I just returned from my Thai-No-Plasty 2010. This is going to be rather heavy on description and light on jokes, as I am applying to be a screenwriter for the next James Ivory film.
I woke up around 11:30 for a scheduled 3:00 NJ. I looked at my nose in the mirror a whole bunch during the morning. It was peeling slightly around the bridge from a sunburn I had gotten while at the beach (I had forgotten to apply my lifeguard's sun cream, obviously), and, in fact, appeared to be giving off a shine. I don't know how to interpret this shine. The spotlight on the star of the day? A Pulp Fiction-esque "Light of Meaning" emitting from my Mammoth Caves?
I don't know. I was committed at this point. I was blown off for lunch by an acquaintance--"Can we do 2:30?" "Er--no, I have to get plastic surgery."--which seemed a fitting coda to a bygone age of nasally-influenced relationships and friendships. Enter the NEW ME, with GOYIM NOSE, the super-model dating, GQ-posing, self-confidence having ME. I also expect to be good at basketball now, too.
I arrived at the clinic at 3:00. It was full of people--not even a seat for me (the clinic, if you would like to picture it, resembles a store-front barber shop, or Barber Shop--though, where the barber's chairs would be, there are two small rooms, with partitions (one walled-in room, one shower-curtained) to block their views from the people waiting in chairs). I paid my 40,000-odd Baht (when I pulled out my credit card, I was asked if I could pay in cash--oh, I'm sorry, actually I don't carry around absurd amounts of money with me wherever I go. Who am I, Mario Lopez?) and was asked to come back in one hour, when less people were getting sliced.
After a pineapple smoothie with Charles, I did return. The surgeon's assistants took some photographs from all angles, and then I asked the doctor take some photos from all angles with my camera, too (photos forthcoming). He took measurements of my nose with a steel ruler for the mold he wished to make. Then I signed a waiver form, written completely in Thai, which the doctor explained said I was not going to sue, and that I understood there were certain risks involved. I wrote my name, surname, the date, the words "reduction rhinoplasty," and then signed twice, once on the dotted line, once after my handwritten agreement that "I agree with the information above." I wrote that sentence with conviction, as though I could understand any words written on the contract besides "Name."
I was asked to wait outside for 15 minutes while the doctor made the mold of my nose. I listened to some sad music (The Antlers) to get me ready--I was tired and hoping that I could fall asleep during the procedure. Slim chances.
Otherwise all Thai people, a fat American woman around 50 came in and announced to everyone that she would like a doctor to look at the scars on her face. She wanted some advice about the scars on her face. Can someone get this fat American woman some advice about her face scars? She was led to the back. I waited some more.
Was I nervous? I don't know. It all seemed foregone at that point, like waiting for the dentist. I suppose I was emboldened by the number of people in the clinic--the reputation of the place. It seemed not so much a matter of whether he would do a good job, but rather, how much it would hurt.
Well, it hurt a lot. Initially, at least. I was laid down on a surgical table too short for me--I had to bend my legs to the side to keep them from stretching out into the reception area. My face was cleaned for surgery; a blanket was laid over me; I was told to keep my hands at my side and my eyes closed at all times.
"Close your eyes please."
The local anesthetic was applied. Little did I know that the application of the local anesthetic involved about 15 needle injections into various nooks and crannies on and inside of my nose. I involuntary cried. I don't know if it was better or worse that my eyes were closed the entire time so that I could not even see when another injection was coming. But, nevertheless, it hurt more than you might expect 15 shots inside of your nose might hurt. Or just the same, I don't know.
"Did it pain?" the doctor asked me when he was finished.
"It hurt a little bit," I said.
"I think it hurts a lot."
He was right.