Face To Face by Ken Goldman

The surgeon’s office appeared blindingly white, its furnishings spotless and as perfect as the gorgeous actors in the photos adorning the walls. Old Hollywood, young Hollywood — present and accounted for, from Gable and Hepburn, to Taylors Liz, Lautner and Swift.

Dr. Martin Greene turned to his young patient. “So, Michelle. You’ve decided?”  He knew she already had. Her smile said it all. 

“My hair’s always kinky. Jennifer’s hair would look fantastic.”

“Human nature requires beauty to balance what’s not. The Anniston, then.  Follicle implantation is easy.” The surgeon pulled the star’s glossy photo from his folder, placed it on his desk. “And the nose?”

“Gwyneth! Loved her in that Shakespeare movie.”

“‘Shakespeare In Love‘ — Her male lead was likely more enamored with Gwyneth’s nose than her acting abilities.” Greene added Paltrow’s glossy. 

“She sells that ‘Goop’ beauty stuff, you know.”

Greene knew. “Some people try any ridiculous scam to feel beautiful, to smell beautiful, to taste—” He caught himself. “Your eyes are gorgeous as emeralds, so we don’t touch them. So about the mouth?”

“Cameron Diaz !Incredible smile. Make the teeth as white as you can! Maybe add a few!” Michelle laughed, adding “Not as many as Julia Roberts!”

  The Diaz 8 x 10 went onto the pile. “The Aniston/Paltrrow/ Diaz combo —- you can’t go wrong with these ladies. And for the piece de resistance?” The doctor didn’t have to say more.  

(…but ethically speaking, maybe he did.)

He stopped Michelle before she slipped behind the screen to change “You know, you’re quite a beautiful woman in your own right. Your nose, mouth — I know you’ve made your decision, but maybe with some minor—”

“The piece de resistance, Dr. Greene.  The body, okay? I’ve decided.”

Business was business, and Michelle Daniels’ personal business was none of his. Dr. Greene’s business was to see to his patient’s needs, nothing more. “All right, then. Your body selection. Very important…”

“I want Aretha Franklin!”

Greene stared at the woman. “The young and lean Aretha—?”

“I mean the Aretha Franklin at the time of her death.”

“Miss Daniels,  you must know Aretha Franklin was very large as an older woman.” 

“I know. That’s whose body I want.”  Michelle Daniels turned dead serious.

“I don’t under —”

“The eye of the beholder, right? Do you often fat shame your patients, Dr. Greene?”

The surgeon wiped his brow. “Of course not, but—”

“Women have to meet some rigid outdated standard, do they? Some male version of beauty, whether white or black?”

A bead of sweat. slid into Greene’s eye. “But you selected three beautiful —.” 

“Four beautiful women, Doctor. Wouldn’t you agree?”  Michelle reached into her purse. Pulling out a pink object, she placed it on her head. “That’s right, Doctor Greene.  It’s a pussy hat. My ‘Me Too” button is in here too. Want to see?”

“No. Slip into your gown, please.”

Dr. Martin Greene stepped out and prepared for surgery.

                                                                                                                                                     *** 

In Bell Aire, California, Jennifer Aniston stared into her mirror and wondered why this morning her hair appeared so kinky…

Bio and Image:

Ken Goldman, a former Philadelphia English/Film Studies teacher, is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association,  with homes on the Main Line in Pennsylvania and at the Jersey shore. His stories have  appeared in over 940 independent press publications. He has written six books : three anthologies of short stories, YOU HAD ME AT ARRGH!! (Sam’s Dot Publishers), DONNY DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE (A/A Productions) and STAR-CROSSED (Vampires 2); and a novella, DESIREE,  (Damnation Books). His first novel OF A FEATHER (Horrific Tales Publishing) was released in January 2014. SINKHOLE, his second novel, was published by Bloodshot Books August 2017.

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