I remember the first time I saw a girl with a pierced nose. I must have been somewhere around 12 years old, because we were still living in Scotland and I was helping out in the nursery at church. She was slightly older than me, kind and the tiniest of blue diamonds twinkled in the crease of her nose.
I instantly wanted one.
I waited almost 12 years until I went ahead and got my nose pierced. I wanted to make sure I really wanted it, and as soon as I did, I wished I had gotten it pierced sooner.
Unfortunately, one sweaty day riding a broncy 3-year-old spelled the demise of my pretty little nose diamond. When I quickly swiped at my face to stop the annoying trickle of sweat running down the side of my nose, I accidentally caught my sleeve and ripped the ring out of my nose. Ouch. I think that actually hurt worse than getting my nose pierced the first time! I never got to town to buy another ring before my piercing closed up, and so I’m back at square one, wishing for a diamond in my nose.
When I was 15 years old, I saw a photograph of a beautiful Indian woman. Tattoos snaked up the inside of her forearms and I, of course, wanted some. I traced their shapes with my fingertips on my pillow, drew rough sketches in my notebooks and redesigned the tattoos I saw on other people.
Just to clarify, I don’t have any tattoos. I enjoy the shock of my clean skin at a public pool around other people my age, the background of their skin muddied by fading stars, butterflies and feathers. Every few months though, the patterns and special meanings that I have been secretly dreaming of since I was a young girl comes rushing to the forefront of my imagination and a quiet voice whispers, “Why not?”
When that happens I return the to the little folder of photographs I have saved and browse through them. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll go ahead and actually get one, but until then…
xo xo Elizabeth