She started getting tattooed with the classic gateway piece, a tattoo stamped in the center of her lower back. I ask if her initial tattoo was provoked by the need to feel pain during a bout of depression, but she says that wasn’t the case: “I just thought tattoos were cool.” And she continues to get inked for the same reason. There is no philosophical weight behind her pieces—from the hypnotic portrait of Rasputin on her left thigh to the masquerade party going on across her back to the colorful sleeve of diner foods. “I just think those things are cool,” she says.
The wings are set on the table and we both dig in. “Is eating a sport?” I ask.
“I’d say so,” she says and takes a bite. “You are certainly using your body in competition.” She takes another bite as she gathers her thoughts. “You have to be strong physically and mentally to win.” While she’s telling me this, she is also showing me. Her hands and mouth work in synchronicity, like a pitcher going through the windup. She has a system of eating wings with flawless precision. Effortlessly, she strips a wingette (the more difficult, two-boned variety) clean quicker than I can dip a stick of celery into blue cheese dressing. And, like a gold-medal diver who finishes a rapid, technical dive without a splash, her face remains pristine in the wake of hot sauce. Her moist towelette remains in its foil package, unopened.