When I was a little girl I had a freckle on my stomach. Some doctor would most likely classify it as a mole, but that word sounds so ugly. MOLE. It sounds like something that shouldn’t be there. Something we’re supposed to ignore, despite its obvious presence. I used to look down at my stomach and see it sitting there, contrasting against the paleness of my skin. I would run my fingers over the freckle and feel how it was slightly raised, like a healing tattoo. At first I hated it, thinking it was a mark of deformity, but as I got older and learned that beautiful things aren’t always what they seem, I grew to admire it, love it even.
Somewhere between the ages of eleven and fourteen the freckle disappeared. It didn’t reappear until I was seventeen and the first boy I fooled around with began running his fingers over it the way I used to. He made the same observations about the black vs. white. He told me how it was raised and that I should go see a doctor. I had to lift my breast up and to the side in order to see my freckle, in order to see my childhood again.
Certain men seem so fascinated by breasts, but in reality they are the barrier between childhood and adulthood. Sometimes I think they’re the only things keeping me from being happy and young. I don’t think anything in my childhood was more terrifying than growing breasts. Now whenever I look down, I see these two mounds of flesh. They get in the way. They make it hard to move and bend, to breathe. They have nothing to offer except some wanted and unwanted boners.
I recently felt the freckle. I was lying in bed with my love and as I ran my fingers over it, I began to tell him about my fear. He smiled at the thought of my naked stomach and chest, but more significantly, he listened to me speak. He waited while I emptied my head of these thoughts of turning into a woman and having to go through the mundane act of growing breasts. I told him the reason men and women will never be able to understand each other is due to the process of growing flesh on and in our bodies. Sure, men have to deal with the growing of their penises, but eventually, they go back down to their normal, calm selves. They are able to go about their day. Women are stuck with their growths. Whether it’s breasts or a baby, we are cursed to live our lives and never be able to shrink back down to what we used to be. It’s not about nuisance or wanting perfect bodies, it’s that we were never given the control over our own bodies.
He lovingly kissed me, but not without touching one of my breasts, and told me no matter what I have on my body, that freckle will always be there along with my childhood. I may not be able to see it, but he could help me to envision it. He would be there to run his fingers along the freckle and listen to me tell stories about the complexities of becoming a woman. I may not be able to stay who I used to be, but I can finally start becoming who I want to be.