My nose doctor is far too blasé about his job. I really like him. He is fantastic at his job, really efficient in the kind of way that I can only envy, and a generally very cool guy. Plus he has a great, and readily dispensed lolly stash.
So you walk into his offices and hear the classical music and ask how the nurses are and how he is and you feel pretty grateful for what he has done for you.
But then you’re inside the room and he smilingly directs you to the bed, makes a little joke, and kindly shoves a glorified vacuum up your nose and into your sinuses. He laughs a little at a piece of dangly snot and blood he pulls out because I’m sure that’s what you need to do to get by when you spend your days gazing into twin hairy caves of mucus. Then he moves you to a chair, gives you another lolly (the green ones are the best), and sticks a camera up into your head to check if you even have a brain, because surely anyone who signs up for this is missing some crucial element of cognitive thought. Oh, and to check how well you’re healing, I guess.
You move back to the bed and lie there as he laughs with his nurses about the classical music he is playing with some high-brow cultural referencing that you only kind of understand, and you join in and it’s looking like you’re in the clear and then he clamps open each nostril and inflicts a kind of pain you have never experienced before as you hear a cartilege crunching snap. You are sobbing, still and quiet, as he repeats the ritual of breaking off scar tissue from your not yet fully healed sinuses. There is a fun amount of blood and he shoves a bit of marshmallow-like packing up there with some ointment that will dissolve over time. He sheepishly thanks you and tells you how well you handled it, considering. You are directed to sit again, in a different seat, a macabre game of musical chairs as you daintily dab the blood off your face.
A camera is produced and a photo is taken, and he smiles and compliments you with an authenticity that dissolves all untoward feelings that had manifested over the course of the brief, bloody routine. He invites you to come back in a week and a half for another go. As you wait to sign the bill you hear the suction pump start up and a woman’s keening wail. The heat outside is oppressive.
You are left to walk home, have a breakdown in the bathroom of a nearby mall, and return to your dark room to weep, naked and fetal; a rebirth of someone who can breathe just like everyone else.