When I want to feel young again, I dust off my guitar and perform to the walls like a bored 10-year-old passing time during the summer’s first power outage. There was nothing to do whenever it happened, other than the obvious, of course: peering through the window on my tiptoes to see if the neighborhood across the woods had gotten its lights turned back on yet. I sucked at waiting. So I’d sculpt my delicate fingers strong enough to barre chords— usually dissonant sounds at first, and then something close to music. It was pitch black and I sat at the foot of my parents’ empty bed teaching myself the alien mechanics of strumming, synchronizing my voice with the down-down- up-down. Time takes on a peculiar shape when all you can do is pass it. It’s as if you can feel yourself getting old, sitting in the stillness, baking in mid-July fever. I could feel the indifference of those bedroom walls, sweat pooling at the nape of my neck, and I felt my age. I was one decade young yet I was old enough to feel it—to be a small thing lit up by the rage of something new. Since then, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that indisputably alive. For a moment, summer held her breath and I did too, saving that melodrama for myself.

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