From TALES They Fired Your Nannybot For Telling You

by A. R. Gregory


The Blind Mammographer

Alemoro’s was resplendent with its sparkling crystal chandeliers and cut-glass stemware, its sterling cutlery and fine linen tablecloths. But Quinn felt like she was back in the plastic-coated lunchroom of Valley High School, spilling the news of her latest crush to her best friend and biggest rival. What, as if blabbing about it was the only way she could believe it herself? She boosted her menu high enough to hide her burning cheeks from Darla’s piercing stare.
     Hadn’t she promised herself she wouldn’t mention him to Darla? Darla of all people! Yet incredibly, as soon as they sat down at the table, out it popped, her own tongue the backstabbing gossip. She felt a bead of perspiration trickle down her ribs as she waited for Darla’s response.
     Finally Darla leaned over the table. She lowered her voice. “Quinn, you and the Blind Mammographer? You let him touch you like — like that?”
     When Darla’s stare inevitably dipped, Quinn lowered her menu to cover her breasts next. She sighed wearily, shook her head. “Please, Darla, he doesn’t touch anyone like that. And don’t call him that either. He’s the Blind Seer. Just because that foolish woman had a lump, and he pointed it out to her... I mean, talking to that horrid tabloid? What was she thinking?”
     Darla rolled her eyes elaborately. “Wait till he finds a celebrity lump. He feels up Labyanna, right. And Mimora, Ophelia Dale, Magdalena, Glenni Sim, even Jennifer... All the Jennifers.”
     Quinn hoisted her menu back up, high enough to hide her whole annoyed face now as she thought. They were sitting in the middle of Alemoro’s, the trendiest brunch spot in LA. It was her treat. Could Darla even reserve a rear table here? And now Darla was giving her oldest friend the third degree! Twelve years since they were roommates at USC, sixteen since Valley High, yet how ridiculously competitive her Darla still was. Why couldn’t Darla just accept the obvious?
     Quinn settled back into her chair. Like meditation class, she told herself. Floating on a billowy, uplifting cloud. Breathe, inhale, expand with the universe. After all, she had a great husband, great kids, a great life. She didn’t have to prove anything to anyone, especially not to Darla. Good things, even in the illusory world of matter and time and energy, coalesce around those who deserve them. It’s karma, plain, pure, and simple.
     Look at everything Darla had done to kickstart her acting career, even taking up with that scumbag Larry Zeitstein. Some “entertainment executive,” Quinn thought. Look at the tacky B-movie bit parts he’d gotten Darla. So, what would he talk her into next, adult entertainment? Quinn figured the only tangible thing — make that things — Darla had to show for her relationship with Larry were her overinflated boobs. That cheapskate Larry even splurged on them.
     Quinn lowered her menu enough to glance at Darla’s cleavage, which had been next to nonexistent in high school and college, but now... Larry got his money’s worth, all right. A minus cups to D pluses. Quinn remembered Darla proudly showing them off to her after they’d healed, telling her how the surgeon used patented new shaped and contoured bags that looked and felt exactly like the real thing, inserted them over the muscle for a perfectly natural hang and sway, even left the invisible microscars in the under creases. Quinn had to admit, they did look great, even fuller than hers now, and definitely perkier. But even the best boob doc in LA couldn’t work magic with Darla’s acting career.
    Quinn looked Darla square in the eye, gave her voice an inspiring lilt. “The Blind Seer’s completely otherworldly. He’s about the Ideal, the soul, the totality of reality, not just the body and the physical world, those ephemeral things we allow to matter so much to us.”
     Darla pursed her lips, then rolled her eyes. “If he’s so ‘otherworldly,’ why all the groping? Doesn’t he even charge to cop a feel?” Darla snickered. “And which world does he spend the money in? Gotta give the blind guy credit though, he’s certainly overcome his impediment.”
     Quinn strained to keep from rolling her own eyes. She’d taken four years of Latin in high school. Darla hadn’t taken any. Yet maybe the most Latiny-sounding word in the English language had become Darla’s favorite word of all. Darla was always talking about one or another of her “impediments,” particularly to her acting career. Why couldn’t Darla have the occasional problem or difficulty or snag like everyone else, Quinn thought, maybe now and then even one that Darla hadn’t made for herself? But wasn’t that it, what life was all about to Darla, all her “impediments”? Such self-defeating negativity, Quinn thought. But at least now Darla was talking about someone else’s impediment, someone with a real impediment. Quinn took a deep breath, composed herself.
     “Try to understand, Darla, to get past your world-obsessed cynicism. He’s here to help us. He’s about women, about connecting with our souls. He touches our Ideal breasts through our physical breasts.”
     Darla snorted, nearly slopped water into her lap from the gleaming crystal goblet she’d just lifted to her lips. “Jeezus, Quinn! You’re putting me on, right....”


Copyright 2020 A. R. Gregory