It had been a long week.
My Friday plans: work, an afternoon case review and a private cash-in-hand gig I had taken to make some extra money.
I woke up feeling exhausted and distressed.
Most people looked forward to their weekend; mine was going to be filled with paperwork and long hours.
I stood in the mirror and stared at the redness of my eyes.
They were so hollow.
I felt dulled by the morning fog.
I got dressed, had coffee and toast and ran to meet my colleagues for the taxi.
It was 7am and an hour-long drive awaited me to a remote country town for an assignment.
I maintained my composure during the bumpy ride and exchanged banter with my colleagues.
Entering the briefing room, we all sat with solemn expressions.
Back arched, notes out, I was mentally fit for the session.
Physically however, I felt uncomfortable.
For some reason, things in the chest area felt loose and bouncier than usual.
Gravity’s effect felt heavy and my back felt like it was supporting a heavier weight.
I looked down in confused shock.
The breasts looked softer and the curves were much more noticeable.
I excused myself, ran to the bathroom and checked.
In complete disbelief, I touched my breasts, touched my shoulders and finally looked down my blouse.
“Oh sh–, I FORGOT TO PUT ON A BRA!”
Who in the history of women-dom has ever forgotten to put on a bra?
I’m aware of when the bra stays off: at home, in the shower, in bed etc.
In a meeting? Throughout a bumpy hour-long drive? How did I not feel the tug of gravity on my chest when the cab driver swerved to avoid that dead rabbit?!
What on earth happened whilst I was getting ready?
I replayed this morning’s scene in my head: I wasn’t in a rush, I was calm but tired, yet somehow, my brain made my hands skip adhering my friggin’ bra to my chest.
My mind panicked and worried: Early-onset dementia? Would I have to start tying strings around my finger to remind myself to put on my bra? Or set a calendar reminder every day for the rest of my life to strap support to my chest?
Now I stared at myself in the mirror.
Not only were they swinging lower than usual, but the cold office air had brought on its effect and made another pair of small hills underneath my purple blouse.
I tried patting them down with no luck.
Walking into the bathroom was Carla, who I shared my problem with, hoping for empathy, but mostly for her thick, woolly sweater.
Then handed me her sweater and wondered how could I forget?
“I can understand an A or B cup going without a bra….but a C? You’re a C cup! How could you not feel it or sense it?”
Carla made me feel as if I lost my womanhood senses.
The bra misfortune was the first red flag, any more and my gender, intuition and all that came with it would be questioned and stripped.
“I’ve been having a tough week Carla.”
“I hoped you checked you have panties on as well!”
More raucous laughter from whom I hoped was an empathizer.
You can’t buy sympathy nowadays.
But just make sure I had them on, I laughed and subtlety grazed my hip.
Yep, they were on.
I excused myself, went to the meeting and sat straight, back arched with breasts swinging lower than usual.