Namjoon exhales deeply as he looks up at the giant letters running across the top of the tattoo parlor, Seoul Ink Tattoo Studio. He collects himself and walks into the shop. As he walks up to the desk Kil Jun looks up and smiles.
“NamJoon? I didn’t think you’d actually show! It’s good to see you man!” Kil Jun exclaims cheerfully, as he stands from his seat and shakes Namjoon’s hand.
Namjoon chuckles lightly, “I thought about canceling if I’m being honest, but I didn’t wanna puss out.”
Kil Jun laughs, “You never have been one to do that!”
Kil Jun looks the tall man up and down, taking in the dark clothing and died blonde hair. He shakes his head and then walks from behind the desk. He motions Namjoon to follow him as he takes him back into the private tattoo room. Namjoon sits down on the reclined black leather seat while Kil Jun puts on some gloves and organizes some of the inks on his cart.
“Any idea what you want?” Kil Jun asks as he sits on his stool and scoots up to Namjoon, dragging his ink cart behind him.
“Something bad-ass. You know how management is. Nothing too dramatic, but something good.” Namjoon replies with a light shrug.
“Yo, I think I got the perfect design for you. I was working on it last week, but haven’t stumbled upon someone it’ll fit with… Until now.”
After two and a half hours of discomfort, black ink, and an insufferable buzzing, A dragon of medium width and intricate designs wraps around Namjoon’s bicep. It started a little on the shoulder and swirled around his arm until the skin right before his elbow. As Kil Jun washed and wrapped up the new tattoo that graced Namjoon’s slightly red and swollen skin he smiled proudly.
“I think this is one of my best works yet.” Kil Jun beamed.
“It looks dope as fuck man.” Namjoon replied smiling widely, unable to peel his eyes away from his inked arm.
“Thanks man, gotta save the best work for the best customers.” Kil Jun replied.
Namjoon smirked, “Damn right.”
Kil Jun chuckled and removed his gloves. He threw them into the trash and stood up. As he pulled the stool and ink tray away from the seat Namjoon stood and stretched. He let out a low grunt as he did and then followed Kil Jun to the front of the studio once more. Namjooon goes to pull out his wallet, but Kil Jun stops him.
“Hey I already had management pay. It was half price for them. I mean you trusted me to ink up your body and I could have drawn a huge ass dick… So don’t even worry about it.”
Namjoon laughs and shakes his head as he slips his wallet back in to his back pocket.
After a couple more minutes of small talk and shared laughs, Namjoon exits the studio. His brain is thinking back to when BTS was still together. He would have never thought back then that he would be getting a tattoo, but now that they had all begun to pursue different careers in the arts a tattoo was something Namjoon had been looking forward to. Namjoon heads down the street towards the corner and hails a taxi. Once inside he gives the man driving his studio address and leans back in the seat.
He pays the driver and get’s out of the vehicle. He sighs and makes his way up the steps and into his studio. After locking himself in the dark room for hours all he can get in one progression of chords and the line Naneun neoreul chingu isangeuro saenggakae, and girl all I wanna do is spend time with you everyday.
The lyrics circled through his brain and before he knew it he woke up. His head was shoved against the many buttons and nobs on the table. He sat up right, wiping the drool from the corner of his mouth and looking around to analyze his surroundings. He slowly pushed himself away from the soundboard in his black leather swivel chair. Thankful that his past self anticipated this exact situation, he stands and crosses the little bit of floor left in order to get to a small closet. He opens the sliding door and grabs out a simple black Versace Crystal Lights cotton shirt with matching Versace skinny jeans, Versace Greek Key Sunglasses and a nice black and grey cotton and silk blend beanie.
He didn’t have to look in a mirror to know he looked good. Black had always Namjoon’s colour and for some reason on this very day, he was feeling it.
He didn’t have many plans, but he knew the coffee shop down the street was a must. He had been eyeing the barista there for quite sometime and honestly thought today would be the day he got to speak to her.
As he left the studio, he slipped in some ear buds and walked towards the café. It was a gloomy day and the clouds hid the sun with great ability. Despite the “ugly” day, the air was fresh and crisp which was pleasing to his aesthetic searching eyes.
Everything seemed to fall into place. The music, the people, clothing, everything was where it needed to be and as he stepped up to the cafe doors he smiled. He removed his ear buds and walked happily to the counter. His dimples on full blast.
His eyes were focused only on the barista, that is until a female of short stature and slightly rounded figure bumps into him lightly.
“I’m so so sorry!” the female exclaims hurriedly as she bows, and dashes out the doors.
That is all it took. Namjoon called out an ‘It’s okay!’, but the girl was already out the door. Namjoon debated mentally on chasing her, until it was too late to do anything. As he stood in the middle of the walk way, obviously shook, the barista he had come to see called out to him.
“Sir? Are you okay?” he nodded in response, shook his head lightly and walked up to the counter. The whole time he was practically pleading with whatever higher being it was to allow him to see the rushed girl once more.
Lucky for him 3 days later he runs into her once more. He can’t bring himself to speak to her, but God does he want to. Ever since the first day he had seen here he felt whole. He didn’t understand it. His heart was just happy. It was full. The girl honestly wasn’t even his type, but for some reason with this one it did not matter. Their second meeting at the cafe was one of awkward stares and small smiles. She recognized him, but didn’t speak either. She once caught him staring and her blush was the most communication they would have that day.
Seven days later Namjoon was blessed with the pleasure of standing behind her in the line at the cafe. When she went to pay Namjoon gently stopped her and offered his own money instead. She bowed and profusely thanked him, after he refused to take no for an answer. This was when he felt slight itching and discomfort on his arm where his tattoo was. He brushed it off and smiled at her. She went to sit down and wait for her order. The barista called her name once her drink was finished, but she was too engrossed in a thick hard back book to even notice. Namjoon smirked and asked to borrow a marker from the barista. He scribbled his number on the cup and walked it over to her. She still didn’t look up, but when she did she noticed the digits scrawled across the cup sloppily and looked across the cafe to smile lightly at Namjoon.
