Today, I left the window open in the bathroom, when I showered, because–well, there’s not a good story there. If there were a good story there, I would be happy to share it with you. Instead, it’s a smaller, yet vital component of a larger story. Hot shower, window open. The bathroom mirror fogging up, as it always does, but clearing up quickly, as I complete my grooming in front of the mirror.
I am used to the toning and the lotioning and the SPFing and the q-tipping and the hair gooping and poofing to all be done in front of a steam-blurred mirror, and I’ve always been happy that way, not being confronted with the challenge of liking myself and being totally positive and body-proud first thing in the morning. It is hard enough when you are awake, or sober, or not blind in one eye or do not have a concussion.
This morning, of course, however and luckily, in service of this story
I am telling you, the mirror was clear. I am absently rubbing styling
lotion through my shaggy hair and making it all spiky, and I catch my
own eye in the mirror, and I am momentarily astonished by my breasts,
number one and number two, sitting there on my chest.
My breasts that I had already dismissed, more or less, as being lost
causes, small and sad, starting to drift vaguely downward, beginning to
lose their roundness, occasionally demonstrating alarming signs of that
crepey-ness that loose and extra skin will provide at no extra
charge–these breasts that had saddened me so much I had entirely
blocked them from my consciousness, these breasts were looking back at
me in the mirror, and they looked really good. Small, but still
reasonably sized and in proportion; not as full and plump on top, but
I was having a good breast day. Which is nice, of course. Because who
doesn’t want a day full of good breasts? Crazy communists, that’s who.
But I am still pretty unsure about how I feel, with this one day on,
several months off kind of body I have suddenly got. I am very firmly
of the opinion that it is not a matter of perception, of self-esteem
and body consciousness. I really think it is the contours of my body
changing every single day. It is the outline of my body shifting as I
sleep and eat and breathe and walk and talk and think. It moves
millimeters at a time; it is ever-changing. It is haunted and it is
freaking me out.
One day my breasts do not stand up at all; the next day they are perky!
And then the next day? Not so much, goddamn them. Which is possibly
more information than any one needs about my breasts. But there are
other weird parts, there are. I mean, my pants fit today! These new
pants I found at the bottom of my dresser, the smallest size I have
ever been in. They were snug and did not fit yesterday, but today they
are buttoned and zipped. Where did that bit of my stomach that kind of
drooped a bit go? For it is no longer there, and here is my belly
almost entirely flat and that is just fucking crazy, because it sure as
hell wasn’t flat last week. Two days ago. Last night, the skin was
loose, and this morning, the skin is not, like magic or some weird
science shit I don’t understand, which is extremely very much exactly
like magic, but twice as annoying because tomorrow I will get that
flappy belly back, with some friends on my thighs.
So no, it is not magic, because as far as I am concerned, magic is
not-annoying fairies and non-irritating unicorns. What this is, this
transmutable body of mine, is, in fact, creepy and so totally weird. It
is really really creepy to not be able to keep up with your own body,
or to recognize it and be able to lay claim to any section of it and
say yes, that’s what I look like, and the way that I am staying exactly
the same like this? That is me. Hello, me. Nice tits.
Will I keep these boobs? I am hoping I get to keep these boobs, and
that not only tomorrow, but when I am done with the losing weight up
here and that maybe I get to hang on to a part of my body which works
okay for me. The idea of plastic surgery is one that I’ve been kicking
around since even before I made the decision to get weight loss
surgery; the issue of loose skin and saggy things, that is something
you have to consider when you’re making up your mind, and it is a
You have two options, and neither of them are perfect. You live with
the way your body ends up, which is sometimes a shock to people–but I’m
skinny now! I’m supposed to have a swimsuit model body! This is
bullshit and I want my money back! Or you live with the idea of getting
more elective surgery, hours and hours and hours of it that may contour
your body slightly closer to the way you imagined it would be, but it
is never perfect, no, and it hurts and could be lumpy and there is a
pattern of scars that will never entirely fade.
I don’t want to have to force my body into shapes I imagine will make
me happy; I don’t want to have plastic boobs and a lifted ass. I also
don’t want to have flaps of skin where my breasts used to be, and I
don’t want pendulousness where I should have a stomach, and I don’t
want this body I am getting, that only sometimes has good days. I guess
what I’m saying is that this is bullshit and I want my money back! I
guess what I’m saying is that you can seriously consider whatever you
want to seriously consider and you can think you are so smart and
well-adjusted, but just you wait because any minute now, you’re going
to be faced with things you couldn’t have imagined, like good breast
days. Or maybe that’s just me.