|photo by maitexu|
I lost my favorite Aunt to breast cancer over twenty years ago. Mary was my great-aunt, on my mother's side. She always wore a wry grin, and if someone acted the ass, she'd cock an eyebrow above her flinty peepers, and say something that would cut them to the bone. She worked hard, but never let life make her miserable. As a child, she taught me tact, something I've struggled with for years. After watching The Wizard of Oz, I told her she had a nose like the Wicked Witch of the West. Like John Waters, I liked the Witch better than whiny little Dorothy, and wanted her Flying Monkey Empire to hold dominion over Oz. So to me, it was a bit of a compliment. She started signing birthday cards to me as coming from "Witch Nose," and I became "BB eyes," since I've always had two black little eyes like a snowman with an abnormally large head.
She was my most sarcastic relative, and one of the few to get me. I was a rather gullible child with my head in the clouds, but once in while I'd come up with a quip out of nowhere, and she helped develop that sense of observation, that eye for the hypocrisy and idiocy in the world that made me the writer I am today. She had a sardonic wit, quietly eyeing her surroundings rather like Clint Eastwood riding into town, and uttering the perfectly devastating observation. I can still hear her laughs, with nothing held back. And we lost her to breast cancer. She wasn't all dry Bea Arthur style snark. After her mastectomy, she threw her rubber tit at my head. I was being too quiet because I didn't know what to say. I hadn't known anyone who'd had something cut off in surgery before. Well, that certainly broke the uncomfortable silence.
So ladies, you may not know it, but you're probably an inspiration in someone's life. Maybe you're not as witty as Witch Nose, but there's someone who'll miss you when you're gone. So give your girls a thorough going-over today, and get checked if you feel anything... peculiar. The doc won't know if your boobs feel different than last week! Only you will. Only you.
© 2010 Tommy Salami