I have to tell you--this whole boob farewell party thing was completely impulsive. I really only thought of it last Wednesday! This is how it happened:
Brandy to Dude: Hey, don't you think it would be cool if I asked people to grab my tits for the next two weeks? You know, cuz they're gonna be gone anyway.
Dude: [quizzical glance]
Brandy: Seriously, like, what does it matter?
Dude: You're disembodying your boobs from yourself already?
Brandy: Um, yeah, I guess so.
Brandy and Dude go to bed.
Brandy wakes up. Still can't shake the thought. The idea has grown, has legs, and she calls her friends Vinetta and Lisa at Rhizome. What a cool fundraiser/awareness opportunity, they both think. And now we got ourselves an event.
So that's kinda the condensed version, but you get the idea.
What I didn't expect was how much I enjoyed making the boob casts, all thirtysomething of them. It became ritualistic, symbolic, therapeutic. It was an act of preserving that which will be taken away from me in one week. It was mimicking how my wound sites will be dressed and undressed by others, taken care of and checked on. It was me taking care of my breasts, honouring them in my own private way.
I'd stand completely naked in front of the bathroom mirror, newspapers all over the floor, a tub of water on the toilet, with the plaster strips on the table. I'd play my iPod and sing along, as strip after strip was placed. I'd slather on the Vaseline ever so often so that my skin wouldn't be irritated by the plaster and also so the cast would slip off when dried enough. After making them, I did a quick rinse in the tub, picking off the dried plaster splotches, scraping it off my fingernails.
When I finished, Chloe said, "Mama, you have a lot of boobies! So many boobies!" My whole family wonders what must be going on in that crazy head of mine, but they all accept it and let it go.
[Here's my mom eating her dinner. She managed to find a space not populated by boob casts.]