Monday, March 4, 2013


I'm taking a creative nonfiction writing class right now. It's hard. Mostly it's hard because I'm out of my comfort zone and I'm being forced to think about things and do things that I don't usually have to think or do. But I'm sure it's good for me. Builds character and all that.

Today in class we workshopped an essay that I'm currently working on. It's about nose-picking. The inspiration for this essay comes from a picture I took of my niece a couple of years ago wherein I caught her with her right index finger firmly entrenched in her left nostril.

Upon finding out on the facebook that I was writing this essay one of my sisters requested that I post the essay here on my blog. Because the essay isn't quite finished yet, a fact that was driven home to me today as my peers helped me see areas where I can improve and expand, I'm not going to do that.

However, I will post the first couple of paragraphs that I read aloud to my class today. They're not totally polished, but it gives you a taste.


I pick my nose. It’s true. Writing that down, I feel like I’m at some sort of Nose-Picker’s Anonymous meeting or something.

"Okay everyone, the first step to healing to acknowledge that you have a problem. So all together now..."

*Gestures wildly as if conducting a Gospel choir*

"I'm a nose-picker."

The real problem, though, is that I don’t really see it as a problem. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who will go out of his way to make a scene when picking. When I’m in public and the need arises, I pick and discard as discreetly and quickly as possible, and I wash my hands at the earliest possible opportunity. When I’m in polite company and I find obstructed my ability to breathe nasally, I excuse myself to the restroom and exercise the polite, tissue-aided pick my mother taught me. See, I may pick my nose, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have class about it.

That said, I will readily admit that when in the privacy of my own company there is little more satisfying than a deep cleanse. The pick that you have to go for with the gold-mining, brain-scratching eagerness usually reserved for the very young and the very old. The deep pick that’s crusty on the surface nearest the outside world, but that’s connected to enough of the still moist and mildly gelatinous buildup within that as you pick and it comes trailing out of your nose, it feels like it’s coming from a place deep enough on the inside that you question for a moment if you’re not pulling out something actually important. Like a tear duct. Or your brain stem. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as picking out that long, stringy glob of snot and feeling it tickle the top of your throat on its way out.


I realize that was a disgusting image, so I’ll give you a moment to stop retching before I continue.



There you go. I might post the rest of the essay someday. Or I might not. Who knows?


  1. OK that last part made me dry heave. . . .

  2. Maybe you should put something about how many quarters you can fit in there too.