Friday, February 27, 2009


Modified People

I was an all-knowing freak from the beginning. When I was little I knew what the grown-ups thought I didn’t know, and I saw what they thought I couldn’t see. That’s what fucked me up. I’m sure of it. It’s damn near impossible to have a happy go lucky childhood when you realize that your mother loves your father’s brother and not your dad. It was hard to relate to other children, the other kids in the neighborhood seemed so clueless about so many things. I wanted to ask them why they were so oblivious but knew better than to do that. Take my older sister for example. Brenda never could figure out what was really going on, she was too busy playing jump rope and planning her future wedding to Prince William, (yes, she was convinced that they would marry. Even though he lived clear over in Jolly-Old-England, and we lived in boring with a capital B Sandusky Ohio.) I kept my opinions and observations to myself. I harbored deep dark secrets.

Now I work in an office and I see what my co-workers think nobody sees. Marvin for instance, he’s gawking at porno on his Dell when he should be making cold calls. And that bitch Fiona, she was banging our married boss Shep after happy hour every Thursday. Don’t ask me why I know but Fiona had to have an abortion last month and won’t sleep with Shep anymore. Trudy makes long distance phone calls to her ex husband out in California on the company dime. Lest you think that I enjoy being the person that knows—I don’t—it’s a never-ending burden.

So, when I read an article in People magazine about a renegade doctor that specializes in modifying people, I didn’t waste any time signing up to be on his extensive waiting list. After a few months I finally stepped foot into his posh office suite in Long Beach for a consultation. I longed to be like everybody else. Focused on sex and money and status and all that regular stuff. I told Dr. Armstrong to shorten my nose and perform a little liposuction, and while he was at it, could he teach me how to flirt? I’d always been shy around guys. I confessed that I was sexually repressed and still a virgin. Dr. Armstrong said it would take about two years to modify me. Did I have the patience? He wasn’t so sure. I made a pledge, if there was one thing I had going for me, it was patience.

He began to renovate my personality and characteristics. We had a rough road ahead of us, he explained, because I was the sum total of all that had formed me. He would do his best to undo the damage. Hypnosis was Dr. Armstrong’s tool. Luckily, I was highly susceptible to suggestion.

You could say that these subtle changes happen so slowly you aren’t even aware that you are changing. One day Sadie from accounting asked me if I’d noticed how much weight Darla in sales had put on recently. And I hadn’t! My lack of interest was a revelation. I hadn’t been hitting the chocolaty snacks either. I preferred carrot and celery sticks to Hostess cupcakes. My energy level had skyrocketed. Happy Hour held no allure, alcohol no appeal. On the anniversary of my first year with Dr. Armstrong we celebrated by scheduling my nose job. He suggested I straighten my teeth as well and I went for it. Why not?

Do you love happy endings? Because I do. When Dr. Armstrong was finished with my modification he asked me to marry him. It seemed that I had become the perfect woman. Did I mention that I also had breast implants and completed schooling to obtain a nursing degree, so I run his office now? Well I did and I do. We live in a lovely home in Palos Verdes and I am expecting our first child. Life is amazing. I’m so lucky to belong to the exclusive club, to be one of the modified people.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.


JustPlainWill said...


Love your micro stories! Do not have the surgery though---stay exactly as you are. Keep the stories coming.
Please cehck out my blogs at and Both are seriocomic stories; the former about the world as we know it from an aging baby boomer's perspective and the later a quirky/comic view of the recession. Sometimes you gotta laugh to keep from crying.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

No surgery for