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My mind is like your nose 0

Dear Bradshaw,

            With head magnetized to the pillow, I buried myself in bed last night and tried to fall asleep. But a hammer pounding into my forehead prevented that from happening. I felt better this morning, throbbing headache and fever gone, but my nose was running like an Olympic track star. I’ve blown so much mucus through my nostrils today I’m surprised there’s anything left of me.

            Despite being sick, I went to work. Can’t afford not to. And before each lesson I grabbed a handful of tissues from the bathroom, stuffed them into my right jacket pocket, and used them, one after the other, from the beginning to the end of each lesson, grabbing fresh tissues from my right pocket and then shoving the used ones into my left. After each hour I returned to the bathroom, tossed the soiled tissues, and then refilled my pocket with fresh ones.

            During my lesson with Paolo, I sniffed and wiped and sniffed and wiped, transferring tissues from pocket to pocket, and Paolo suggested a home remedy for runny noses. “Blow hot air up your nostrils with a blow dryer,” he said. “The hot temperature kills the bacteria that makes run your nose.”

            Good advice, Shaw, perhaps. But what about the bad grammar and, besides, blow dryers make for poor English lessons.

            My last lesson was with Manuele. We reviewed conditionals and whenever he made a mistake, he complained that he had too much work on his mind. Feeling self-conscious after I’d pocketed the fifteenth tissue, I said, “Excuse me.”

            Manuele glanced up at me, and then rubbed his chin, and said, “That’s okay. My mind is like your nose.”

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