the lady had upon her face a cast iron nose, a result of her car crashing full speed into a tree, she said, her face smashing off the steering wheel and obliterating her nose.
her body had been full of barbiturates, she continued. she was on the way to a spring conference on something which i did not catch – my attention taken entirely by that metal nose. my. what a nose. i wonder, i said, would it be impolite to ask? how is it held there? is it with a peach elastic or perhaps a strong adhesive?
neither. she replied.
it is with a screw, and she turned the nose a 45 degree so as to clarify.
my. that is amazing. may i.. touch it?
why not, she said and shrugged her shoulders.
i touched the metal cone, it was cold, and ran my finger first along the top towards the point and then, pausing only briefly at the point, back along the underside.
incredible, i gushed, looking for better words, but i was dumbstruck with its beauty.
that cantilevered outcrop had me in its power. i could not retreat.
katherine, i said. i dont even know you, but i wonder, may i kiss it?
ah no, she replied. i had embarrassed her and i felt her unease.
i couldnt stand it though. i couldnt!
i grabbed her nose and began to unscrew. i must have it madam!
she shreiked. my nose! my nose! help!
but i was quicker and stronger and soon had the thing within my fist
which left a small darkened hole. time appeared to slow down. then a whooshing sucking noise.
and i was sucked towards her face, toward where her nose had been. then a clang of metal on the floor,then darkness.
i fumbled for my lighter.
there was noises, something moving. shapes which i could not make out by the light of the little window alone.
i lit the lighter, and there within the room, within her head in truth, were 20 or 30 little men, in various dishevelments and of all ages
inhabiting the corners of her head, slumped. some laughing at me. at my confusion. other fools who had been awestruck by the nose.