I was born with a wide, indigenous nose. I had it lopped off, thinned out, whitened, when I was twenty-one. My biological mother, a Mexican-American woman who was twenty-six when she gave me up for adoption in 1970, had the same wide nose, the same nose her father had. At the time I had my nose removed and reseated, Europeanized, I had not yet met my mother. That would come a year later.
I met my biological mother for the first time when I was twenty-two, and marveled at how alike we looked. Almond eyes, thin build, and a wide, meaty, ski jump nose combining Mexico and Germany, as if all the hope of Norteño were a concentrated bulb on my face. My biological father, whom I also met for the first time when I was twenty-two, is responsible for the ski slope turn of my nose. Combined with…
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