As it turned out I am more vain and selfish than Angelina Jolie, who had both breasts mastectomized when she found out she has the breast cancer gene. Never mind if her divine bosom showed no sign of cancer. Meanwhile, I insist on keeping the little I have and never mind if my kids lose a mom as a consequence. I love my breasts — there, I’ve said it. A lover took a picture once, enamored by their perfect symmetry, the way they slope gracefully to a perky dark brown nipple, now gone pale and soft… I hate having to wear a bra to hide my eternally erect nipples. T.H.O. Titty-hard-on, a gay friend called this phenomenon. I hate having to wear a bra, period. I feel they are nothing but torture devices created by cruel capitalists, a step ahead of a corsette perhaps, but nevertheless as oppressive. How could something that restricts your breathing and encase your bouncy breasts in wire and spandex be a good thing? A bra has become a hallmark of a civilized society. We are not savages who let everything  hang out. Who cares about sagging breasts when a drought has killed half the potatoes this year?

A lumpectomy might rid the breast of these cancerous cells in my milk ducts, according to my doctors. When before I only had one, now, I have three — a primary doctor, an oncologist, and a breast specialist/surgeon.  Statistics seemed to suggest that women who have never had children and therefore, have never had to breastfeed, have more chances of developing breast cancer. Is it wisdom then, that some of my closest transgender sisters had their mammaries excised? How many times have I heard lovers and friends in the past refer to their breasts as if they are nothing but unwanted fatty flesh?

Ah, but the sensations, the nameless pleasure that one gets from one’s expertly fondled breasts…

About filinthegap

Lani T. Montreal is an educator, writer, performer, and community activist. Her writings have been published and produced in Canada, the U.S., the Philippines and in cyberspace. Among her plays are: Nanay, Panther in the Sky, Gift of Tongue, Looking for Darna, Alien Citizen, Grandmother and I, and her most-toured comedy drama about gender and immigration, titled Sister OutLaw. She is the recipient of the 2016 3Arts Djerassi Residency Fellowship for Playwriting, 2009 3Arts Ragdale Residency Fellowship, the 2001 Samuel Ostrowsky Award for her memoir “Summer Rain,” and was finalist for the 1995 JVO Philippine Award for Excellence in Journalism for her environmental expose “Poison in the River.” Lani holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Roosevelt University. She teaches writing at Malcolm X College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago and writes a blog called “Fil-in-the-gap”. ( She lives (and loves) in Albany Park, Chicago with her multi-species, multi-cultural family.
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