I knew my life would change the day I got a portrait of Alice Cooper carved on my throat. I was ready for the looks, for the haters, for Alice Cooper to retract my restraining order.

What I didn’t expect, though, was how my neck tattoo would affect finding true love. A love flowing pure and pristine. A love where forever doesn’t seem like long enough. The love of my life. Other than Alice Cooper, of course.

Ladies, I’m sure you think my neck tattoo is an affront to romantic conventionality. It must mean I don’t give a damn, or I have a rap sheet, or I’ve only had sex twice with the same person. You probably think I got kicked out of Spain once, and I have a pony fetish—that I don’t have a job or a 1997 Camaro.

Well, I do have a 1997 Camaro. You can’t judge a man by his neck tattoo.

Behind my neck tattoo is a sad, simple creature who believes in the ideal. I believe in love—the sacred source of man’s vulnerability, the “wild” in the wilderness of the human condition. A millennium of mystics lives in my heart. But when you look at me, all you see is “Prince of Darkness” in Comic Sans stretched just under my chin.

Is it so quixotic to search for one’s soulmate? Am I chasing windmills looking for my other half—a woman who will forgive my indiscriminately licking her in public? Does my Queen exist, prepared to sign a death pact at our Alice Cooper–themed wedding?

Curse Cupid’s impotent arrow! Just like Alice Cooper did with a chicken at the 1969 Toronto Rock and Roll Revival concert, love hath bit off my head and tossed me into a sea of savages.

I look to the cosmos for compassion. I surrender my aching heart to the universe—to the great Alice Cooper in the sky. Is fate not a game of chance? We’re all stardust colliding into one another at random, or because I snuck in your house.

I’ve gained the wisdom to accept the things I cannot control. I cannot control how you dismiss my character based solely on how Alice Cooper’s bleeding mascara disappears under my shirt, or because “Trale of Tears” is tattooed across my collarbone. No more than I can control the choir of angels perched on my longing for true love’s kiss. Their heavenly voices, at times soft as milk, singing, “School’s out for summer. School’s out forever.”

Do not judge me by my neck tattoo. If you must judge me, weigh my faith in love everlasting. Caress my scars of unrequited love, mostly left by Alice Cooper never returning my emails. Find poetry in what you can’t understand, or what you can’t stand to look at.

A great philosopher once said, “We are all one giant neck tattoo, one turtleneck away from trading our dreams for a “real” job.” That philosopher was me, just now.

Rest assured, my Queen is out there. She will look past my neck tattoo and otherwise pasty skin. My Queen does not seek perfection and won’t mind one of Alice Cooper’s eyes being lower than the other. Two souls joining as one, my Queen will think it’s totally fine I live in my 1997 Camaro, because chicks dig Camaros.

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