Tuesday, March 01, 2011


I've never been good at blowing my nose. Every person I've ever known, regardless of age, is able to press a tissue against their nostrils and give a great honk to expel mucus, but this ostensibly simple process, which I imagine should be as automatic as wiping one's ass or drinking a glass of water, has never been easy for me. And the hell of it is that, given my allergies, I should be a lot better at it than I am. Alas, I am not.

I'll take a tissue if one is handy, ball up some toilet paper if it isn't, and, invariably, I'll explode clear, viscous liquid onto my cheeks, my mouth, my chin. In the company of others, this can be quite embarrassing. In private, I don't even bother. Instead, I'll go to the bathroom, lean over the sink, press my index finger against whichever nostril isn't currently affected, and shoot what I've affectionately dubbed bucksnot into the basin. If I have a bad cold, I'll pinch the bridge of my nose and let fly the double barrels.

My sinuses are congested, in one form or another, mostly year round. In spring and summer, I get so that I can only breathe through my mouth, my pathetic-looking maw hanging agape whether at work or rest. In winter, I drip like a leaky faucet, right and left nostrils alternating their constant waterworks every couple of hours. There's a window of reprieve for a few weeks come every fall, but after that it's back to my unofficial duty as mayor of Snotsville. It's thankless work.

Because I'm so tragically inept at the uncomplicated action of blowing my nose, I instead -- again, only when in public -- carry facial tissue with me at all times. When the snot's blob-like creep toward breaching my upper lip begins anew, I wipe it away. Again and again. For years, I used to sniff it back, but do you know how goddamn annoying that sounds? It sounds like a baby farting.

So I keep wiping. Often until my nose is red and raw, dry-skinned and bloody. It is such a chore, and nothing will provide relief. All the nasal medication or antihistamines in the world won't ever cease this endless stream of watery nose-shit coming out of me. I've tried them all.

But I think I might have found a cure. It's in the dining room, propped up against the sideboard. Its purpose is for hunting deer, but you know what they say about how necessity is the mother of invention and all, and I have another use for it, a revolutionary one.

I am going to blow out my brains to spite my nose. Going to let fly the double barrels.

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