Nose To Nose

I’ve never, fashion wise, quite understood a ring through one’s nose, even if you’re a Ubangi.  A gold hoop through your nostrils…huh…what brought it on I wonder. I have one question: what was wrong with your ear?

Actually I have more questions which inspired me to conduct an impromptu interview on the number 6 train with Desi from the Bronx.

A breathtaking girl of 20 with eyes like a cat and hair she could sell by the pound, it’s so long and luxurious. She was sitting in the back of the train where they have two sets of seats comfy for one, or two very skinny people.

I slid in beside her like an eel up to no good.

Anything for a blog post.

“Hi I’m Susannah…can I ask you something?” She put down her phone.

“Yeah.” She was snapping gum so loudly even I heard it.

“And your name is?” She moved away from me like I was a about to pop the question.

“I’m Desi…and I’m schtraight.”

“Me too…I’m just curious about your jewelry. What made you put a ring (the size of Cleveland) through your nose?”

After sizing me up for a second she said, “Is a gift, from my man…wes goin steady.”

“But normally a guy would give you a ring to wear on your finger, right?” I was trying to be respectful so she wouldn’t hit me.

“It wuz too big, so I puts it in my nose. Don’t you like?”

She appeared shocked I might not.

“Yes, I do…it’s lovely…especially on you…but you really are a beautiful girl who doesn’t need much of anything, especially a hook through your nose.”

“A hook?”

“I mean ring.” Jesus…my stop better be coming up.

“You know…yous would look good wit one. My Hector…he get all his rings on Arthur Ave…ya know…in na Bronx?”

“I know where that is. Lots of good restaurants on Arthur Avenue.” I couldn’t stop staring at her nose.

“Chico is ez name. He hop corners, but you’d know-em if you seen him.”

“How?” Like I was really going.

“He got 5 in his nose.”

“5 golden rings…he must do really well at Xmas.”

“A-scuse me?”

“I’ll check-em out…Chico.”

“Say my Hector sen you…he like ra-ferrals.”

She got off at Astor Place her hair, like Rapunzel, billowing behind her.

I’m still not certain why someone pierces their nose, but I like she did it for love…images that at least makes sense, even to me.

I’m just glad he didn’t give her a watch that was too big.




About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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49 Responses to Nose To Nose

  1. micklively says:

    I’m definitely with you on this subject Susannah. All auto-mutilation seems seriously weird to me: tattoos, piercings, including (where we differ) ear lobes. I’ve never yet come across a body that looked better for being hacked about.
    I used to live opposite a jazz musician, who had more than thirty rings through holes in each ear. His lobes were almost dragging on his shoulders. It looked so ugly and made me shudder. Not very cool cat.


  2. No argument there. To each his/her own. Personally its not me.


  3. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    Great story ! Hope you well
    Best, Hal


  4. I had a flashback right from the word Ubangi. Any time I would make a face as a child my mother would say “you better stop that or you’ll look like a Ubangi.” Of all the things in the world she chose Ubangi. After seeing a picture in the encyclopedia of an actual Ubangi, I made the decision to keep my faces in tact.
    Now, as for nose rings, I do not get it at all. Why the face? I guess it does make it a little better that it was in the name of love and that is what I will have to go with too.


  5. Elle Knowles says:

    I’ve often wondered the same thing. So far so good with my kids. None have gone quite so far! Two have a tattoo, but I won’t talk about that! At least they can be hidden when the occasion arises. I guess you could take a ring out of your nose too, but it may hurt going back in? H has a band student who has a very small one in her nose. He makes her remove it for any performances – which BTW is today! 😉 Also all earrings – no jewelry. He’s very old school. I’m glad. ~Elle


    • I get it…less is more, not to mention clean. The permanent part of tattoos concern me…unless you’re a sailor, I think you might get tired of that anchor across your chest, especially if you were a girl.


  6. You had me at Ubangi. I remember National Geographic photos from when I was a kid. I was always fascinated at the things they pierced and the size of stuff they put in those holes. Of course I was also fascinated by the droopy boobs then I realized that happened to anyone who has boobs.


  7. MJ says:

    You know the mummified head of the Egyptian lady at the Met? Her earlobes are half a foot long, with a hole in each the size of a half-dollar. The gods know what earrings did THAT, but she was the stuff of my childhood nightmares, and the reason why I could never bring myself to have my ears pierced. Ear-piercing is wonderfully practical, though, and ears don’t “run” like noses. That’s what I find off-putting about booger hooks (oops, I mean nose rings). “Savage glam” only works when it doesn’t evoke hygienic concerns.


  8. MythRider says:

    A watch too big … LOL
    I’m with you – not in the nose. I imagine snot gathering on the inside. :0(


  9. The thing I always wonder with nose rings… how do you deal with them when you have a runny nose? It grosses me out to think of sneezing all over those things… My oldest started piercing her ears, then added enough to make a cuff on each ear. When she was 21 she pierced her belly button. When she showed me, I told her that should be it, and I warned her if she ever pierced her tongue I would rip it out immediately and not care how much pain she was in… yeh, Mother of the Year here…


  10. Good Woman says:

    I love this story. Whenever I see someone with a ring in their nose I think of my days growing up on a farm. Bulls had rings inserted in their noses as a way to control and handle them. The septum is sensitive so when a rope was inserted into the ring, pressure on the rope would cause discomfort so the bulls could be controlled. Not meaning to give a technical description, but whenever I see a person with a ring in their nose, I always think of the dominant/submissive thing. Perhaps a weird association but that is what comes to my mind. I also think about the hygiene problems with a nose ring. For these reasons, your story really resonated with me. I enjoy your writing.


    • Boy, do bulls have it bad…all that Pamplona crap drives me nuts, I don’t care how traditional the fiesta…Hemingwayesque…running with the bulls who are all about to die is…this will make e loath nose rings even more. OOH

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good Woman says:

        I am laughing at your reaction to my comment. I guess I provided a completely different perspective but like I said that is what comes to my mind. Great post.


      • I love Hemingway…read Movable Feast once a year…BUT…I can’t reread The Sun Also Rises, and never got through Death in the Afternoon. I wanted to rescue them all. Your comment was right on 🙂


  11. That made me laugh, Susannah. I swear I live vicariously through your posts since that is the sort of thing I would only imagine doing but never actually do. By the way, love the line “I slid in beside her like an eel up to no good.” 🙂


    • If I wasn’t so thin, I wouldn’t have been able to share her seat. She was lean too, but I had her beat. Now if that ring in her nose was any bigger, we both would have had to get up. lol


  12. skinnyuz2b says:

    This was a hilarious post, Susannah. I love the banter. I can’t imagine blowing my nose with a ring in the way. I also can’t imagine a stud in my tongue; knocking against my teeth and collecting food around it.


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