My septum piercing has lasted the best part of ten years. That's pretty good going for me. I have a history of hospital visits where my facial piercings get cut out due to infections caused by impacted teeth.
I moved to Poole soon after meeting my husband ten years ago. I worked as a shop assistant for a few years but it wasn't paying the bills (plus one of the volunteers gave me grief after my promotion; I've been working here longer than you've been alive). I decided to apply for a job in a call centre where I sat two tables away from Michelle.
Call centre work is awful. Being abused on the phone daily is not something I find easy to deal with. But I think the stress of the situation makes for some awesome camaraderie. I soon befriended a man with multiple lip piercings on my team and before we knew it I was telling him about my plan to get pierced on the quay...
No no no. Don't go to that pikey place. You need to see Sarge.
So that's how I discovered the man who pierced me over a dozen times during my Poole days. I headed to Bournemouth that weekend and I was so excited. I don't remember being afraid, I've noticed my fear has increased over the years (which is ridiculous because I never had a bad piercing experience). I can only assume that because I didn't know what to expect, I didn't have a frame of reference.
I found Metal Fatigue after a bit of a search. It was above a restaurant and you had to go through a side door and walk past a beauty clinic as you climbed the stairs. I walked up to the studio where Sarge greeted me at his desk. I looked at portfolios as he set up. Time as erased the appearance of the studio from my mind but I remember there were loads of interesting books and pictures to look at.
I remember Sarge saying sometimes septum piercings were wonky. He prepared my nostrils and marked some spots so I can see the placement. I liked it a lot!
I sat down on the chair and seeing the instruments next to me was a little surprising. I suddenly realised that I was going through with the piercing. I've never liked the look of forceps. Or the sound of the word.
So, the needle would go through my skin in 1... 2... 3... I felt a pull. Sarge put the jewellery in seconds later. Then he was cleaning up before I realised it was over. Also, it was dead straight. Hooray.
Photo by Cherry
It was exciting going back to work. I had a septum retainer is so my bosses couldn't see the piercing. There were people in my office with piercings, but I was still on probation so I didn't want to rock the boat too early. I think knowing I had a piercing nobody could see added excitement to those dreary days. I felt sad that I had taken a job so at odds with my personal values.
More importantly I met friends through the body modification scene. I've always objected to people who judge others based on the way they look. But, for a short while, I felt solidarity with tattooed/pierced people. I noticed all the interesting colleagues I wanted to befriend but I was too shy to were saying Hi to me. Break times at work were fun, now and that made most of the day bearable.
Six months later I was offered a permanent contract. You can guess where I went that weekend...
Five years later I had one of those infections I spoke about earlier. The nurse at the hospital removed my jewellery and the holes healed over in what felt like a week. I don't remember much about it but I was dizzy with pain and on antibiotics from a failed wisdom tooth extraction.
I think I waited a year to get pierced again. By then it was a few months before my wedding day. My colleagues bought me some beautiful septum jewellery. I was touched that they went to the shop and asked the assistants about what jewellery would be suitable for me. I didn't have the heart to tell them I was going to wear a retainer because my septum ring would've offended elderly relatives (yes, I know a wedding is supposed to be my day but you know family, right?)
My septum piercing is a decade old. A third of my life. To me it symbolises my first feeling of body autonomy. The day I decided to start modifying myself for the pleasure of myself alone.
submitted by: ninamarie
on: 31 July 2013
in Septum Piercings
Studio: Metal Fatigue