Tag Archives: Xed Le Head

The Tao of Tattoos


by James Killough

Jonathan Kemp and I were on a crammed, clattering subway in New York City a few years ago, both lost in our own thoughts, as we were wont to be often; relationships between writers are studies in non-verbal communication as they float in and out of the various personal parallel realities they both inhabit concurrently.  We were both sucked immediately back into this world when a Latina woman with a small child screamed out to me from halfway down the car, “Hey! EXCUSE ME! Are those abstract?!”

My tattoo artist, Xed Le Head (photo: A. Savage)

She was referring to the tattoos on my forearm, and she was quite correct.  In this Golden Age of Tattooing mine are something of an anomaly: they have no obvious meaning.  They are purely decorative.  I get asked several times a week by strangers what they symbolize.  My stock answer is, “I don’t know.  What do they mean to you?”

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L’Enfer, C’est Les Autres


by James Killough

Well, it appears that I’m stupid.  Or at least not nearly as intelligent as I think I am.

That’s no surprise.  My father once asked me, after telling me my whole life what a genius I was, “Has it ever occurred to you that you’re not as smart as you think you are?”  This might have had something to do with dropping out of college for the second time.  I don’t remember.  I just tucked the statement away in my trophy cabinet of family resentments—it falls to me to keep them shiny and updated—and only vaguely recollect the circumstance, just how his face was red and his jowls were shaking.

We must, of course, lead with a picture of Mama G. shashaying in her favorite nougat muu muu. I never got to comment about how she kept a scrapbook of clippings dedicated to her obsession, Condoleezza Rice. Had the revolution never happened, Rice was going to be her Halloween outfit.

I joined Facebook very late in the game and still remain extremely ambivalent about it.  No, I’m not ambivalent.  I think it’s… Not my thing, to avoid other invectives.  I find it really creepy, for instance, that it seems to know that I have some connection to someone I do have a connection with, but Facebook couldn’t possibly know given my current friends list because there are no mutual friend connections to that other someone.  Facebook just knows.

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