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My Nose

Written by Alexander Aspinall on Thursday the 18th of November 2010
I cut off my nose. It wasn't quite with the
intention of spiting my face. But it is something similar.  
It only happened about five minutes ago, so I
haven't really had chance to figure it out yet. The knife is still in my hand.
And blood is still spilling from the holes. It isn't gushing and spurting as
dramatically as it was at first. There's still quite a bit trickling out
though. I'm not sure if it's likely to prove fatal. But it feels like it might. 
My head is making the most appalling sounds.
Desperate gasps for oxygen are complemented by a disturbing cacophony of
gargling and bubbling as the sinuses and cavities adjust to a confusing new
reality. It hurts to breathe and it doesn't feel like my lungs are getting what
they need. They sting. My head hurts too. And my eyes. 

The nose I cut off is lying on the carpet at my
feet. It landed pointing upwards, with the bit that used to be connected to my
face facedown. My nostrils are looking at me accusingly and I can't believe I
check to see whether they are clean or not (they are). 
In a moment that passes for clarity, I am able
to appreciate the opportunity to look at it from the point of view of a third
party. I gently kick it forward so it lands nostril-side-down and nudge it
round so I can see it in profile. I quite like it. The more I look at it the
better it looks and I start to question why I did it. I know why. But the
question remains unanswered. I think: it's not the most perfect nose ever created
but it's definitely not ugly. And. It is my nose. Or at least it was. 
A few more gasps and gargles and I decide to try
and pick it up and examine in detail what I'd lost. Finding leaning forward
considerably more difficult than I remembered, I am forced to abandon the
mission temporarily. Light headed. 
I remain committed to my mission though. So
affirmative action is taken. Instead of bringing the nose to my face I decide
to bring my face to the nose. I slide off the wooden chair on which I am
slumped and find myself on the floor. I land on top of the nose. A quick fumble
under my left thigh relocates it though and I'm relived to see it hasn't
sustained any serious damage. Apart from the obvious, that is. 
I bring the nose close to my face. Somehow resisting
the urge to slot it back in its rightful place, I give it to my eyes for a
closer inspection. And I can't believe them. 
After staring at the bloody piece of skin and
cartilage and struggling to see how it ever belonged to me I suddenly break
down and, though it hurts, I cry. And I don't stop until my tear ducts choose
the time. 
When the whimpering subsides I open my eyes.
Autopilot takes over. And I try to imagine whether this metaphorical
mistreatment is going to be worth it.