To the Guy Who Catapulted Me From a Revolving Door

Dear Sir,

We shared a moment, you and I.

I stepped into the merry-go-round that serves as the hospital exit; you stepped into the compartment behind me, heaved that whirling 3-ton door with all your might, and sent me shooting out of the building like a bullet in boots. But when I looked up from the sidewalk where I landed, you were gone. Where did you go? Where are you now? And why did you go all Incredible Hulk on that door?

revolving door

I replay our short time together in my head sometimes.

I’m pretty sure you were behind me all 20 paces or so from the elevator to the door. Had you been on that crowded elevator with me? I don’t know.

I remember thinking, in the elevator, that rather than bumming out all our fellow passengers with my “Breast Health Center” paperwork, I’d turn my stack of papers against my chest and hide it. Very smooth. It was only after getting off that I discovered that the back of the last page – the page with the diagram of my bosom – had been facing out the whole time. That’s when I realized that six people had just spent a 90-second elevator ride being treated to a cartoon of my boobs. Nice. You’re welcome, elevator friends.


I feel like I should explain: I wasn’t thinking straight during that elevator ride. At the end of a long appointment that afternoon, my doctor had sat me down and said, “The next step is a mammogram,” and I’d asked, “When?” and she’d said, “As soon as possible.” And I had laughed, which is the nonsensical response I have to scary things; but she had not laughed at all.

There’s no way you could have known all that, obviously. But did you sense it somehow? Could you tell I was freaking out? Were you maybe trying to give me a dry-run on the mammogram experience, so I wouldn’t be nervous when it was time for the real thing?

Because I’ll tell you – it worked. Two days later, when the technician apologized for my discomfort as she mashed my chest into boobcakes between those metal plates, I acted like it was no big deal. She said, “Is this your first mammogram?” And I said, “Well, yes, but just recently, these here ta-tas were crushed between my ribcage and the sidewalk. So this is nothing.”


Or maybe, after taking a gander at my boob drawing, you decided things didn’t look good for me and that you should put me out of my misery. So you hustled along after me, stepped into the human roundabout, and hurled yourself against the door to shove me into traffic and make the whole thing quick. Was that it?

Of course not. You had your own reasons for barreling into the door like that. But I don’t know what they were.

See, there’s so much we need to talk about.

I need to tell you it all worked out fine after that. Not immediately – there were more appointments and more scary things and one time that I sat on a pink sofa in a waiting room full of bald women and repeated, “This is just imaginary,” silently inside my head for 45 minutes. But soon enough, the whole thing was over and everything went back to normal. Or rather, I found out everything had been normal all along.

When I think of that day, I always think of getting knocked off my feet. I think of you. And I wonder what was going on in your world.


  1. so eloquently done, ML. this is a multi-layered gem. love it. big heart = ML; i love how the empathy and compassion appears out of [almost] nowhere in the end. well done. (and, whew. not fun. xoxo.)

  2. Well this is a banner mix of humor and harrowing. Thank goodness all is/was always okay! And now I’m hearing Michael Jackson–“You knock me offa my feet now baybeh, WHOOO!”

  3. This is a wonderful piece of writing, I’m so glad Ross sent me this way else I might’ve missed it in the bustle of a Friday. *hugs* I’m so glad things were okay after all.

  4. I avoid those revolving doors whenever possible. I don’t know if it is claustrophobia, or fear that I’ll get caught, but I really hate them. Especially the ones that move on their own.
    Also, I want to thank Rarasaur for sending me your way. I totally agree this deserves to be Freshly Pressed.

  5. So glad the results were good! I guess one can only think that ” the hulk” must have had some bad stuff going on ( not that it is acceptable). I was just at a funeral for my husbands cousin, she was 39, married with two kids. I really hope that I never have to go to another funeral like this. She died of breast cancer. On a lighter note, I will totally use boobcake when I get a mammogram!

  6. It is good to know your health fear was unfounded. I was also happy to see someone mention ( besides you) what the hulk might be going thru. Maybe it was his 39 yr old wife that just passed. Probably not but as I have aged and attempted to be wiser, I learned that you never know what the rude pos (that didn’t consider your feelings) might just be dealing with the unbearable and that being a position I never want to be in, I try to make exceptions for inexcusable behavior.

    I am very happy your news was good!

  7. Congratulations to you and your cancer-free boobs! What a relief for all three of you!
    I had my first mammogram this past year, too. It’s weird, isn’t it? Mine didn’t come with scariness, though, so I was able to laugh it all off from the get-go. And I drew pictures. Because sometimes things are hard to explain in words.
    Except, obviously, not for you because this post is SO freaking GOOD!

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