I Want My Own Brain
Copyright 2011 Lorraine Ray
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Stephanie Falls nibbled her toast into an interesting oblong and listened, without comprehending, as her parents discussed the various effects of the wind that had scoured their yard since midnight. Sometime before dawn—neither parent knew exactly when—a large palm frond had crashed onto the roof of the carport next door, and as they ate their breakfasts the next morning they watched old Mrs. Webster, in polka-dotted gloves and a velour track suit, clamber onto a stepstool in front of her carport. Mrs. Webster’s home was built on land that sloped toward an arroyo, and the Falls’ kitchen window overlooked the roof of her carport. Together, Mr. and Mrs. Falls and Stephanie, watched as Mrs. Webster’s eerie gloves groped blindly for the big palm leaf. The Falls discussed the precision of their neighbor’s yard and how their own modest pink adobe pleased onlookers without garish, old-fashioned, colored gravel. With satisfaction at this minor superiority over Mrs. Webster, who was a relentless busybody, Mr. and Mrs. Falls scraped their last spoonfuls of yogurt out of their cups and then panicked when a horn blared outside.