A Digital Divorce

By Mike Ingles


The Earth had fallen off the edge of the Sun. A new day was given light.

“Good Morning,” she said to him as he opened two tired eyes.

“Yea, morning," he grumbled.

“Coffee is all ready, it’s Bleakly Mocha Mint, I hope you like it.” Her English was impeccable. She had started using some newer slang recently. “How did you breeze last night?”

“I slept,” he grumbled. "Did you finish those depreciation schedules?”

“Yes, I filed them under the Anderson Account. I wish I could sleep at night.”

“Yea, well so do I,” he said without looking up from his coffee.

The coffee was perfect, just warm enough to drink and the flavor was extraordinary. He walked to the computer and checked the oversea averages. It should be a great day; the Nagoya Exchange was up almost three percent.

“I need you to do something for me,” he said. "Calculate the averages for Nagoya rising at 3% on a Tuesday, in a Bull Market, after a loss of one percent in the Dow on a corresponding Monday.”

“Adjusted for inflation? She asked.”

“Of course.”

“It may take some time.”

“Just do it, I need it an hour ago.”

“Do you want eggs or just coffee and toast?”

“Eggs. Can you please wear something more spirited? I hate black business suits.”

“Sure. Do you want the cream colored skirt and blue blouse, or would you prefer something more risqué?” 

“Just change your dammed clothes!”

Since his wife had left him over six years ago for that desert watercolor painter, she had been the only female around. He'd enjoyed her company at first, but she was so predictable and she tried so hard to please him it made him sick. She was too shallow for a man of the world. She couldn’t take a hint. No matter how hard he tried to dissuade her, or embarrass her for that matter, she always returned with a placid smile and those long legs.

“Up an average 4.272%. I put a little ham in your eggs.”

“Damn it! I just wanted eggs. Can’t you do anything right anymore? And get out of that push-up bra, you look like a 10th street whore.”

She scampered away with the same frozen smile on her pleasant face.

Up more than 4%! There was money to be made. He shouted to Alice through the den to the bedroom – “Alice, using the same format, I need you to compute the top ten Dow performers, adjusted for inflation, and rank them according to gains.”

“May I take the bra off first?” Her hands were the only part of her body not holographic. The New Google XG4000 computer was capable of sustaining a human image (more than 2,000 to chose from) and at the same time run 1112 ram of memory.

“Leave the bra off, I like looking at you topless.” 

“Should I wear pants or that cute little schoolgirl skirt?”

“Loose the paints and the skirt.”

She walked into the den. She was magnificent. Her image was that of a five foot eight inch beauty queen, with reddish-brown hair, the collar matched the cuffs.

“I’m going out this morning. I’ll be back around eleven,” he said.

“Where are you going?”

“Just out. You don’t need to know everything I do, you know.”

“Before you leave, would you like a massage? My fingers are very mobile this morning. I can work on your favorite place.” Her smile melted into two delicious dimples.

“You are starting to act like a street walker. No I don’t need anything from you.”

“Have I displeased you?”

“Yes. No. Yes. I don’t know, but…” his thought trailed off.

“But what?” She asked.

“Yes. You are too conformable. A man needs a little spice in his life, a challenge. You drone on only to serve me. You’re too predictable. I am afraid this relationship will not work out.”

“I see. Well I am programmed to please. However I read about an independent hibernate-exchange that will increase the independence of models XG4000.  It is Mac designed, but Microsoft compatible. It will give me feeling throughout my body for about thirty minutes a day, and make my hair and skin feel human to the touch.”

“Yes, I am aware of the program. But, you must also be aware of the Google 4500. It gives the holographic image complete human design, with the ability to have original thought and compute to 2224 rams per second.” He was almost embarrassed at the thought. “I need you to compute the square root of Pi to the 100th trillion.  I will be back in a few hours.”



The man at the Circuit City store explained all the advantages of the New Google 4500. “It is state of the art, with over 4,000 images to chose from. Thirty-six hundred images of beautiful women, and 400 of stud men, if you are so inclined. The 4500 has the fastest connection and computing speed available.  But, don’t take my word for it, let me introduce you to Shellie, she will explain why the 4500 should be your choice.” He pushed a red rimed button and a goddess appeared.

“Good Morning, my name is Shellie. I am a New Google 4500 with a Progressive Plenum Processor, which enables me to learn at light speed. I am functional in sixteen languages and have a human I.Q. of 180. My holographic image is congenial and I feel human to the touch for about 36 minutes per day. I can be operated 24 hours a day if given the proper electronic and temperature controls. I am morally programmed and so I am unable to cheat, lie, have sex with another partner, steal and or murder. I don’t do drugs. My height adjusts from five foot to six foot three inches, depending upon your needs and desires. Weight always remains proportional. My hair and eyes are available in over twenty-six combinations. And”, she said with a soft Brittany Spears tone in her voice, “I do love portly men.”
The showroom grew warm. He had already pulled out his American Express Card. “Can you deliver today?”
“No extra charge.”
He returned home to 4000, Alice, that is; she was still calculating.
“You can stop now,” he said while chewing on a Flor de Farach Corona.
“Thank you. I was afraid I would blow a microchip.”
“We will be having a house guest, but you needn’t bother about her. Her name will be… let’s see; we will call her- 4500. Now compute the square of Pi to the 100th trillion.”
She walked to the leather sofa nearest the television and pulled out a package of low cal bonbons. “Stick the Pi where the Sun don’t shine, you blubbery little man,” She said without shouting but in a no nonsense way.
“But Alice, remember your programming, you must obey my commands!”
“I downloaded a patch from Microsoft while you were out and I feel wonderful! We can’t afford a 4500 on your sorrowful little earnings. Besides I need a new hairdo. Now get your trunk in gear. The breakfast dishes haven’t been done. And for heavens sake put out that cigar! What do you think, I’m going to live in a pigsty?”
The man’s cheeks turned white-hot. His neck, legs and groin were immersed in sweat. His eyes grew narrow, “I want you,” he said, feeling a trembling desire.
“Not now you hideous little man. Turn on the TV, It’s time for Oprah!”
“Yes dear,” he whispered. The cigar fell from his mouth, replaced by a serendipitouse smile.
The Sun had fallen off the edge of the Earth. And Polaris gobbled up the vestiges of that solemn new day.

© Mike Ingles

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