It started with cleavage. There are various definitions of cleavage. It can refer to rocks, cells, molecules and lastly according to the Oxford Dictionary–women’s breasts. My first awareness of cleavage occurred when I was seven. I was standing at the vending machine in the Moose Lodge trying to figure out whether I wanted Skittles or M and M’s. At that point in my life this was a difficult decision and I was taking my time.
The location of the vending machine, I realized now, was a serious safety hazard and now a days it could get you sued. The machine was situated so that the large wooden doors that opened into the hallway from the lobby were located approximately two feet from the vending machine so that a person opening the door would most likely hit the person making a purchase at the vending machine. So I’m seven. I’m 48 inches tall and I’ve decided on Skittles. I bent over and snatched up my Skittles. I’m not aware that a pivotal moment in my life is about to occur, that my life pursuit, my career, my passion is about to be decided, rather I’m completely absorbed in opening my bag of Skittles.
I have a handful of them when the heavy wooden doors open. I turned and the largest pair of breasts I have ever seen smacked me right in the face. Remember I’m 48 inches tall. I’m prime height for breasts and cleavage. The woman was not overly concerned that a seven year-old girl was stuck in her cleavage. Rather she gently plucked me out and apologized.
“Oh, honey, you okay? My gals can be dangerous.”
“I’m okay, really.” Actually, I’m mesmerized. I”ve never seen boobs that big and when she leaned over to help me pick up my spilled Skittles her cleavage was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
She patted me on the head, bought me a new package of Skittles and told me to grow up and be a good girl.
Now what does this have to do with obsession you ask? Well, on that day my obsession with breasts began. Breasts led to loving women, loving women gave me a reason to start writing. I always knew from the moment I read Harriet the Spy that I wanted to be writer and my lifelong habit of keeping a notebook was born. I read Rita Mae Brown and knew I wanted to write about lesbians.
So there you have it. Cleavage+obsession=purpose. I still have a fondness for… Skittles.