Friday, March 20, 2009

Mariana: Portrait of a Modern Woman (an unfinished piece)

Here is another unseen story of mine. At least I have a good excuse for not showing this one.... I never finished it. I may finish it one day. I may not. Time will tell.


- R


Mariana: Portrait of a Modern Woman

The sun was shining, a cool breeze swept the land making the day’s warmth bearable, and there was not a cloud in the pristine blue sky — it was an excellent day for a piercing. Mariana called me the night before at 11:45 PM, not exactly an I deal time to call someone. My first instinct was to worry that something had gone wrong. I had spoken to her about four hours prior to her call; she was in the middle of a walk, her new nightly exercise routine. I assumed the worst: she was kidnapped during her walk and her captors allowed her to make one phone call; it’s actually a doctor calling to tell me that Mariana had been attacked by wolves and a roving gang of violent eight year olds; the police are calling to inform me that my friend is trapped in a sewer. It was her telling me she has decided she should get a nose ring. A nose piercing, she felt, would give her an air of culture and street cred. Not wanting to be rude by telling her this was a foolish and conformist reason for putting an unnatural hole in her nose, I just laughed it off as though my polite giggle of compliance translated to: “Why didn’t I think of that?”

It became quickly obvious that she had her mind set, but I convinced her to wait until that Friday rather than the next day, Tuesday. She agreed to wait and I agreed to accompany her. This is happening, I thought to myself. She is getting her nose perforated by a sharp needle.

The next morning I was informed in a timely manner by an orange paper on my classroom’s door that my twentieth century British fiction class was cancelled. My first instinct, as a friend, was to call Mariana and tell her I was free to accompany her this very morning. Then reason kicked in and I decided against it. It’s not that I didn’t want her to get a nose ring it’s just that I didn’t think it suited her and so she shouldn’t get one. Ultimately, the side of me that wants to see my friends happy prevailed and I called her. It might as well have been written in the stars because her class was also cancelled and she could indeed get a piercing today.

No sooner had I told her the “good news” when she had hung up on me to look for piercing parlors. Once again, I imagined the worst. A seedy shop tucked away in a dark alley. All the employees are covered from head to toe in tattoos. Anything that could be pierced was and I knew because these guys proudly showed me. Each piercing was prefaced by an appropriate anecdote, “I see you’re checking out my Prince Albert. That one takes me back. Best. Sixteenth. Birthday. Present. Ever. God, I love my parents.” The walls are decked in photos of men, women, and children and their respective piercings, a gallery displaying the piercers’ triumph over humanity’s better judgment. It would be here that my friend’s virgin nose is deflowered by veteran, unclean hands. I will be an unwillingly witness to its loss of chastity.


  1. OMG, that's a weird coincidence. I just wrote about my ear piercing and I see your latest entry about the nose piercing! You've left me hanging... did she get her nose pierced? Or did you talk her out of it? Oh and I love your writing!

  2. Hah. Too funny.

    This was in 2006/07, and she did get it done. It looked good, actually. But she only kept it in for 3 months or so.

    Thanks for the compliment! ANY kind of praise makes my day. Here's hoping a publisher will one day think similarly. :)