A lesser known definition of the word “tattoo” tells us it’s something played on a trumpet, a military call. According to this way of defining it, a tattoo is a rhythm.
So it is not just a needle which makes it what it is. Not just the ink.
Every tattoo means goodbye to something, even if it is a small thing, a frivolity. The image is there as a reminder: somewhere along the way, something was lost.
Every tattoo is taps. Every tattoo is a requiem.