Indistinct Mumblings of an Unsound Mind

Stretching out, I opened my eyes. The vertical lines on the duvet came in and out of focus. Two red lines, one brown line, then one brown line and two red lines; all set against a background of eggshell white. Opening my mouth, I took that first morning inhale and felt the brisk, cool air from the fan next to me go into my lungs. Exhaling, the bitter taste of alcohol from the night before sweltered against my taste buds and I forced my stomach to retain its contents. This would be the first time of many times to come in the next ten or so minutes.

Sitting up in the bed, greasy hair fell down to my face. That’s when it started: this tingling sensation in my nose. Consciously pushing it aside, I tried to disregard it as a stray hair that had probably wormed its way up my nostril while I was sleeping, but it tickled in such an unscrupulous manner that it could not be ignored.

Almost unconsciously, my hands clamored over the edge of the bed in search of something to blow my nose on. Grasping around, the fraying hem of something or other found its way into my fingertips, and I desperately brought it to my nose. With streams of tears beginning to run their way down my cheeks, it was hard to determine what, exactly, I had in my hands, but I blew anyway.

Great gobs of snot flew forward, like the nozzle of an alien spaceship’s engines. I suppose that’s where the term Snot Rocket comes from. The pressure ceased momentarily, and I pulled the mucous-laden fabric away from my face, tossing it at the hamper in the corner of my room.

Just as it dawned on me that I had just blown my nose on my purple plaid pajamas, the itch came back with a vengeance. Not just a mere tickling this time, but a burning, almost pinching sensation at the back of my right nasal cavity. Knowing I had just thrown my last hope of blowing my nose again across the room, I had no other choice: I was going to pick my nose.

Quickly, I slipped my first finger in, but rapidly determined that it was too large to reach where the itch was currently stationed. Still, I twisted it, turning and cramming it farther and farther in a frenzied quest for relief. Realizing that I was only making things worse, I removed my finger from my orifice, and decided to instead use my pinky.

I inserted my pinky into the hole and instantly felt the nail flick underneath the hardened edge of this mucosal monstrosity. I knew that, much like peeling a price sticker off a new book, if I went too quickly it would separate into two pieces, both exponentially more difficult to remove than just one. Slowly, I lifted the crusty side out with my nail, withdrawing it like one would treat the rarest and most fragile of treasures. Gently pulling in the same direction as my nose, I could feel it trying to cling, holding on to my nose hairs for dear life.

At last, it relented, and finally it surrendered; it’s worm-like body slithering and slipping out with a mind of its own. The last remnants of its viscous surface were nothing more than a string running from my finger to my moustache. Licking my lips, I realized that relief was finally mine, and never had victory tasted so salty.

Categories: English

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