Imagine your best friend is pregnant and is about to give birth on this very moment.
Your instinct tells you you have to stay calm. Give her your hand, let her say, scream or shout anything she wants without you saying anything back. Pinch her hand twice a minute just to let her know you are there. Have a little wet towel in your other hand in case she starts to swet too much and whipe her tears away whenever needed.
This is exactly how I felt last week at Southside Tattoo on South Congress: my friend was getting a tattoo.
Before she got the actual tattoo, the tattoist painted the picture on a little white paper. As soon as he finished I saw her face reflecting fear: the moment was there. She had to lay down on the bed, the hard, white, disinfected bed. The sound of the ink getting into her pores was vexatious, it got onto my nerves and I started swetting myself. We started to squeeze each other's hand even stronger. After half an hour the more than annoying sound finished and we realized the tattoo was done.
Relievement, silence and black ink all over her body.
Then, I realized my other friend came with us to get a tattoo as well. Wanting me to stand by her, to be her towel, tear and hand-squeeze assistent. Of course I insisted, trying to act if I didn't feel anything seeing them suffer.