by Chris Miller

The buzz of the tattoo guns is the first thing Dan hears when he opens the dilapidated screen door, and a handful of bearded, inked up guys look at him with nonchalance.

One of the artists walks up to him, but not before finishing a conversation with a colleague about which favorite band has the best drummer.

“What can I do for you?” he asks Dan, who then rolls up his shirt sleeve to reveal a list of names etched into his arm, with lines through them, like a scrawled timetable on a prison wall. The last name on the list is the only one without a strikethrough line: “Jennifer,” it reads in cursive font.

The tattooist lets out an exasperated whistle. “That's a hell of a cover-up job.”

“No cover-up. I need to add a new name,” says Dan, and the tattoo artist shakes his head.

“Why do you keep doing this if you just want to forget them?”

“I do it so I can remember,” Dan says.