‘I’m a Hero and I Know it’

I tossed and turned in bed, ear plugs unable to muffle the blaring music that penetrated my paper-thin bedroom walls. Jessi, fifteen years old, had discovered the maniac melodies of the Spice Girls and had chosen a most inopportune moment to listen to “Tell ya wut I wunt, wut I rilly, rilly wunt” at jet-engine, ear-plug-ignoring volume. I left my inviting blanket and tiptoed past her door into the boiler room beyond. Relief coursed through my veins as I stared at the circuit-breaker aspirin for my sisterly headache. Hidden in the darkness, my fingers, already programmed and acting automatically (for this I’d often done before), flipped the switch and cut the electricity to her “rocking” bedroom. I leaned against the boiler-room door and stared though a crack there, only to see Jessi mosey by, wearing a confused look every bit as revealing as the Spice Girls’ miniskirts.

I left my breakfast on the bathroom counter across the hall. Orange juice developed into an interesting bacterial culture, even better than the laboratory, petri-dish varieties. Science constrained me to observe its daily development. Daily it grew larger and smellier, but, compelled by scholarship, I nobly bore the stench. A greater commitment interrupted the experiment; I had to leave on my mission before I could published in Scientific American.

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