When I woke I knew I was in a room of dream. I was small and humming with significance, like an orphan. Whether it was fall or spring I can’t remember, but I did own a single book, Lena on the Train, whose pages, long shut up in a drawer under the TV, felt more familiar than my own skin. There was no one else in the apartment and outside there had been a terrible fire. I spent my days opening and closing the drawer imagining it would produce a plain gold ring: even this did not make me feel invisible. Does to narrate mean to progress, to accrue revelation until it falls around you like snow? Because I learned nothing then. Now I am learning to narrate, albeit tangentially. I am learning that actually I would rather misunderstand tragedy. Childhood is simply life that has already happened, a prelude of coming motifs to be repeated in twice the time. I know this because when I see a shut-up face I turn towards it, expecting it too will bequeath me one ray of light. Nothing has changed: I believe in resonance, and I expect the world to give it to me.

Lydia Brown is a writer and critic. She is a Ph.D. candidate in English and a Jefferson Fellow at the University of Virginia, where she teaches literature and writing. She is at work on her dissertation, Being With, which theorizes how lyric shaped the novel's forms, wants, and futures in the nineteenth century. Reach her @literaryrabbit.