noseDear Nose,

I’ve taken you for granted. I’m not making any excuses, and it’s not that I don’t think you’re great. I mean, you’re as much a part of me as my hand or my little toe or the elbow I broke twice so it doesn’t straighten out like it’s supposed to. It’s just that usually you’re so reliable I don’t even have to think about you. It’s not fair to take something for granted that is so good to a person. But that’s exactly what I’ve done.

It’s only since I’ve had this cold that I realize just how important you are to me. Yes, hardship is what made me separate what’s what from what’s what. I realize that is a little despicable. Remember, I am not making excuses. I’m just saying: You are very, very important to me, and I realize that now.

For example, last night I tried to brush my teeth with absolutely no help from you. You were so blocked from the cold, I had to brush my teeth using only my mouth. I never realized how hard it is to brush your teeth when your nose is inoperable. I mean, I was out of breath. There was froth everywhere. Toothpaste is minty fresh, except minty fresh on the inhale isn’t that useful when you’re wanting to cough at every opportunity.

And then today, I was bringing the laundry upstairs and I actually had to take a break. It’s amazing what you do for my stamina; I had no idea. I just thought I was awesome as a whole. But nope, it has a lot to do with you.

Also, let’s not tell her, but I cannot believe how ill-equipped Mouth is to breath. I mean, I’m a little embarrassed for her. It takes about three open-mouth breaths for her to dry out and then you have to close her to try to rehydrate things, but then of course you can’t breath so it’s right back open. My lips are cracked. My tongue isn’t even talking to me.

Sleep is the main issue. Even if I put the covers over Mouth to try to create some kind of humidifier, she’s not having it. Meanwhile, all I can think of is you. Blocked up. One nostril, then the next, the honk, the pffft, the squeak, the unhappy seal cry of the attempted blow. But there is no movement. It turns out stoppage has a sound.

I also need to apologize for my teenage years. First off, I squeezed the hell out of you so I could remove the blackheads that sprouted inside you. You had no control over that, I understand. It was all about pubescence. That and also the fact that sometimes I went to bed without washing my face and that was a bad mistake. So, sorry about that.

Also, sorry for the fact that I didn’t like the way you looked. I spent a lot of time from ages 14 to 17 hating you, actually. I wanted you to be small and pert. Maybe with a slope. Upturned. Did I want to look like the girl next door? I really did. But did I? Not even remotely. Did I blame you? Yeah, I mean, I’m not going to pretend it wasn’t about your European nature. How have you been described before? I think the word that’s been used is “prominent.”

Still, when it comes to your dependability, you get an A+. So many people I know suffer from allergies and have a love-late relationship with their snoots. They deal almost constantly with blockage. Meanwhile, you, lovely, glorious you, are almost always willing to accommodate. No matter how cold the weather. No matter how fast the run. No matter what the hour. You’re clear and available.

So this is both a letter to acknowledge my regret and to tell you how much I love you. I will never take you for granted again.

Always and forever yours,

Tara

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