What Scar?...

...I asked my husband L today on the phone. He'd asked me if I remembered showing everyone my scar last night. I thought it might have been the scar from removing the port.

It wasn't that scar. Apparently, under the influence of demon rum (or rather, tequila) I flashed my mastectomy scar twice. Were people horrified? I asked. He said no.

There were six of us at the table at Fernando's and a couple carafes of margaritas. Today M reported that I kept asking him, Do you want to know a secret? but I told the same one or two over and over. I didn't ask what I told him.

I hadn't been this drunk for about 10 years. It made me realize why people drink, why frat boys have frat parties and people go to bars and sling back the beers. Because you get giddy and nothing matters and you're out of control.

And then you have patches of memory.

Did we have flan? I asked M. We had. I remembered two shared dishes of flan and I remember ordering shrimp veracruz and I remember the food coming but I don't remember eating it. M said that his girlfriend L told me that I didn't need reconstruction.

Alcohol unleashes inhibitions. Does this mean that I really want to show my scar? Perhaps. I was thinking of that Beauty Out of Damage photo and wondering if I should have a picture like that of myself on the cover of my book. How would that go over at WRU? I wonder. And the more appropriate photo would be of the back of my head, where you can read US OUT OF IRAQ.

But let's get back to the scar. I'm usually the only one in the locker room at the park district building when I change for step aerobics. I've wondered what the reaction would be if someone saw me. I'm sharing a room with Miz P at an upcoming conference. I've imagined myself asking her if she'd like to see the scar. I think the scar is interesting. I've wanted to see friends' scars but thought it impolite to ask. I saw a mastectomy scar for the first time at the former Women's Gym, about 20 years ago. One of the proprietors had cancer and it seemed to me then that she came back to exercise a week after surgery. It couldn't have been that short a time, but it seemed like it. I was impressed that she'd returned to quickly and that she was healthy enough to go on like before.

I read somewhere about a woman going topless at a swimming pool, so that you could see the scars from her double mastectomy. The other women complained. You must cover your breasts because they are sexual. Right? But if the breasts are erased, is the erasure too sexual, too?

There's an odd new Canadian project on line sponsored by Schick and Rethink, a breast cancer charity. It's got the horribly coy title of Booby Wall, and it's picture after picture of women's breasts, sent in by the women themselves (supposedly). I saw two photos of the one-breast-and-scar combo, and one photo of reconstructed breasts without nipples. The campaign is to get women, especially young women, to Touch, Look and Check (TLC) their breasts. "Booby" connotes sniggering and disrespect. At least it does to me. How many idiots did it take to come up with this concept?

I will not be uploading pictures of my breast-and-scar. To see my chest, you'll have to come to the locker room. Or wait till I'm once-in-a-blue-moon drunk.