Breasts (Story by Risa Peris)

My story with breasts began early. I wasn’t breastfed but when my mother hugged to her or clasped me to her chest I could feel the pillows of softness. It was calming. Better than my father soothing my terrors at night. His chest was hard and ungiving. You need something soft when you are scared. It’s more reassuring.

I was fascinated by Betty’s chest in the Flintstones. She had high, large breasts that strained against her tight blue dress. She was married to a dope. He wasn’t sexy at all. Neither was Fred Flintstone. That cartoon was about two hot women married to idiots with beer bellies. That’s all I remember. Breasts snag men even subpar men.

I had sizable breasts at thirteen. They came in fast and quick. By sixteen, they were large orbs. Still high and proud. By college, they were a little bigger and starting to droop slightly from gravity. No big deal. I couldn’t buy bras at Victoria Secrets. They only went up to D cups and my breasts went beyond that. I tried stuffing myself into their bras but after a day of pain and tugging, I was left with red marks and itchiness. I had no choice. I went to Lane Bryant. My boobs were comforted.

I got married at twenty-five and pregnant at twenty-six. I was so happy. Proud. Full of love. Then the baby came and my breasts became a feeding station. After a few months, I was ready for sex again. I put on a negligee for my husband but every time I looked at my breasts I saw troughs. Feeding, feeding, feeding. I pumped right before sex but still, some milk leaked. My husband tried not to mind. He was actually sweet about it. I was devastated. I went into my baby’s room and stared down at her soundly asleep in baby nirvana. I picked her up and held her close to me. My breasts had fallen at least two inches but they were pillowy and starting to become pendulous. Nature is not kind when it comes to gravity and motherhood.

I don’t feel like my breasts are my own anymore. They are certainly not erotic orbs. But maybe my thinking on the matter was skewed. Breasts are life-giving. Sex giving. Maybe I needed a new model for my breasts. Not Betty Flinstone or Marilyn Monroe. Heck, any busty actress from the fifties. Jane Russell is in that category. Maybe I just needed another mother who respected her breasts and the drive to want to breastfeed her child.

Breasts are useful. Beautiful in all their forms. And life-giving. Yes. Breasts are remarkable. Men should be jealous and desirous. There should be statues of just breasts. Huge life forces.

I laid my baby back in her crib. I decided to take up pottery. There was a place near me. I would do a whole series on breasts. I cried. I really needed to have a good relationship with my breasts. Not because of my husband or child but for me. I needed to accept my breasts. Sounds strange. I never appreciated them enough.

I went downstairs and wrote on the whiteboard in the kitchen that had a schedule of activities.

“Sign up for pottery class.” I was so eager to mold breasts.

THE END

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