718

I met Michael coming out of Penn Station right next to Madison Square
Garden
.

I first spoke to him about this tattoo for my Tattoosday blog, but as the
New York correspondent for KnuckleTattoos.com, I had to ask about his
left hand, which comes with a one-and-a-half tattoo bonus.

First the knuckles:

718 Knuckles

Nothing fancy, just the numbers seven, one and eight. New Yorkers, of
course, recognize this as the (718) area code, which is synonymous with the
outer boroughs of New York City, namely the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and
Staten Island.

Michael has these digits on his digits to symbolize that he is born and
raised in the 718, namely Queens and Brooklyn.

The tattoo was inked at Pete & Cubo’s Tattoo & Body Piercing in Queens. Their work has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

The one and a half bonus tattoos are on and above the hand.

He has Marilyn Monroe’s eyes represented on the back of his hand to remind
him of his path to sobriety. Michael regards most photos of Monroe with a
degree of recognition – that her eyes appear hazy from drug use. Her demise
due to a drug overdose is significant enough to remind him to stay focused
on remaining clean. He has been (as of January 9, 2009) for three years and
five months.

Finally, the “half” tattoo is the bottom of the rosary, whose thread runs
the length of his forearm to just above the wrist.

Thanks to Michael for sharing his ink both here and on Tattoosday!