“Through a Glass Darkly,” by Ido Dooseman

Sep 3rd, 2014 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

You’re at Café Chi-Chi. The ambience is affable. You sit across the table from your husband, partner, beloved, or cheatmate. He’s wearing Google I-Glasses, Prototype 3, Version 4.0. It’s 2017. People around act cool but secretly glance at him. You see the yearning, hungry looks.

“I won the glasses at the Google game-play day,” he says smoothly, his blue eyes shimmering. “Only three guests got them. The rest got ping-pong paddles. I’m going to OrangeRayTape you now, okay?”

“You don’t really need my permission, y-know. Not since the Supremes ruled against privacy. And for China contributing a yillion yen for American presidential campaigns,” you add. He does a slow, 360 degree, Scorsese tracking shot around the room, the people smiling or hiding under the tablecloths, knowing their lives could be unmasked like Zorro, their insides I-rayed like a Dogscan.

As he finishes, he asks, “Want to know how the market closed today?”

“Whole Foods? I know that. Nine o’clock,” you say. “Unless a famous person slinks in the back door.”

“No, silly, the stock market.” He blinks twice, cutely, triggering number images. “The Dow is down 172 points, closing at 1984.”

“Are we going to war? It always goes down just before war, y-know.”

“No, I don’t think so. Let me check.” He rolls his eyes, gently, spinning headlines. “No war. Just Syria swearing they don’t have any more lethal gas. Putin says it’s not his forces that have taken over Milwaukee. Oh, wow! Wikileaks says Iran’s going to nuke Israel next Tuesday.”

“Not now they won’t,” you say assuredly. They never do. That dumb battle over hot sand and desert cacti will never end.

“Washington D.C. Romp, Google, Romp!” he says suddenly, eager to show-off his virility, his latent cowboy-hood, a typical guy. “No, no, not the 3-D map showing lanes of jammed traffic! Go inside the president’s nuclear vault. It’s ten floors down, hardened cement and steel vault. Use the infra-red.”

He whispers to you, “That’s Jeb Bush’s secret bedroom. Hard as…ohmiGawd.”

“What’s he doing?”09032014 - Ido Dooseman, Through a Glass Darkly

“No, what’s she’s doing!? Mrs. Bush, Columba, Columba! Remove that! You’re acting like Bill Clinton’s iconic, dystonic she-self. Shame on you. Shame! Talk about letting your hair down.”

“Can I borrow those?” you shudder. Catching Jeb Bush’s wife with her undies off would be a defining moment. Of something. Your book club, maybe.

“No. I signed a non-peeky form.”

You’re very disappointed. After all, last night you re-gifted him an invisible, electronic, cigarette-style whip that doesn’t e-mit caffeine, his request. He sits up in terror, knocking over his glass of 1994 oldeau beaujolais.

“What is it now?” you demand.

“The inside of Apple’s teflon-coated Board Room. Unbelievable! It’s Steve Jobs. He didn’t really die!! He’s showing off a spy-bug to the teenage board. It’s an earring with a sparkling zirconia. Jobs said he worked it out with the NSA, Putin, and DeBeers. He says they’re great for ears-dropping.”

The new present, you think. Earwars against Eyewars. You sigh. They’ve gone too far. All these techno-creeps, capitalistic billionaires. It’s bad enough they bought every house in San Francisco, all the wheat in Kansas, hide their money off-shore, pay two per cent taxes and you’re paying thirty-something. And they don’t even pay illegal house-keepers the minimum wage.

A slim man in a trench coat and violin strolls over like he’s going to serenade your paramour.

“Excuse me,” he says, bowing. “That the new version?”

“Yep. 4.0,” you say. “He’s very cool. Hip. Connected. Wired.”

“Could I try them? I have to give a three second zap to the double AA batteries in my Tesla 12.2 I-M-OK, warm the baby up. That’s what that zebra pattern lens is for, right?”

“How did you know that?”

“The Winklevoss Brothers. They really invented those, you know.”

“Excuse me,” you say. “Is there a lawsuit brewing? Because my younger brother just graduated from Harvard Law and needs a serious case. Maybe you have their e-mail?”

“I do not!” he trills deviously. “We talk through two Campbell’s soup cans and a string, the C.I.A.’s advice, the only safe way to communicate. I wish I had their e-mail, though.”

“I have it! Their twitter account, too!” your lover says. “They’re on my directory of absolutely everyone!” He looks it up, jumps on the table, waves his hands in the air, and yells.

“Winklevoss@realFacebookinventors.com!” A bounteous burst of applause and hisses.

He drives you back to his joint. He whistles his password “Wee Willie Winkie” from the driveway, maybe a self-reflecting subconscious image. His door flops over, flat, the chain dangling, blowing in the wind. He touches the Zebra’s nose as you dawdle in. Glorious red roses fly in from the backyard and land, petals up, in a vase. A romantic, you think.

You saunter into the bedroom, arms around each other. He starts to undress and you do, too. The room slowly turns golden tan, hiding his pre-actinic keratoses and fat. You’re both bronze gods, naked. Privacy’s gone but who cares? It’s going to be perfect sex. He’s still wearing his Google I-Glasses 4.0.

“Do you have to keep those on?” you ask. “They might scratch my–”

“Google’s working on that,” he says, reaching to remove them, catching a final glimpse of the magic world. “But, ohmiGawd. Steve Jobs is showing off an app to make all Google I-Glasses melt, and it’s going into effect…right now!”

He tosses the glasses down. They hit the hardwood floor, turn into a globby mess. He starts to sob. Real men don’t cry, you sigh.

“But they were so cool,” he sniffs, picking at the plastic, broken glass, his life a disaster, tears rolling down his lovely, gang-carved cheeks, “Everyone envied me. I knew more than anyone. About everyone. Faster, too. Deeper. More profound. Even more than God. And now, it’s ruined. Ruined, you hear me?”

You weep, a bit. But not too long. You throw off the triple, lead-lined, kryptonite bed covers that normally protect you during love-making. No need anymore. Privacy’s back. At least until the little Apples go to market.—
Defenestration-Ido DoosemanIdo Dooseman is a freelance writer in freeway-insane L.A., but soon to hang his pigpie hat in Portland. A former TV wordsmith, he has also written plays concerning ethics (or lack of them) and altered perceptions. He’s put his computer keys to work for Walter Matthau and Jack Palance, but has never done one-arm pushups at the Oscars or at the YMCA. His last novel, while considered incredible and by his friends, didn’t get quite that response from literary agents. His wife Niki is a produced playwright and his daughter Alexa has also published here. You can bother Ido at Ido-Nik(at)earthlink(dot)net.

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