That night Namjoon actually traveled to his home for a night in. A much deserved one at that. His first stop was the shower. He locked his front door and made a bee-line for the bathroom. Once inside he shut the door and began running the bath water. He swiftly removed his expensive graphic tee and threw it in the bathroom corner. He looked at himself with disappointment in the mirror. Then he remembered the discomfort he had earlier at the cafe and turned his arm to look at his tattoo. His eyes widened as he saw the ink on his skin was no longer a dragon. It was a vase. An intricate coiled vase with two flowers leaning over the sides. One was a gray orchid with a purple tint and the other was a vibrant pink aster. They were on opposite sides of the vase, but they were close enough that the stems seemed to be attached somehow.
He was taken aback. He scratched at the ink aggressively, hoping that his eyes were playing tricks on him he blinked multiple times. He rubbed at them in shock. Nothing. Not a thing changed. He quickly stripped off his pants and underwear. He took a deep breath and sunk into the hot water of the tub. He tried to clear his mind and convince himself that he was just seeing things. After a while of laying in the water, he had done just that. But when he ran the soapy sponge along his body, rinsed off, and noticed it still there he almost screamed. Partly in frustration, partly in discomfort, and partly in fear. Instead he growled out an angry “What the fuck?” as he stood and stepped out of the bath.
With a towel wrapped around his waist he left the bathroom and walked to the kitchen. He opened up the pantry and reached to the top to grab out the tall skinny bottle labeled Seagram’s Gin. He poured some into a nice glass and sat down at his kitchen bar. With a sigh he took a long swig.
“Namjoon, this okay. Just breathe. It’s still a nice tattoo… No matter how illogical it may be that this is happening.” he spoke out loud to himself and his empty home.
With a deep exhale, he shot back the rest of the gin in his cup and put it away. After he got dressed he went right to bed. Hoping to wake up more relaxed the next morning. And he did. The rain was beating down harshly on the roof of his apartment building and as much as he originally wanted to stay in bed, the text on his phone had no problem changing his mind.
Uh, this is the girl from the cafe. Your number was scribbled on my cup.
Namjoon smiled widely and answered back quickly.
Hey, my name is Namjoon.
As soon as the message was sent, the beautiful girl was already responding.
Thank you for buying me my coffee and being so nice about me bumping into you last week. I was in such a rush and I felt so bad.
He smiled at his phone.
It’s okay, it’s not everyday such a beautiful woman bumps into me at my favourite coffee shop.
Oh, wow, uhm thank you! That is extremely sweet to say.
It is just honest. I mean I wrote my number on your cup in hopes of receiving a message just like this one. :)
Oh, I bet you do stuff like that all the time!
No, actually, I just couldn’t resist with you. I know this is really weird to say, but as soon as I saw you I felt liked I’d known you forever.
Namjoon hit send before he could regret saying something so blunt, but it didn’t take long before worry set in. He could see the message had been read, but it had been a few minutes without getting a response. Namjoon face palmed and groaned at his awkwardness.
Sorry, I’m just now answering back! My phone died and I couldn’t find my charger!
His heart dropped, but then his phone buzzed again.
I know that is a lame excuse, but I promise it’s the truth. I uhm, I’ll buy you a coffee to make up for it?
How about I buy you coffee, but you show up at the cafe with intentions on actually talking to me?
He smiled at her text and his response. Smooth RM smooth. He thought happily to himself.
Haha, okay I will see you in an hour then?
With a happy heart and a stomach full of butterflies Namjoon crawled out of bed and all but skipped to his closet. An hour later he is seated at a table in the back corner of the cafe waiting for the girl.
His arm began to itch and right before his hand reached his bicep he stopped. The tattoo. He got up and went to the bathroom. He looked in the mirror and lifted his shirt sleeve to look at the tattoo. He watched in amazement as the vibrant pink aster darkened in colour and then turned to a dull grey. He didn’t know what the colour change meant but it made him nervous. He began panicking slightly. ‘What do I do? What do I do?’ he mumbled hurriedly. He stopped his pacing and looked into the mirror. He ran his fingers through his hair. Nodded an affirmation at his reflection and walked back into the cafe just as the girl was walking in.
Her eyes scanned the room and when they landed on him Namjoon could have sworn that time had stopped. Her whole face lit up with her smile and he couldn’t help but to smile back. She walked cheerfully towards him and bowed.
Namjoon grinned stupidly his dimples showing excessively, “Hey you!” he replied before awkwardly gesturing towards the area he had been seated at previously. As he made his way to the second chair at the table he stumbled over a rug and fell. Almost. With the many years of practice he had, he caught himself. He steadied his body and exhaled in defeat.
“I’m sorry,” he apologised, rubbing the back of his neck, “I’m a bit of a klutz.”
Classic mid-19th century cage crinoline dress. The skirt meassures 4,40 m at the seam which makes it of medium-width for the times and normal for a day-dress. Ball gowns used a lot more fabric for the skirt. The ensemble would be completed with a collar and sleeves made from white cotton and lace which were usually only loosely attached to the dress to make washing them easier.
Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg, currently on display as part of the exhibition “Sports / No Sports”. Photo: private (= by me, please excuse the non-professional quality).
The 87th Academy Awards is set to take the stage this weekend and, as usual, we wait with bated breath to see what everyone will be wearing. From full princess gowns to sleek, simple floor length dresses, we’re getting ready to place our bets on who’s making the best dressed list.
Here are 10 gowns we hope to see on the red carpet below!