There were no cars, so as I turned onto Longfellow Avenue, I stepped straight into the middle of the street. I looked at the leafless trees and imagined them to be the exposed roots of enormous elms on the other side of the Earth, in China. I stopped to look into a puddle and considered that maybe the reflection was a parallel universe, with a parallel me. Also seventeen, but different somehow—wiser, but perhaps evil. I walked through the puddle and rippled the illusion away. But I immediately detected something different in the air. As I looked up again at the empty street, I realized that something had changed. My place in the world was no longer the same. We were no longer the same. “It” was now pulled out of me, moving one step ahead of me. The world no longer held me; it had expelled me. And now that I could see it, I realized that it was faster than I was. More complex. Elusive. I would never again feel as though I could keep up with it, understand it, trust it. It walked ahead, out of my reach, out of my vision, down the middle of the street. I would have to find a different way to stay sane.