Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Family, not rulers or bottles

I drank from my sister's teat.

I arrived at my parents house, ready to celebrate Christmas 2006. But really more ready to die. I had gone on a hike a few days before and ended up covered in poison oak rashes. Oozing, pussing, terminally itchy rashes. Merry Christmas to me.
The whole family gathered around the family room table where we were playing Mexican dominoes. My cousin Brian thoughtfully offered to get me some eggnog (if I didn't move, I itched less).
My sisters wanted some too so they followed him to the kitchen. He pulled out a container of my sisters breast milk. He laughed and said it looked just like egg nog.
They came back to the table and he handed me my glass. I noticed suspiciously that all three watched me as I drank the deliciously thick and creamy, perfectly off-white nog. I asked him if he put something in my cup. He looked earnestly at me and said he didn't. I was weary but I believed him. I tasted the egg nog--it was a teensy bit off. I stole peripheral glances at my sisters, they didn't bat an eye. If something was in my cup, there was no way my 13 year old sister could keep her composure. Plus, I could always tell when Brian was lying, and he wasn't.
Still, every once in awhile (in between annihilating everyone in Mexican dominoes) I would comment on how it tasted different. I laid my last domino down and in show of victory I chugged the rest of my eggnog and slammed the glass down in triumph.
laughter erupted from my cousin and sisters.
"You just drank breast milk!"
I think I gagged involuntarily first. Then I stuck my finger down my throat. I didn't want to believe them, but I knew this time they were telling the truth. I knew I had just drank a glass full of my sisters breast milk. I was horrified, mad, disgusted. It seemed a bizaare combination of cannibalism, incest, homosexuality, and child molestation. And yet, through all of that, I could see the genius of the joke. If it wasn't played on me, it would have been brilliant. So skillfully and patiently executed.
I tried unsuccessfully to burp myself so that I could 'spit-up'. It seemed so easy 25 years ago, to vomit sweet white chunks like tiny tapioca balls on the shoulder of my mother, the only woman whose breast milk I should have ingested.
I didn't fully recover from the hideous barbarity that took place the previous night until the next morning. I realized I had slept through the night without waking up every 15 minutes to scratch the weeping and spreading rash. I looked at my hands and lifted my shirt up. My poison oak was gone. My sisters breast milk was a magic elixir of instant healing.
She always called it liquid gold and I thought she could be right.... I could farm her! It'd be simple! I'd make millions selling little bottle of it. I bet it cures all sorts of diseases! It works for opiate addicts. I'll hook her up to a machine two times a day, feed her nice whole grains, organic food, lots of water, pillows, I mean I wouldn't be running a sweatshop or anything. Boob farm. Once people realized what this breast elixir could do for adult nutrition and health, there would be no stopping the farming and exploitaion of nursing mothers.
Who would have thought an industry would ever be trail blazed by the heroine addicts? Nice work junkies. Nice work.


Peter and Abby said...

Ha! Good job shmee! You did it! And that was a really good joke.

Cathi said...

Pretty funny - and true - I was there (although not part of the joke). You have to admit that was a pretty good one, even if you were the brunt of it!