A Stranger A Week – #61


About a year ago I started a project called A Stranger A Day to overcome my shyness and talk to people. The challenge: talk to a stranger a day for a year of my life and try to convince them to let me take a picture and share a story. Since most tattoos have a story behind them, this was my conversation starter and a common thread that linked them all. Every week I have been sharing the story of the week here on Vancouver Is Awesome.

With the year now over and 365+ strangers and their stories documented, I’ll continue to talk to a stranger every once in a while, and post a story weekly here on VIA.

Stranger #369 || Location: The Charlatan, on the Drive

You rarely ever think of pubs as places to get soup —they don’t even put it on the menu, but you’d be surprised. Some nights I come to this place to have soup for dinner and read (I know right? No wonder I find little things like this). The place has proven to be good for this, and little by little I came to meet a somewhat regular crowd. They are there when I arrive and are still there when I leave. Tattoos have come into conversation many times, and more than one person has shared a story or two or their views on them with me.

This one story came in one of those nights. I was having soup and reading an article on black holes (the space ones). I had decided to sit not on the bar, but in a candle-lit table on the corner. Halfway through my dinner this gentleman showed up. He was one of those regulars, and we had exchanged a couple of words before. He usually sits at the bar and draws. We got talking about tattoos one time, and this time he came to me because he had a new story. The convo went sort of like this:

I have a bunch of stories, but this is the most recent one. You know I do tattoos, so not long ago I was with a girl. Well, it was sort of a date… not the first one, probably the second one, and she wanted to get a tattoo…—he pulled his cellphone out and showed me a picture of the finished piece, eight or seven stickmen similar to what you see above.

She wanted to get all of this little stickmen, some girls and some boys, to represent her brothers and sisters. I told her I could do that, but to put her at ease and also to prove to myself that I could still do it (I hadn’t done one in a bit), I did this one on my leg first.

I hadn’t seen the tattoo until then. He quickly put it back down. I asked if I could take a shot of it and post it here. He said I could and here you have it. Quite the story. It took me a bit to write (a couple of days), but I also wanted to see how much I remembered after the fact. I did take some notes, but tried not to transcribe it exactly. I liked the change on the approach. Anyways, that’s it. See you on the next post.

Thanks stranger!

For all the 365+ stories, click here: astrangeraday.com