The Other Nipple

It’s nice to be back in Ireland. It’s nice to hear the accents. It’s nice to walk into a shop and not have to rehearse what I’m going to say in my head. It’s nice to be able to cross the street at somewhere that’s not a pedestrian crossing in the knowledge that an armed police officer is not going to approach me and demand to see my papers. 

It’s a time of transition for me. I’ve been writing a lot about boys and sex and stuff, but it’s a time of transition for me more broadly than that. I’m finishing my PhD and moving to Viet-bloody-nam. I’ve already written to my colleagues there, introducing myself, saying “Call me CoCo. Everybody does.” They are fine with that, and I’m getting work emails frequently now that start “Dear CoCo”. It gives me thrill every time! I love a makeover. 

In the spirit of new beginnings, I got my nipple pierced today. I had my left nipple pierced in 2005 and at the time it was probably the most rebellious thing I’d ever done. I remember the piercer at the time laughing at me, asking why I hadn’t started with a piercing somewhere easier, like my ears, instead of my nipple. Nipples are notoriously painful to pierce. I nearly fainted when I got the first one done. 

This time, I felt like an old pro. But a nervous old pro. The piercer was lovely, but she told a singularly uncomforting story about when she pierced her own nipples. She pierced her own nipples herself. And she told me about all the blood and about the fact that she sleeps on her front so they started growing out and she had to take them out. GROSS. 

My first piercing was fine, so I’m choosing to believe this one will be too. 

It was sore, and I did let out a little yell when she shoved the needle through my nipple, but other than that I was fine. 

I got the same advice about aftercare as before, including the “righty tighty lefty loosey” rule, which applies equally to nipple piercings and to changing the tyres on your car. 

I’m paranoid about someone or something bashing into it, so I spent the afternoon walking around town with my right hand cupped protectively around my nipple. That’s normal, right?

It mightn’t be the best time to get a piercing, when I’ve just arrived back in Dublin after two months abroad. People (naturally) want to hug me, but only my left side is currently available for hugs. 😦

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