And, what ho, there’s something on her upper arm. Why, it’s a tattoo.
By golly, if it’s not…
"Hey," I say in my most charming voice, "what is that?"
"It’s a double helix," Marzena says, matter of factly.
"Double helix!" I exclaim. I’m a smooth talker. "What, did you study that in school?"
"I studied history," Marzena says.
It turns out that Marzena is in the lobby of my hotel because her car has broken down in the hotel garage, and she is, at the moment, asking the hotel clerk to call her a tow truck.
"The tattoo. It’s not finished."
A work in progress, then. I’ve sat in the Cambridge pub, the Eagle, where Watson (or was it Crick?) pulled out the X-rays and wondered whether this might represent the discovery of the secret of life.
And now it’s a double helix on the arm of a girl who can’t get her car out of a Lodz garage. The passage took 55 years: X-ray (1952) to tattoo (2007).
And I ask you. When tattoos went mainstream in the 1990s, everyone thought real hard about how to get something "totally interesting." Dolphins, dragons, death heads, yawn. Marzena had a better idea.