Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I do not know what the inside of my head looks like.

I have a cold; I have clogged ears; at the recommendation of several friends, I've bought a neti pot.

Using the neti pot is very possibly the grossest, weirdest thing I've ever done to myself. It's a tool for flushing and moisturizing one's sinuses, and you do that by tilting your head, pouring saline into one nostril and letting it run out the other. It's a bizarre sensation that does, in fact, clear one's sinuses and relieve pressure, or at least redistribute it.

But it makes me uncomfortably aware that my head is a bone container filled with various wet and spongy things, and only a layer of fat and skin holds it all together. A skull is a bone frame around big empty sockets, and the awareness that my head is a network of holes is freaking me out a little. I've seen pictures of people "brain flossing" -- that is, dropping something into a nostril and pulling it out through the back of the throat -- but this is something that I will never, ever try myself or ask anyone to try in front of me.

I am a big fan of clothing, and beyond that I am a big fan of skin; both serve to hide things from my sight that I just don't want to see. I like boundaries, and most days would feel perfectly comfortable in an abaya. The neti pot makes me think about portions of my own body I never want to see, and therefore I close my eyes when I use it.

Five Random Songs

"I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," Ella Fitzgerald. It's actually supposed to thaw this weekend, with temperatures in the upper 30s. I'm torn between being excited about this and dreading the mud.

"I Know a Girl," Bebe Neuwirth. From the Chicago soundtrack, the number that opens Act Two.

"When She's Gone," Mary Chapin Carpenter. An excruciatingly beautiful song about the end of a relationship. "The way she knew by the way you kissed her/When she's gone, you won't miss her."

"Overkill," Men at Work. Phew, something happy. Mock me if you will; this song about the first rush of a crush never fails to cheer me up. Of course, you could also hear it as a stalker's anthem ... it's a fine line.

"Cry a While," Bob Dylan. From Love and Theft, an album I don't listen to much. Every time I do listen to it, I think, "Gee, why don't I listen to this more?"

6 comments:

lawlis42 said...

I tried to use a neti pot once. I discovered that it was better at clearing out the contents of my stomach rather than the contents of my sinuses.

norby said...

My roommate bought a neti pot. I don't get the big deal with those. What's wrong with hot water and a towel over your head? Or a simple hot shower?

Anna said...

I'd be afraid to do it wrong and accidentally waterboard myself! Did you see that Christopher Hitchens had himself waterboarded for a Vanity Fair article? Sounded horrific. He lasted 2 1/2 seconds or something. I'd admit to anything.

Jen Jordan said...

I use my neti in the shower. The rushing water robs the neti of some of its inherent grossness. Some.

Gotten to the point where I sing whilst I use it. Shitty opera and Etta James. No "At Last." I don't want to piss Etta off.

AnswerGirl said...

The shower is a good idea...

Madley said...

Does it work for your clogged ears? Here's hopin'...