THE SYMMETRICAL GESTALT
A reader posted the following comment underneath:
"You have any even more peculiar relationship with breasts than most men."
To which I responded:
"Rest assured. There is no relationship with breasts at all.
I haven't been within happy distance in years."
Years ago in a Dutch magazine for boys, I remember reading a science fiction story which featured aliens in crashed spaceship on a distant planet who for centuries had been using mind-control to enslave other species that inadvertently strayed near their inhospitable star system, to mine for the precious ore they needed to rebuild their machinery, and then finally return home. Their planet was so far away, so very far away.
They had been out of contact with all civilized parts of the universe for so long that they did not even know that their kind had died-out, and was just an obscure memory, a wispy variable legend .....
It was an illustrated story, what nowadays we would call a graphic novel.
One of the illustrations showed a long line of drudging labourers from many different planets.
Among the slaves was a tall blue humanoid.
With three breasts.
Which immediately informs the astute reader that the illustrator cannot have been considering mammals, because cell division of the ovum inevitably means symmetry, and therefore that alien cannot have been one of us, but instead was probably some kind of bipedal lizard.
The breasts were very probably defensive.
Like the horns on a triceratops.
Mammals have even numbers of breasts. Spaced in rows of two.
The belly button is aligned with the halfway point.
Not always underneath, sometimes before.
Precisely along the raphe.
It strikes me that whoever drew that may have had "a peculiar relationship with breasts". Especially because a brassiere with three compartments would actually need four straps. Again, symmetry. And support.
In actual fact, symmetry is an essential quality for almost all creatures at some stage of development, not just mammals. So triple-breastedness is virtually impossible. But symmetrical balance seems a crucial characteristic of breasts.
I feel that this is very important.
It still upsets me.
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