“The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain.” Karl Marx
Many years ago, I got my nose pierced. I think I was going through a rough period, because I remember my husband barging into the tattoo parlor to finish an argument with me.
Just recently, I decided to change the gold stud for a hoop. I think I was hoping for a jolt of pain, and I was not disappointed. But the cheap steel nose ring I bought wasn’t very pretty. I wanted a gold one, to match my earrings.
After a few weeks, I found the gold nose ring that my brother gave me, back when he decided to stop wearing shit in his nose. I knew I’d have trouble changing the rings, so I went to a piercing place just down the street from my house. A nice young hipster changed the nose rings. He had the assured but delicate touch of a brain surgeon.
Naturally, my brother’s nose ring was much too big and looked stupid. It bothered me all the time. I cry so often that I’m constantly blowing my nose. So I found a cheap gold ring that I hoped would be the right size.
Today, craving more pain, I waked down the street to see the nice young piercer. I learned that he was out of town, but another piercer would help me. An older , battered looking guy with a million faded tattoos led me to the piercing station and told me to lay down on the table.
His hands hovered above my nose, shaking badly. He attempted to get hold of my nose ring. I tried to conceal my fear as I asked, “Why are your hands shaking?” The hands started shaking wildly as he made another swipe at my nose.
I said. “That’s it, stop!” He backed away as I sat up. I don’t know who was more embarrassed but I wasn’t going to let some fucker rip my nose. He looked at me with a resentful expression and announced: “Hypoglycemia.”
I walked out as fast as I could. I walked a few blocks to another tattoo parlor. I explained what had happened to a dwarfish young guy with gigantic holes in his earlobes. He led me to a chair and replaced the big ring with the smaller one, warning that I would feel some “pressure.” The pain was a solid nine on a scale of one to ten. Hours later, my nose still hurts.
Of course, the new ring is too small.