Mr. Faruzel pierced me the first time. It was our 12th birthday. My mom, twin sister and I walked down Huron Street to his house, where he had a beauty salon. We got to pick a pair of birthstone earrings off a card and he used a piercing gun. It was over quickly and easily, so much so that my mother went to get hers pierced a few weeks later. Mr. Faruzel was a German speaker, born in Poland in the 1920’s, and had been in the Hitler Youth as a boy, like every other young German his age. He was a very kind man and had a son, Edward, who had muscular dystrophy.
I wore earrings religiously for decades. Then, for some unknown reason, I stopped. My holes grew smaller and before too long, it became impossible to wear them, even when I wanted to.
This summer, I decided I would repierce my ears. My sister offered to poke me with a sewing needle. I declined. I have very sensitive skin and history of MRSA, so I wanted a real professional to do the job. I sent out queries to my Facebook friends and got a few responses back. I checked out websites and YELP reviews and finally made my decision.
Friday morning, I got up with a plan in mind. I had a hair appointment and wanted to go see the 11:20 showing of the movie If I Stay. After the movie, I would get it done. That was my plan.
Well, as I exited the theatre and checked the time on my phone because, piercing salons don’t open before noon. There was an urgent message from my teaching partner. I called to learn she would be leaving 4th grade, leaving our school, to teach first grade elsewhere in the district. At first, I thought she was joking. I asked to meet her for coffee and she invited me over, since I was already close. on my drive there, I had an inspiration. I could take her 4th grade job. At her house, where another teammate joined us, i told her my idea. She encouraged me to call our principal, who happened to have the same idea. So, I am once again a 4th grade classroom teacher. I didn’t leave until after 5 and by then, the piercing salon was closed.
Saturday morning, I got up early to throw open the doors and windows to cool the house down. I hemmed and hawed about getting the piercing, doubting my decision. I took a nap. When I woke up, I was resolved to carry out my plan.
I went to Nomad piercing Studio on Division Street in Portland., owned and operated by a man named Blake. I chose his studio because that’s all they do. No tattoos. No haircuts. Just piercings. His website is really interesting and has a video showing him piercing a 3 year old’s ears. That convinced me that this was the place to go. His studio also has a museum, showing his collection of body art and piercings.
We had a nice chat and he said he wouldn’t really have to repierce, just open the holes, as if he were enlarging them to put in the sort of plugs he wears. This is Blake.
You can see the plugs he has in his ears and the labret in his bottom lip. It was over quickly and I now have a captive ball ring in each ear. I don’t imagine I’ll ever be as adorned as Blake, or many others in Portland, but I’m feeling pretty cool right now.