Fourteen-year-old me really liked this stuff, but her friends were either into Blink 182 and NOFX, or Saves the Day and Yellowcard. That’s all punk was to them, there wasn’t much of an in-between. Now in my memory she’s most real to me there, yellow hair floating around her like a halo in the imaginary amniotic gap she carved for herself somewhere in history between Crass and Bratmobile.

She’s preserved in time to visit when I need her to weigh in on a moral judgment: Would teenage Meredith support this decision? It was impossible to make her happy then. But she was hopeful and dedicated, and stubborn as hell. After all, I’m still listening to the same records she liked back then, 14 years later.

I go to see her; she’s posted up in her basement bedroom with the gold Queen Anne’s lace-print wallpaper and a copy of American Hardcore, knowing there’s gotta be more to history than what the boys tell her, but not knowing where to begin. Small towns, man. There’s got to be a way to get out.