Oh No! They Grew Back

a dysphoric fantasia

Good morning! It’s a beautiful morning six years after top surgery where everything’s normal and — they grew back! They said it wouldn’t happen but it did! Look down! They grew back! It must have happened overnight, because they weren’t all grown back yesterday. Were they? No. They definitely hadn’t grown back yesterday. But they grew back now!!!

Oh, man, oh man. This almost never happens!! They said it almost never happens, and it would especially definitely almost never happen to you, but they were wrong, and it happened, and it’s happening to you, right now! They grew all the way back!

Maybe you’ve just been working out a lot? Maybe they’re — No! THEY GREW BACK! You knew the doctor wasn’t telling you the truth; you knew it was probably a 50/50 tossup whether they grew back or not. And yours grew back!!!

Are you going to have to do this shit all over again? You can’t do this shit all over again! Can you? Oh man, you’re going to have to make…phone calls, or something. You’re definitely going to have to call somebody. A new doctor, for starters.

Do you have any clothes left for this? Fuck! What clothes are there for this?


Maybe this is an opportunity! For closure? Or to respect them? You know, they were nice, it wasn’t their fault, maybe this is a sort of Groundhog’s Day situation where you get the chance to give them a proper sendoff, something that really encapsulated all that they’ve done for you over the years


You don’t have time for this anymore! You already had your closure, for better or for worse, and even if you were feeling hasty and impatient by the surgery date, it was what it was, you know? You don’t relitigate this sort of thing after six years just because you might could have said goodbye with more gravitas. You don’t need gravitas! You just need your old new chest back, the aerodynamic one that’s so pacifying to smooth a hand over.

Did this happen because you did something wrong? Did you secretly ask for this? It doesn’t feel like you asked for this; it feels like your skin is fumbling itself between your collarbone and your navel, like someone activated a sinusoidal wave graph across your chest, like a high-wind advisory is in effect all over your body! Maybe this happens to everyone?

Okay, it doesn’t happen to everyone. You should have massaged the scar tissue for longer! They told you to do it for at least a year but you quit after six months because touching your scar tissue made you uncomfortable and weirdly emotionally volatile, and now they grew back!!! And remember that time you put the laundry detergent back on top of the dryer, which was stacked on top of the washing machine, lifting your arms over your head to do so a mere three weeks out, and something felt weird and sort of crackle-y along the scar line? That’s why, probably.

You can do something nice with them, maybe, try to look on the bright side until you figure out a long-term strategy. You should do something nice with them. They’re here and it’s not their fault.

They’re two slow fists trying to punch out of your skin from your heart!!! Get em off!!!

You’re going to have to get back on one of those binder exchanges you always felt guilty for not donating to often enough afterwards because you were so relieved to not have to think about binders anymore! Now the shoe’s on the other foot, eh? Well, well, well — look who’s come wobbling back —

Okay, don’t lean forward!! Don’t lean forward, oh my God don’t lean forward, remember when you used to lean forward and you could feel them press against your stomach?? Don’t lean forward anymore!! Are there some pillows anywhere? Get a nice safe lap pillow as a buffer, and then lean exactly backwards — not to the left, that’s too far left, it’s gonna press against your arm now!!!

Well, now they’re just everywhere. You’ve made an absolute mess of it again, haven’t you? Spilling everywhere like saltine crumbs. Get your flesh in order, man, this is ridiculous. You’re responsible for them again, just like you always knew you would be eventually; top surgery was a nice dream but it’s time to wake up now. It’s probably because you slept funny last night. You probably stretched out one of the scars and then they were just able to pop back out through the rupture, like wisdom teeth. How many more sets are hiding back there behind your lungs?? Like Skee-ball tickets, these are; tear ‘em off and the machine just spits out another length. You don’t need a doctor, you need a magician who can pull the whole comically-long multi-colored ribbon out of your torso!

Time for that phone call: “Listen — you’re never gonna believe this — They grew back.”