Thursday, January 17, 2008

My new nose

Wanna know how I got this wonderous nose? First, please note the hump, bump, or lump (or choose your own name) on the right. This is the direct result of a trip across Pocatello to see my sister (the Clone) DeWe's new boyfriend.

It was a sunny morning in May, circa 1959. My twin sister, Dewe, had a new boyfriend who lived across town, my older brother David, had a 1939 Plymouth Coupe which he had just restored with money he had worked his butt off to earn. It was painted Candy Apple Red and was beautiful. I had a burning desire to drive that hot rod. It was the last week of the school year and excitement was in the air................ more than any of us ever bargained for.

Dewe's best friend (shit, I can't remember her name...damn fragmented hard drive in my skull!) arrived at our house after getting off the bus at the school which was across the street from the Mansion we called home. We were dressed and ready for the day and had an hour before classes actually started. Chattering about girl stuff, we came up with the brilliant idea that I would sneak up on David , who was in a deep teen-age coma in his bed, and beeeegggg him to use his car so that we could drive across town to catch a glimpse of Dewe's new "true love". The fact that I didn't know how to drive didn't seem to be a problem so I did the begging, got the keys and off to the car we trotted.

We were giddy with the excitement of the day, the planned trip, and the high-school newspaper (David's) we had in our possession. This was the end-of-the-year paper which named all those interesting things like: the cutest couple, the prettiest hair, the best looking boy and girl, the smarted, the best dressed, etc., etc., along with photos of each.

David's car was a stick shift, which meant there was a clutch and a brake, along with the gear shift, which seemed easy enough to use. After all, I had a lot of experience watching my older brothers and my Mom use these auto parts. Looked like a piece of cake to me. There was one problem..........the starter. It was a big spring with a flat, round steel plate on top and was located on the floor, next to the brake. I turned on the key, pressed the clutch to the floor, as I'd observed on previous rides, then started pumping on that starter. It took a few minutes and a little cussing to actually get that motor purring before we were ready to fly!

The actual forward movement was a little more tricky than anticipated too. Jerk......stop......... jerk.... stop........ jerk...... stop..............oh hell, I just put a little lead on the gas pedal, let go of the clutch, and off we went toward the greener pastures of mysterious men in West Pocatello. Dewe and What's-er-Name" were engrossed in the paper, giggling and commenting at the wonders contained therein. I was thoroughly enjoying the driving part but curiosity grabbed me. I just had to see what they were seeing, so......I looked over to read along with them. After what seemed like a few seconds, I looked up to see where I was headed. Thn, as the words "Oh, my God!" came out of my sweet lips, a PARKED car came out of nowhere and hit us, head-on, with it's trunk! We were two blocks from home.

Next thing I remember seeing was the parked car, sitting half-way on the lawn of it's owners house. Their white picket fence was laying along side it on the grass. The other girls were crying with fright and Dewe was bleeding profusely from the mouth. The lady of the house came screaming out of her front door as we all jumped out of the crumpled little Plymouth. She was old country Greek who didn't speak any English but her actions were very clear. She grabbed Dewe and took her toward the house for first-aid. What's-er-Name didn't appear to be hurt just extremely frightened. I noticed that my nose was bleeding just as the Mr. of the house appeared, taking me gently by the shoulders, walking me into the house and directly to the bathroom sink. I was leaning over the sink, holding a wet cloth to my face, as the red stuff poured out, my head throbbing. After a few minutes, I looked up into the mirror and to my horror................there was my nose, sitting on my left cheek!

Now you can imagine how traumatic this would be to an empty-headed, vanity infused, teen-aged girl. My life was over! No boy would ever look at me again, my friends would drop me like a hot potato. Oh, me, oh, me, oh, my! While I was having this self pity party, the police and my Mom arrived from out of nowhere. I still don't know how Mom found out so quickly. Well, being the considerate person that I am, I not only managed to crash close to home, I did it across the street from the St Anthony Hospital, where the three of us were promptly taken for emergency care.

What's-er-Name was examined and released to her parents, Dewe and I were admitted for the more serious injuries we had sustained and, for further observation, which, I believe, they later regretted. It wasn't until we had arrived at the hospital that I saw the damage Dewe had suffered. Her mouth had hit the steel dashboard, breaking four top, and four bottom teeth off the gum line.

Her beautiful, straight, white teeth were gone forever! Her bottom teeth had torn through her upper chin, just below the lip, leaving a scar she still wears today. I was devastated! How could I have done this to her? Then there was David's car... which was totalled. I deserved to have my nose on my cheek! I must have said "I'm sorry!" a million times between the sobs.

By that afternoon, we had been settled into a room together and were lightly sedated to calm us.

Around 4:30, school friends started to arrive to visit. Also, by that time, I had two of the biggest, blackest shiners, I'd ever seen. My face and eyes were so swollen that my upper eyelashes were tickling my cheeks, driving me crazy. I was told that my face had left it's impression in the windshield and, my chest had slammed into the steering wheel, which was an answer to the pain I was feeling there. The nurses would only allow two kids at-a-time in to visit, for about five minutes. Dewe and I were popular, but we didn't know we had that many friends.

We were on the second floor, later hearing that kids were lined up outside our door and halfway down the block, outside of the building, waiting to get a chance the see the toothless and cheek- nosed twins in that room. I have to admit it was flattering but also that we realized at least half of our "popularity" was just curiosity seekers, wanting to see us at less than our normal bee-u-tee-if-amous selves. hehehe. It took two days for the curiosity to end. It was an adventure, to say the least, all that attention.

Later, David came in to see us. I was so afraid to face him after I'd taken advantage of his half-coma state to get his car keys and then, demolishing the car he'd worked so hard to buy and restore. He never mentioned the car, not to this day. His only concerned was for our health.

I love my brother David.

On the second day, the doctor took hold of my nose and pulled it across my check, close to where it had originated, then taped a splint over it which I wore for two months. The unveiling revealed my, now old, "new" nose in the picture above. Dewe spent the summer without teeth while her mouth healed and partials were created to replace them. I had to go before the judge who revoked the drivers license I'd never had, forbidding me to get one for another year. I don't know who paid for the neighbor's car and fence. Hard lessons learned, in our family, weren't dwelt upon. We simply didn't let them. Life was about keeping your shoulder to the wheel and continuing on. Thank you for that, Mom.

Do ya think I should get my "new" nose "re-newed"?

Oh, Yeh! What's-er-Name's, name, was Valva. No wonder, it was hard to recall! :)


Sandee said...

I love that picture of you...however, I'm glad I didn't inherit that nose! Thanks again for the laugh!

Cristie said...

Mother, that picture of you is hilarious. I've heard that story many times and love it. But I have one question. Did Aunt D's new boyfriend come to the hospital to visit?

Michelle said...

And what a beautiful nose it is! Especially with the blue eyelashes accenting it!