We treat a lot of inmates in our clinic. Surprisingly, they are actually some of our best patients but can also provide some of the best stories. Many of these involve ‘prison tats’ (you may remember this reader favorite post http://erinsheffield.blogspot.com/search?q=tattoo).
I was joking around with my orange jump-suited patient of the day a few weeks ago. He, like many of the other prisoners, had many tattoos. One the tattoos included one of some guns and a saying like “shoot ‘em up” although I don’t remember the exact phrase. I asked him about this and was assured it was some kind of tribute to a friend and not a threat, at least to me. I mentioned he seemed to have a lot of tattoos and wondered how one chooses so many things to put on your body permanently. I asked if he had any tats he regretted.
He told me, no, not really, except he had his girlfriend’s name on his chest. This was his least favorite tattoo as he wasn’t sure on the status of their relationship. Evidently the hard-time was taking its toll on the relationship. He mentioned that he had been in jail three times now for marijuana charges. He stated that when he gets out, he should probably move somewhere like Colorado or California, “because they have more lenient laws on marijuana.”
“Or, you could just stop using marijuana,” I suggested.
“Um, I think I’ll just move…”
(I guess now that is a better idea than ever with Colorado’s progressive new law.)