Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Nose

Nope, sorry, this is not a review of the Gogol story. This concerns my nose. I am 46 years old. Almost half a century. And all this time I was completely unaware of the nose on my face. Not that I had one; of course I knew that. But to the nature of it. You see, I had always thought I had a small, petite, rather unassuming nose. It was even something that bothered me slightly. Oh, it’s not like I laid awake at night, wishing to have a more prominent one. But it did occur to me that if I had a bigger one, my face might be more interesting to look at. I’ve always thought of my face as being rather nondescript, boring, really a reflection of my personality. I often blend into the background, and am hardly ever noticed. I will start to say something, and it’s like I’m not even there, people will go on with their conversation completely ignoring me. Not out of malice, mind you, but because I just don’t make much of an impression. Most of the time this doesn’t bother me, as I prefer not to be the center of attention. But all of that has changed now.

Yesterday, after getting home from work, my daughter was playing with a ruler. She was sitting on my wife’s lap, and measuring how long her arm was, just out of the innocent curiosity kids her age will exhibit. Out of the blue, I told her to measure her mom’s nose, which she happily did. Then she measured her own to compare them. Then my wife told her to measure mine. It was quite a bit bigger than either. I said something to the effect of having a rather small nose, and my wife burst out laughing.

“Small?!” she shrieked, “you’ve got a honker!”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I retorted, “my nose is hardly noticeable.”

“Do you never look at yourself in the mirror?” she asked.

As my wife and daughter were laughing their butts off, I went to the nearest mirror and looked at myself. Nope, still didn’t see it. But then I turned to the side, and got a profile shot. And damn if she wasn’t right! It was like I was seeing myself as I really was for the very first time. I thought it looked like a Roman nose, and said as much.

“Yeah, “ my wife agreed, “that’s it exactly, a Roman nose.”

A Roman nose. All these years and I didn’t even know it. How is that possible? I know I'm not the most observant person in the world, but c'mon! I got on the internet and googled “Roman nose” and was presented with a bunch of pics of Roman emperors. Looking at my schnoz again, and then looking through the images, I lighted on one, and asked my wife is she thought it looked like that one.

“Oh yeah, that’s definitely it,” she confirmed.

Domitian. He’s always had a bad rap, hasn’t he? The first thing people usually think of when his name is mentioned is a scene of Christians being fed to the lions in the Coliseum. But he really wasn’t such a bad guy. Oh, he had his faults, of course. But put him up against Nero or Commodus, and he looks like a saint. Besides, most of the writings about him at the time were penned by his enemies, so of course they are going to denigrate him. Due to recent research, most of what was said about him has been reconsidered. Most Classics scholars will agree he was actually a very capable and efficient emperor. He just happened to make a lot of enemies due to trying to stamp out corruption in the government. A big no-no if you want to keep your head.

And now I have Domitian’s nose. I haven't been able to pass up a mirror all day. And each time I look at myself, my beak looks to be leaping off my face. I almost had a wreck on the way home from work today due to admiring it in the rear-view mirror. I feel different already, more self-assured, regal, almost. I feel that there is nothing I cannot do. If only I had known about my nose earlier. Who nose what I could have accomplished? But it’s never too late. Cause now I’m on a mission.

Now I’m on a mission

A Domitian-Mission

I’m not checkin’ out

I’m not Goin’ Fishin’

But you’re hoping that I would

Is that what you’re wishin’?

But, yo, check me out

Self-love I’m dishin’

No holes in my ego

No glaring omission

My lack of self-assurance

Is now in remission

Cause I’m on a mission

A Domitian-Mission.

And now it’s official. Bubba has finally lost it. Oh well. Peace Pax out!


  1. Ha! Since getting home from work tonight nothing seemed to go right (in my head) and I've been sitting here most of the evening in a purposeless funk. Your nose post has gotten a laugh out of me. Thank you!

  2. Nice piece, Bubba, but the "Who nose" was a bit much. "Who knows" would have been more subtle.