I had my yearly mammogram today. Lucky me! As I entered the new facility we are fortunate to have, I was struck by its similarity to a spa. The front entrance is flanked by rock pillars and the two walls just inside are stacked stone. I’m offered beverages; coffee, water, tea. The tones of the attendants are soothing and low. I’m one of the privileged few who still has insurance so there aren’t many forms to fill out.

The waiting room has large upholstered chairs and wide screen television. Magazines are carefully arranged on the tables. I’m called to the back, escorted down a hallway of wood floors, into a dressing room with soft light, leather chairs. Again, it reminds me of a spa. There are slender closets with wooden hangers for my coat and blouse and the dreaded snap front blouse must be donned after removing any deodorant I might have administered. I remembered this, so I didn’t wear any today.

After being called through a door at the opposite end of the room, I enter the torture chamber. The great ‘jaws of life’ machine that will chomp down on my bare breasts waits for me, grinning it seems. Of course, smashed into the clamp, all I can think of is breathing through the uncomfortable position, but she tells me not to breath. Holding my breath while the beast pulls the skin from my neck to my waist into its mouth isn’t adding to the enjoyment of this experience. But I survive. And all I can think of is what aliens from outer space would be thinking if they could see this. I feel certain they would equate it to punishment of some kind.