Daniel sent in his simple hydrogen / Dr Manhattan tattoo on the back of his neck along with the following story:
It’s kind of a long, winding story, that has a lot to do with being laid off just three hours after receiving the diagnosis that my sudden hearing loss was being caused by an acoustic neuroma (or vestibular schwannoma. muh-muh-muh-my neuroma). The next morning one of the first thoughts I had was, “Dammit, it’s about time I get that tattoo I’ve always wanted.”
So how’d I end up with a hydrogen atom on the back of my neck? It’s one of those things that makes a lot of sense to me but is hard to explain. I really love Dr. Manhattan’s character in Watchmen, and though I know it’s probably a a geek sin, I adored the way he was handled in the film adaptation. I couldn’t get Phillip Glass out of my head during my first (and terrifying) MRI. I wanted something that could be read, even if only in a round about way, as “Deus Ex Machina” and thought the Dr. Manhattan reference as well as a sort of totem of faith in science and medicine was suitable enough.
The surgery to remove the tumor and recovery were both pretty major, and it was almost after a year after the diagnosis that I ended up finally getting the tattoo. The right side of my face was paralyzed as a result of the operation, and I have a major scar along my neck from a follow up surgery. I wanted to exert some undeniable, absolute control over the body that rebelled against me.
“If I’m to have a symbol, it shall be one I respect.”
Stephanie at the Electric Chair in Houston helped Daniel take some control over his body and dropped the ink in the back of neck.