by Madeline Laughs
My morning routine when I’m working on the prison study is very streamlined. I shower. I twist my wet hair into a topknot. I smooth on some moisturizer, brush my teeth and I’m done. No makeup. No hairstyle. No jewelry. I wear a watch.
I travel to work each Sunday. During the week I’m housed in a hotel close to the facility I’ll be working in. In fact, I’m in a hotel right now.
This morning I’m putting on my watch in the bathroom. I’m already dressed. I just happen to catch my reflection in the mirror as I’m adjusting the catch on my wrist and there they are. Nipples. I know everybody’s got ’em, but I can’t have nipples and sit in front of inmates all day. I just can’t. So I go back to my suitcase and I pull out another shirt to add to the two I’ve already layered on over my bra. No dice. They’re still there. Nipples. Dammit!
I rummage through my cosmetics case looking for tape, band-aids, anything to make them go away. I’ve got nothing. Crap.
I grab my pack, my bag of supplies and head down to the lobby. I’m right on time. I meet my colleagues in the parking lot and seek opinions. “take a look at my chest and tell me what you see.” Everyone sees them. They’re the most expressive and at this moment the most annoying part of my body. Any other time I wouldn’t even concern myself with them.
Today it’s a mixture of being cold, hormones and apprehension/fear of entering a potentially dangerous facility. I’m sorry to inform the misguided male species, but erect nipples aren’t always a sign of lustful thoughts.
My boss, shaking with giggles, loans me a shawl she keeps in her van. I can wear this to cover my chest until it decides to calm down. I drape the shawl over my shoulders and continue to wear it as we check in, go through the metal detector, get wanded and patted down, have my bags searched and am finally taken through the first of five sally ports to the conference room for orientation with the 12 corrections officers that we’ll be working with.
I’m sitting there in this meeting and it suddenly dawns on me…the shawl is RED. We were told that this week, in this facility, under NO circumstances are we to wear the color RED.
Have you ever wanted to make yourself small?
I slowly slide the shawl from my shoulders. I fold it into a very small square underneath the conference room table where no one can see what I’m doing. I wait for the opportunity to slip it into my pack and pack it way down in the bottom. Did anyone see me wearing the shawl? Oh yes, they all saw it, but no one said anything to me and my colleagues had completely forgotten the RED directive and never gave the shawl another thought. Now my one salvation is tucked away and of no use to me. What will I do?
I look down at my chest. The fabric of my three shirts is smooth. Nothing is peeking at me, or at anyone else. I let go a small sigh of relief. I can perform my duties today with no inhibition though I am now sweating because the facility’s air conditioning is nonexistent and I’m wearing three shirts. Great.
Who would have thought that nipples could cause so much drama?
Nipples, everybody’s got ’em. Some days you want someone to see them. Some days you don’t.
And some days you just wish you’d packed a padded bra.
- Nipple (chezrivegauche.wordpress.com)
- Grandma Nipples and The Case of the Sticky Kippah (lapetitepancake.wordpress.com)
- ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ has a pierced nipple (nsfw). (copyranter.blogspot.com)