tattoo!

And thanks to Bill Cohen for sharing the post!