Sometimes life is shaped by love and death. Sometimes by failure and accomplishment. Sometimes by hopes, fears, butter, and gutters.
Other times, it is changed by the appearance of a speaking breast poking its nipple above the surface of your toilet bowl’s water.
I was 27 years old. My cold bottom was perched on my toilet in the modest, cream-tiled bathroom of my studio apartment. On top of the toilet tilted a photograph of my sister and me as infants, naked and howling in the bathtub. The photograph rested in a frame of faux velvet, pale green like sun-faded Easter decorations. I got up to wash my hands while the toilet water gurgled itself down the drain.
As I was lathering my palms with soap, I heard a cautious “Hello” muttered by some voice behind me.
The mirror’s reflection showed no one else in the room but me.
The voice was female, middle-aged, and vanilla in tone. The neutral but gentle voice that milk would have if it could speak. And it was coming from below. From the toilet.
I looked into the toilet and saw that single bulb of bosom floating in the bowl. There was no human body attached to it.
The boob was submerged in the toilet’s water, with only the nipple and a couple inches of the ample areola peering above the water’s surface. An almost inaudible purr hummed beneath its skin.
Speaking about it now, it seems absurd.
That would have probably been my response, too, if I were you and not I.
But I am I, and I have seen the toilet’s magic melon.
When I first met the mammarian messenger, it seemed as natural as the sky’s blue or the grass’ green. In that moment, it seemed more unnatural that I hadn’t met a disembodied jumblee before.
“Carl!” When it spoke, I saw no mouth move. The voice emanated from it like an echo leaving a cavern. A telepathic titty.
“Hello?” I said. It came out as a question because, although it’s a habit to return a greeting with a greeting, it is not a habit to be in conversation with a bodiless body part.
“Carl. There’s something I need you to do for me. I need you t—”
“How do you know my name?”
“I can’t get into that right now, sweetie-pie. No time for histories and epithets. I need you to do something for me.”
And because I was curious what favor the breast in the bowl would ask of me, I said, “Okay.”
“Honey, I need you to cut out the milk. I know the people say it’s a good thing. That it’s good for your bones. That it’s a great source of calcium. But it’s not. It’s for babies. And you’re not a baby anymore—or you shouldn’t be a baby anymore. But you know what, Carl?”
“You are a baby. Do you know why that is?”
“Well, no. I’ve always been under the impression that my baby days ended a while ago.”
“They should have, Carl. They damn well should have. They’re supposed to end within a year or two after you crawl out of your mother’s vagina. You stop chomping on momma’s milk spout, start shitting in a toilet, and learn to tie your shoes by yourself. But for you, and most other people, the baby years didn’t end there. Even when mother removed her nipple from your mouth for the final time, you didn’t really let it go, not emotionally. There’s still a baby inside of you that’s screaming for the milk of your momma’s udder.”
“There’s a baby inside me?”
“Yes, Carl. And it’s moving your limbs, your mouth, and your mind like a puppeteer. Except that this puppeteer lives inside of its puppet—you. And you’ve got to get rid of it, Carl. It’s gotta go. That baby is like a dam that’s been shoved up inside of your flowing stream of self for years. The waters are about to burst. The baby must be drowned and buried so that it may return to the earth that feeds you from the inside.”
“So, you’re saying no more milk?”
“Yes. No more milk.”
The oracular orb of flesh contorted itself like the malleable head of an octopus as it descended through the toilet’s hole and its shadows. After it left, the scent of honey floated up from the bowl and into my nostrils.
That night, I lit a candle at my kitchen table and poured myself my final glass of milk. A slice of chocolate cake on the side.
I decided to go all the way and totally remove dairy products from my diet. The effects started on my third day without the stuff. My throat expanded with spaciousness. My nasal passages became so clear that my breath was deeper than I remembered it being as a kid. I coughed up what felt like seven pounds of phlegm. 27 years’ worth of pent up phlegm that had been congesting my system.
After seven days, I felt as if I had an entirely new body. I felt lighter.
I felt like I could fuck a mountain.
I want to fuck the mountain. I want to make love to the mountain and squirt the steam of my esteem in the face of the future.