I’m sorry, Ben Affleck: you are just having the shittiest year. You’re going to be in that Batman movie as Batman and no one thinks you’re going to do well. Your marriage finally came apart. Matt Damon has a ponytail. What else can go wrong for you? Unfortunate tattoos, I guess.
Yes, word is out that he has a lower back tattoo. While I wouldn’t say it’s officially a “tramp stamp” and, no, it is not worthy of any think pieces, it is still quite funny to see. People are quoting that this is a symbol of his life unraveling in a mid-life crisis. Excuse me? Have you gotten a tattoo? That shit takes a long time to heal—and that ink looks way old. If this is a crisis tattoo, that ship sailed a long time ago.
But what is it? That’s what I’m wondering. You can’t really tell what it is but I can’t stop looking at it, mostly because I find something about the (awful) photo so delicious. I think it has something to do with the curve of his back almost over the jeans, the vague hint of normalcy by way of a spare tire. I read and re-read that the jeans say he is a size 34, which is definitely the size of a man’s waist. Can I re-watch that scene in Gone Girl where he is naked? I should do that. Then I go back to the tattoo. What can it be? A few ideas, based on the paltry design details we were given.
• Two Phoenix Chickens fighting.
• Air plants dyed red. Or the elusive Ionantha Mexican Air Plants.
• A portrait of Jennifer Garner, done in paisley.
• An experiment with Crayola Color Switchers.
• Kevin Smith.
• A depiction of an Irish lover’s lock of hair, an unlucky gift to be wary of.
• A cryptic, coded depiction of Jennifer Lopez’s phone number.
• Initial artwork for Batman v Superman.
• Buddha’s hand.
• Falling leaves, decaying in a fall light. They blow down a dusty road. “Didn’t we used to walk here when we first met?” he says to her. “We did,” she replies. “We don’t walk here anymore.” The two walk, letting go of each others’ hands. They watch the leaves tumble away into the forest, away from each other, breaking and falling apart, settling into the earth to rot into new life.
I really have no idea what the tattoo is of. I want to see more of it! I want to see more of not-in-a-movie, grizzled Ben Affleck topless or showing some skin, accidentally. I love when dudes accidentally bare midriff. I just want to stare, muttering “Oh la la.”
Here’s to you, Ben.