Who knows?

Dear Cyranose: If by “it” you mean your solitary state, if by “it” you mean the endless nights you spend alone even when entwined in the arms of another, if by “it” you mean the existential state of emptiness that eventually crushes everyone…no, it’s not your nose. It’s your species. Enter by yourself, exit by yourself: That’s the way we do it around here.

          But Ace, being a sensitive soul (with, it must be added, a very manly Roman profile that has never caused him one minute of anxiety) intuits that a different sort of “it” lurks behind your horn-billed query. As in: “It’s my nose that makes me a singleton, isn’t it?”

          Now, Ace cannot be sure without seeing a photo of you, Cy, but he will allow that if you are endowed like your famous namesake, then, well, it probably is your nose. By which Ace means, people can be so superficial. Actually, people are hard-wired to be superficial. If you read Ace’s colleague The Advice Goddess, then you know (because she cannot stop harping on this point) that through the miracle of evolution sight is one of humankind’s key attractors. Somebody looks good to us, we feel that funny tingle that Father Mulcahy warned us about, and the next thing you know somebody’s pushing a pram down the rutted sidewalks of Main Street.

          Ace believes firmly in his heart, however, that this is not your problem. After all, there was only one Jimmy Durante, and Edmond Rostand’s character was fictional. You do not have a proboscis so excessive that a bird could actually perch on it. The baby elephants do not mistake you for Papa.

          But it must be something. Your personal hygiene? Those peg-legged trousers that really should have remained in the last century?

          Or could you be so preoccupied with your supposed flaws that you’re missing all the action going on around you? Maybe you’re getting signals left and right that somebody wants to Eskimo kiss that adorable beak of yours, but with your head lowered in shame you’re not picking them up. In other words, maybe your attitude is the issue, Cy. Maybe, if you would allow Ace one terrible concluding pun, it’s not your nose, it’s your “no’s.”

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