Chris sat in home office, his eyes and finger tips weary from hours of programming. He paused in the middle of keying in a complex code that a client had contracted him to complete. A wave of dissatisfaction suddenly washed over him.
There has to be more to life than this, he thought. He looked around him, overwhelmed by the wires, drives and silicon bits that had become his world. He was amazing at what he did, which is why companies from all over the country called him to come in and revamp their data and hardware. His life was bliss – jet setting first class to San Francisco at a moments notice and sipping on chilled cocktails while contemptuously watching other passengers get their bag of croutons and a half cup of ice water in economy. Still, something was missing. For what is bliss without the whipped cream?
Just like that, he’d found the algorithm to his problem. He would quit his job and get back into the world – the real human world. He would become a lactation consultant. Two weeks later, he completed a course at Javelin Tech and was ready to begin work, throwing away years of education and toil at Morehouse College in a fiat.
Armed with a crisp white lab coat, a purse and a clip board, he prepared to meet his first patient at Northstar Hospital in Atlanta. A demure Indian woman struggled to sit up to greet him, her abdomen shattered by a c-section she’d gotten just the day before.
“Good morning, Pretty,” he said jovially.
“Good morning. And it’s Priti,” she snapped.
“Priti, yes…of course,” Chris said apologetically. “Do you mind if I see your breasts?”
“What!,” she exclaimed in alarm.
“Your breasts. You asked for a lactation consultant.”
Chris strode over to her bed, his hulking 300 lbs frame shaking the very ground with each step. Priti clutched her sheets in fear, her brown eyes wide as saucers.
“I think I’d like someone else to help me feed the baby,” she said with as much courage as she could muster. Chris did his best to reassure her.
“I assure you, I’ve had the proper training. Now if you would just let me take a peek under your gown…”
Priti screamed, summoning six people into her room, including her husband who was carrying a bag of chapatis to his feeble wife.
“What are you doing!” he shrieked. “Why is my wife crying?! Why are you trying to undress her?!?” The Indian man did not wait for a reply. He flung the chapatis at Chris’ head. Chris dodged the hot baked goods and ran out of the door, his waist length dread locks trailing behind him.
That was a disaster; but the next patient would be better. He had gotten away from the fundamentals of his training: Never ask permission; always assume permission to touch the patient’s breasts. He looked down at his clip board for the name of his next charge. Soo Yi Park. Hmmm. Some sort of Asian. He knew just how to break the ice.
“Ni hao!” he said cheerily as he entered them room. Two Asian women scowled at him.
“Dude. We Korean, not Chinese,” said the attractive one sitting next to the bed.
“Ah. Well, I’m the lactation consultant,” said Chris. “I’m going to take a look at your breasts.”
In 3 steps he was at the mother’s bedside, aggressively unsnapping her gown. She and her companion chirped hastily in Korean. Chris ignored them. He examined her light brown nipples, his massive paws lifting each mammary. Careful to remember his training, he paid her a compliment.
“You have the perfect nipples for breastfeeding! Nice and perky. Now, let’s see if we can get the baby to latch on.”
He gingerly picked up the sleeping infant. Something was off about the child. Never one to ignore his inquisitive nature, he asked who the daddy was.
“We not know who the daddy is,” said the mother. “baby half Samoan. We like look of Samoan.”
“Dude, are you guys lesbians?” he asked. The pair nodded. “Sweet! I never met two lezzie Asian chicks before. Here. hold the baby while I get you prepped for feeding.”
He lifted Soo Yi’s right breast, tweaking and blowing at her milk in an attempt to get the milk out. He saw her stiffen. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in the back of his neck…kind of like –
“DUDE!” he screamed. “You bit me!!”
“You not tweak Soo Yi nipple! That soooo disrespectful!”
“I was just trying to feed your half Samoan baby!” he shot back.
The attractive Asian crouched on her hind quarters, assuming a fight stance. Chris fled the room.
Next on his clip board was Rebecca Sanders. Rubbing his bruised neck, Chris prayed that this consultation would go some what smoother. As he entered the patient’s room, he was struck by how peaceful she looked as she slept. Her wavy blond hair framed her slumbering face immaculately. It was cliche, but she looked like an angel.
“Mrs. Sanders?” he called quietly. Her eyes fluttered. She smiled in greeting and waved him in.
“MS. Sanders,” she said in reply.
“I’m…um.. Chris. The lactation consultant.”
No I don’t.
“Yeah,” laughed Chris. “I get that a lot.”
Rebecca sat up in bed and seductively undid her gown, revealing her creamy breasts – one a DD and the other a B cup. Chris careened his neck in confusion. He knew at that moment, he had 2 choices: back out of the door gracefully and maintain some level of professionalism or give in to his inner dog. As if reading his thoughts, Rebecca smiled suggestively.
10 minutes later, Chris exited the room, stinking of sweat and shame. He passed an athletic blond man wearing an Argyle vest carrying a bouquet of red roses. As they made eye contact, the man’s steps hastened. Chris looked over his shoulder and saw him walk into Rebecca’s room. He heard their muffled screams through the wall.
“Beck!! How could you!”
“This never would have happened if you had put a ring on my finger!”
“But Becky…the orderly??”
“He was NOT the orderly! He was the lactation consultant!”
Chris had one final patient for the day. He was physically and mentally exhausted from his rounds. LaKeesha Mango Johnson was his last appointment for the day. He knocked on the door and let himself in. It was pitch black dark in the room.
“Yeah?” It was a man’s voice.
“I’m here to see LaKeesha? I’m the lactation consultant.”
Someone struck a match and lit a red candle. The soft glow of the flame revealed the whites of the man’s eyes. The whites of a keyboard-black Black man’s eyes. Chris heard water striking the floor in the shower. The man finally spoke.
“Bruh. For real? The lactation consultant?”
“Yeah,” Chris said with pride. “It’s a good gig.”
“It’s a scam. I know why you’re in here…feeling on ladies titties all day with no consequences. Well, you know that’s not gonna happen today, right?”
“But I have an obligation to…”
“You have an obligation to get your meaty a** out this room,” the man said cutting him off. “You know why they call my girl Mango? Huh? You know why? Take a guess!”
She could be a stripper, a tranny or any number of unmentionable things. one wrong disrespecting guess could have Chris in a choke hold.
“I’d rather not.”
“Look, I’m just going to make a note that Mang – er- LaKeesha did not want to seen and wish you guys well on the birth of your baby…a’ight?”
Chris backed out of the room as the burly Black man blew out the candle.
Chris was fired the next day. It was just as well. He had missed the feel of cold steel and wires against his fingertips. Breasts were far too overrated.