Gilbert Takes Off His Shirt for the Press
So the media was in full tattoo mode today, with the Washington Times and Comcast asking The Puzzler about the tiger on his chest, which he then modeled for several cameras, including my own. (He also repeated the line about the tiger being the king of the jungle, despite my skepticism. I asked about the lion. "The tiger's king of the jungle," he insisted.)
Meantime, DeShawn Stevenson was proclaiming that Gil has a butterfly tattooed on his back, which might or not be true.
Also meantime, a giggly Brendan Haywood was proclaiming that a guy named George Savage, a friend of Donell Taylor's, already had a "My Pain My Gain" tattoo before Gil, and that the two thus have matching tattoos.
"They're cute like that," Haywood said. "Print that."
Gil, needless to say, was not pleased by this, but he then gave us the full story, which started with him in a tattoo shop and stumbling upon an image of a crucified hand of Jesus accompanied by the words "His Pain, Our Gain." Gil continues:
I asked them does this make sense?--My Pain My Gain--and they were like, "Aw man, you should get that." So I ended up getting my daughter's name on my chest with hearts and stuff, and I was like, "You know what? I'm going to come back tomorrow and get it, My Pain My Gain."
So I came back the next day and I was like, "Man, My Pain My Gain, what should I do with that?" And they were like "I don't know," and I was like, "You know what, I'm gonna get Zero to Hero." So I got Zero to Hero and I was like, "I'm gonna get My Pain My Gain in two days."
DeShawn flew a guy out to the house to tattoo, and I was like, "Man, what should I put on my side?" And I was like, "You know what? I'm gonna put My Pain My Gain. Donell's like, "Yeah man, you should do it, like George did. And I was like, "What do you mean like George did?" And then [George] goes like this [holding up forearms, palms out]. Had it right down his arms.
We all stopped to consider this parable and the various lessons it implied. Tattoos seem permanent but they can fade with time, just like friendships and trust. Or maybe, once a treasure is borrowed (ala Gil and the Jesus tattoo), the next borrowing is that much easier (ala George and Gil's phrase). Or maybe, only by sharing all of our communal pain, together, can we come to an understanding of how much we all stand to gain, each one of us, together.
"The moral of the story," Brendan Haywood said, "is him and his friend got matching tattoos."
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