Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed.
You're a very nosy fellow, kitty cat. Huh? You know what happens to nosy fellows? Huh? No? Wanna guess? Huh? No? Okay. They lose their noses.
--Roman Polanski's immortal line from Chinatown
So the Siren is bringing the twins home from school. She lives in a brownstone with a long flight of steps in front. She gets the twins in the door and goes down to get the Baby, who is now 16 months old and becoming a Heavy Baby. She drops the stroller at the door and starts to step over the threshold, Heavy Baby in arms. This sounds simple and usually it is. Yesterday, however, the Siren's feet got crotchety at the last minute. Instead of performing as expected, they started a pointless quarrel over which one should go first and when and where.
And here is where the Siren got to test Ingrid Bergman's theory below, that we all have a body part we'd rush to protect if something is about to smack into us. If you're Vera Zorina you protect your legs, if you're Ingrid Bergman you protect your face. What Ingrid didn't mention is that if you are a mother, you clutch Heavy Baby to yourself by the purest instinct and let whatever is hurtling toward you go ahead and jolly well hurtle.
And that is how the Siren's face got extremely well acquainted with a door jamb. The house dates to 1855 and the Siren can tell you, when they made door jambs in 1855, they didn't mess around. Do not argue with a 19th-century door jamb. You will lose.
Well, Heavy Baby wailed like the world was ending, but he was completely fine. The same cannot be said for the Siren's face. The doctor informed her that not much can be done for a broken nose, so the Siren opted against the emergency room. Instead she has been sitting around the house with her nose buried in ice like a bottle of Champagne. She felt marginally better once she remembered the small stash of serious painkillers left over from her c-section, but she is still feeling very sorry for herself indeed.
The Siren is a vain little mortal and she was always rather fond of her nose. Here it is, along with the original non-swollen version of her mouth.
And here is what now greets the Siren on what have become lightning-fast and infrequent trips to the mirror.
Okay, she's exaggerating. A little. But no amount of reassurance from all and sundry that it doesn't look "displaced" (hideous word) can keep the Siren from being convinced that this is the future that awaits her once the swelling goes down.
He ain't pretty no more.
--from Raging Bull
So anyway, the Siren had any number of topics she was ready to discuss but La Maison de Siren is now officially the All Nose Worry, All the Time channel. By the way, speaking of Raging Bull, the Siren always chalked up the flying nose-blood to operatic Scorsese excess. Um, no. All that was missing from the Siren's re-enactment was some Mascagni on the soundtrack.
The Siren's landlady, who heard the commotion outside her door and very kindly looked after the kids while the Siren stanched the bleeding, drily told her to be prepared for certain assumptions from strangers, especially since the Siren's story, while true, is possibly the least believable broken-nose excuse ever.
And, as the Siren attempts to distract herself with thoughts of Great Moments in On-Screen Broken Noses, it occurs to her that when women get their nose broken in movies it is almost always at the hands of a man, like Rena Owen in the superb Once Were Warriors. No picture. That one's grisly. When the Siren saw the movie in the theater, no one walked out during the terrifying beating scene, but a couple did leave after a few minutes of watching Owen struggle with her hideously swollen face. The only counter-example the Siren can come up with is Million-Dollar Baby, in which Hilary Swank gets her nose broken by another woman (now that's progress!) in the ring.
But, come to think of it, men almost always get their noses broken at the hands of a man, too. There's Raising Arizona, Mystic River, Something Wild, Witness...does anyone ever get their nose broken by accident? In Body and Soul and Champion the stars' noses get a workout as the Siren remembers, but that's also in the ring. The Siren can't remember if Paul Newman got his nose broken in Somebody Up There Likes Me, but if he does he probably still looked pretty. Newman always looks pretty. If the Siren sounds jealous it's because at the moment she is.
The only character the Siren can remember who got a nose broken by accident is this one
but that's small-screen and the Siren doesn't usually do television. She watches plenty, mind you, she just doesn't blog it.
Wait a minute. The Siren's got it. Diamond Louis, played by Abner Biberman, in His Girl Friday. Doesn't he get his nose broken in a car accident, while attempting to kidnap Rosalind Russell's future mother-in-law? "Can you imagine bumping into a load of cops? They come rolling out like oranges!"
Any other examples? Come on, cheer a Siren up. Right now she's just moping around contemplating her daughter's definitive pronouncement: "Mommy. You need to WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING." Meanwhile it's time to change the ice in the Ziplock bag. What the Siren really needs now is a cute little ice pack, like Myrna Loy had in The Thin Man...