pearls around the neck • 159
The technician came over to me, opened the gown, and checked my position in front of the nasty robot that
was going to torture me within the next thirty seconds – although I didn’t know it yet. “Place your right breast
between the two Plexiglas plates.” She wasn’t even kidding! She actually meant it!
I tried to find my right breast and resolved to tug at my nipple given the lack thereof… The technician came to
my rescue: “I see,” she said kindly. She was quite considerate but no amount of kindness would ever increase
the scale or size of the small outstretched bud. “We’ll just make do!” she said to help me relax. And then,
suddenly, before I had any time to react, she pulled with all of her strength on my poor tiny titty and with
one sharp movement spun a handle. SNAP. The two plates closed hermetically: my poor mammary gland was
compressed, flattened, prisoner, white, all blood and life drawn out of it… Have mercy!
Faced with this pitiful display under the Plexiglas, I was quite shaken. Wasn’t there anyone in all of mankind to
take pity on this squashed excrescence? Whatever happened to Christian charity?
The lab technician abandoned me, a hostage sequestered in a mammogram machine. From the other side of
the control panel behind which she had now posted herself, she shouted: “Breathe in, hold it, don’t move! It’s
in the box!” It all went so quickly that I had stopped breathing long before she said so: I had opted for suicide
by apnea. A consenting asphyxiated captive. The lab technician had, however, decided otherwise. She freed me
from the diabolical machine’s mighty jaws. Although the decompression was instant, my poor nipple refused
to come back to life. “Let’s do the profile X-ray now!” Since there was nothing up front, how could there be
a profile? But I submitted to the next ordeal; did I have a choice anyway? No alternative. The evil machine
obediently pressing under the technician’s control, the process followed its course…
After this taxing test, I escaped from this damned Golgotha where innocent women had to suffer the agony of
their condition. I wrapped my chest in whatever dignity I had left and went blindly back to the dressing room
when suddenly lightning struck! Of course!
I grabbed my purse, slammed the dressing room’s door and walked out with a determined step. “Your results
will be sent to your gynecologist. He’ll contact you,” I heard the receptionist call on my way out.
I ignored her, and her very existence.
I had an appointment with the devil.
The plastic surgeon’s practice was on the fourth floor. The appointment was made for the end of the month. I
would not go back on my decision; I chose the most discreet model: the vulgarity of big boobs made me sick. I
chose saline implants size double A. My life could have afresh start!
A year later, my gynecologist prescribed a mammogram: a “normal” yearly check-up. What??! What about my
double-A saline babies? My two beauties crushed, exploded? Back to the drawing board?
“You are closer to her heart when her chest is flat.” (Louis Bouilhet).
Author: Anonymous, Germany, 2012
English translator: Sylvie Froschl
Illustration: Catherine Beeckman