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"Damn girl. What happened to your face? You got fucked up."

I was sixteen. It was like October twenty third, twenty second. A couple of weeks after my birthday. My birthday's October thirteenth, eighty seven. Best birthday ever. In my opinion. So I'm on my way to night school. I just moved back from Wisconsin back to Portland, Oregon. Friends were throwing me a birthday party. On the way, took the Max in Portland, you know it's the upper ground subway, pretty much and took it all the way from Washington Park. Got off on Forty Second, Hollywood stop and wanted a cigarette because I'd been drinking and figured the cigarette smell would knock off the booze smell. 

I wasn't the brightest girl then. I asked this lady that I didn't realize at the time was out of her fucking mind on drugs and booze. She was thirty two years old and happened to be like at least one eighty, she was a big mama. I asked her for a cigarette and she freaked out on me so I said, "whatever, fuck you, I don't want your cigarette." And I was a kind of a cocky punk rocker then so I just walked away. Next thing I know I was being pulled by my backpack, dragged to the ground and she straddled me. She being a lot bigger then me, I was about one twenty back then, I was just sixteen. She banged my head on the cement. She just kept on banging and I pulled out my mini-mag light, flash light that I had on my belt loop and I was popping her on the face and then the next thing I remember she was her on my face. I didn't feel anything but I remember digging my nails into her scalp like this, pulling her off, just yelling, "Get off of me." And like no one helped me. I remember hearing her boyfriend laughing and laughing saying, "kill her, kill her. Kill the white girl. Kill this bitch." I tried to get on two buses and they just wouldn't let me on. I was gushing blood. I thought the lady just broke my nose. I was too scared to touch it because I was so bloody. And I just figured because of the alcohol I was just bleeding more. Finally I made this bus driver open the door. I wouldn't let him leave and I got on. And I was like, "call my dad or an ambulance. I'm fucked up." People were just looking at me in shock and I didn't understand why. Hip hop girls came up and said, "Damn girl. What happened to your face? You got fucked up." And I was, "like what are you talking about? Yeah I just got beat up. Whatever." And they're like, "no you're missing a nose." And I'm like, "no she just broke my nose." Next thing I remember I woke up in the hospital and they told me they had to give me a shot to calm me down. 

So I wake up in the hospital and I'm strapped and so I call the nurse and she comes in and unstraps me and tells me what happened. She's not quite sure how I'm missing my right nostril but I'm missing my right nostril all the way up where I can see the bone and they're telling me it's three o' clock in the morning, they don't know who I am because I don't have ID. They tell me the plastic surgeon is coming in to fix my nostril. At that time I hadn't seen my nose. So I didn't know what it looked like. Finally I get them to let me go to the bathroom and I see it. I about fainted. I dunno. I didn't really like how I looked back then but I liked the color of my eyes and my nose. I was fond of my nose. I was really heartbroken. I know it sounds really selfish and vain, but I was. I felt like a monster with no nostril. And like scratched up. The lady tried to fish hook me. And I had to get stitches inside my mouth. I had black eyes and I had to get three staples in the back of my head. She had swollen my brain so my equilibrium was off. The first surgery that night they took it from my hip right here, the fat and they put it on my nostril. They could fix my nose in six or seven surgeries. Well six. I was supposed to have a seventh one but I didn't want to do the cosmetic surgery so I only want to do reconstructive so that's why my nostril is thicker right here and it's really bumpy. For the first two years it was so white, so different. I had such a red line right here. Like the scare on my forehead was just ridiculous. Luckily I've always had bangs. 

I was really sad. I became addicted to pills. And then they cut me off pills I didn't realize like wow I was so sick but it so happened my husband was a heroin addict and was a speedball addict. He told me he could help me feel better, so my drug addiction continued onto heroin and coke. For about a couple of more years till I found Methadone and got off of it finally last September. I was clean about five months. And I've been chipping every so often. This is definitely something that changed my life. Something I've grown to love. I love my nose now. I think it gives me character. Most people don't realize it. Complete strangers ask me about it. I get compliments and I get weird questions. It doesn't hurt anymore. I have most of my smell. In time everything heals.

It's not all about trains.

Ashley