It’s 1996–I’m twelve–slipping poems through the slits of my crush’s locker. She returns the favor. This continues until I finally work up the courage to tell her I like her and she tells me we’re friends. I am crushed.
If the formative years of puberty aren’t trying enough, certainly rejection is the just ingredient for a cake of self-misery. From Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet to Sneaker Pimp’s “6 Underground,” ’96 was shadowed by heartache for me. Tidal couldn’t have come at better time. The then-17-years-old Fiona Apple’s dark and sultry collection of songs became the soundtrack to my wallowing sadness.