Today at the mammography screening clinic at the cancer centre. It’s not as dire a place as it might be, but basically it’s a place of little eye contact and private thoughts.
The waiting room is crowded; a tech has called in sick and another has gone home sick and they are running behind. Every seat is full, and there are a few women standing. It’s a variety of Vancouver: different ages, ethnicities, and so on. The women go, one by one, into the several rooms for their date with a machine; they return to the waiting area while the film is processed so it can be assessed as being a good picture. Then they are either released, or asked to return for another image.
I go, am squished and positioned and told to hold my breath (I’m good at that; ask any of my ophthalmologists), and return to the waiting room. One woman puts hand lotion on. The woman next to her scolds, “Go wash that off!” she says; we are not supposed to have lotions or creams as they can interfere with the equipment somehow. Or perhaps just get the boob shelf all sticky, I don’t know.
Admonished, the lotion lady scuttles to the ladies’ room and washes her hands.
The scolder looks at me and says, “You’re not 40!”
I return her look. “I am. I’m more than 40. And if I were younger, it would mean that I had a history.”
“Well. You don’t look 40.”
And I am released.