Still Kicking Around

2am Green Herbal Face Mask. Can you see the new diamond nose stud?

Okay. After editing and revising Secrets & Seduction by Cheri Blossum as best as I could - I nearly went blind from it - I published it on smashwords which should wend its way onto major ebook distributors although smashwords has great ebook platforms. Now comes the hard part:


This is the part I hate mostly because it's ineffective. To get anyone to read anything that's not already a bestseller is next to impossible. As I've said more than once, I have to go person to person and put a gun to their head to make them buy anything I wrote or published. In this case, spending $4.99 on a book that may provide a read they never had beforehand is harder than to get them to hand over $500 for a day at the spa, $500 I would never repay.

But, I digress.

The marketing nearly killed me. The infamous Stacy Geisinger of showcased my latest book, The Complete eDating Advice Comedy Series as well as Cheri's book, Secrets & Seduction on the front page of her blog:

I did other promotional things as well, got some sales and Cheri got a 5-star review after three days in publication. I'm not going to get jealous. But I was and am.

At that point, I needed a time out and ventured into the City during what has been determined as the HOTTEST days of the year. I was supposed to meet a specialist for my neurological hearing, one of the five on the east coast. At the last possible second my appointment was canceled (without notification) because my insurance wouldn't pay the amount of money he wanted. Amerika at its finest. Still, I went into the City, this time to play.

"I want to get my nose pierced," I said to my friend without thinking this one out.

We knew one woman who got her nose recently pierced. "Where did you go?"

She responded, "A tattoo parlor on St. Marks Place. It cost $35."

Saying a tattoo parlor on St. Marks Place is equivalent to saying a clothing store by Herald Square. That night, we walked to St. Marks Place and checked out tattoo parlors dotting the street.

"I haven't been here for at least thirty years," I told her. "The people look the same." They did - young, tattooed, hair dyed and shaved in peculiar ways, a flashback to my youth in the 1970's and 1980's.

"I know a tattoo parlor where my friend and I got tattoos. Of course we had them done over years later and elsewhere," my friend informed me. Somehow, I didn't find this admission comforting.

"Here it is," she stated. We stopped in front of a hole in the wall tattoo parlor. It looked seedy enough. There were a few disaffected youths seated in front. They gave us a once-over. That's when it dawned on me that we fit the mold of ultra-cool. Both of us wore white summer fedoras (something we laughed about when we met up at the bus station) and summer clothes which showcased our arm tattoos.

We entered and a woman who had orange hair on one side (the other side shorn to the skull) said, "How can we help you?"

"I'm here to get my nose pierced," I said.

She opened the cabinet and I selected a tiny stud with a diamond end. My friend selected a pink one. "No, I want it to be subtle," I stated. Subtle. I'm a 58 year old woman who has tattoos and I want a nose earring to be subtle?

The woman said, "Twenty-five dollars," and made me fill out forms. I turned to my friend and said, "I just saved ten dollars."

Then, I got nervous: the enormity of what I was about to do hit me. Swooning, I asked, "Hey, is this going to hurt?"

The orange-haired woman peered at me as if I were a nutcase.

My girlfriend said, "You've tattoos!"

"Piercing's different," I said.

My girlfriend placated me. "They'll use a gun and it'll take two seconds. It won't hurt. The nose doesn't have many nerve endings."

Moments later, they escorted me to a chair where an Asian guy in halting English displayed vacuum packed tools to reassure me I wouldn't risk infection. Then he placed a dot on my nose.

"Wrong spot," I said. "Back more."

He put another dot on my nose.

"Wrong spot," I said again. My girlfriend laughed. "You know where I want it, right?"

With unerring accuracy, she placed the dot in precisely the spot I wanted. The guy turned around. In seconds, he leaned over and without a gun pushed the stud into my nose using some metal implement. It felt like he used an anvil to hammer it in.

I levitated. "Ow, that hurts!" I yelled as he shoved it in. "What's this about the nose not having many nerve endings?" I said accusingly at my friend. "He found every one!"

He then clipped the end inside my nostril. It took a few times until it felt good enough.

Leaving the area, I glowered. "A gun, huh? Two seconds, right? It hurt like hell."

It still hurt. On our way out, we wedged ourselves past cool twenty-year old men who exclaimed over my friend's tattoos. Suddenly, I didn't feel right.

"Listen, I gotta get outta here," I told her. "You stay, I'll sit outside."

She followed me to the outside entrance where I took an empty seat. Out of nowhere, I burst into a sweat and my fingers tingled.

"Shit, I think I'm going to faint." I panicked a bit.

"Breathe in through your nostrils and out through your mouth," she advised, seated across from me.

"Nostril, you mean," I said, being a sassy bitch. "The last and only time I fainted I was twenty-three."

It was a hot summer night and I joined office mates in a bar down the street from my office. I went to the woman's room and in seconds fainted. Luckily, I slid down the wall. I got up again and fainted once more. The third time, I said, "Perhaps I should get something to eat."

"The tingling won't go away," I complained.

"Just continue to breathe deeply," she calmly said.

In the interval, a bunch of disaffected youths exited the tattoo parlor showing each other their new tattoos. One guy had a white rat on his shoulder.

"What's that hanging out of him?" I asked. I tried to peer at it. "Is that his foot or something?"

"No, his balls."

"They're larger than many men I used to sleep with," I stated. They were indeed immense. I tried to recall my ex-boyfriend's testicles, yet amazingly, couldn't. I broke up with him in March, not even three months ago and my memory of him has mostly dissipated. All that's left is a faint moue of disgust, revulsion and surprise that I wasted all those months on someone who never mattered in the scheme of things.

The guys burst out in laughter and then started to talk to us. I wasn't precisely in a chatting mood, soaking wet in my sweat, feeling tingling in my fingers that ebbed a bit. I looked up at my friend and said, "Now I know why there was a ten dollar savings."

"Yeah, I'm surprised that they didn't use a gun as well."

We got up to go and one of the guys who told us he killed his rat when he dyed the fur blue said, "You guys are cool. Come by so we can talk some more."

As if.

I guess the heat got to us. At 2am, my girlfriend gave us facials and then we passed out.

I'll enjoy some more time visiting her because soon, I'll shlep back home to devise creative ways to induce you, dear Reader, to purchase my as well as Cheri's books.

# # #

No comments: