Niall was in high school, older than us and he wore glasses that were octagonal and shaded so that you could just barely make out his eyes. His sister was younger than him but a little older than me, blond and pretty and no glasses. She had a friend or a cousin over and they were playing Marco Polo in the pool while the Dads drank cans of beer and squinted in the charcoal smoke. The Moms sat on floral print cushioned plastic chairs under the shade of a matching umbrella and laughed, drinking cans of Diet Rite and eating watermelon slices. My brother and I stood quietly on the deck in clean camp shorts and i-zod shirts until Niall asked “you guys like music?”

Grateful for the escape hatch from parents and girls, we sat on the tightly wound carpeted floor of Niall’s organized bedroom as he precisely slid a cardboard album cover from a milk crate and took the black plastic disc from within, placing it gently on the record player. Niall then handed us the album cover. “Their hats are called energy domes” he said.

It looked like Niall’s eyes were closed but because of the tinted glasses I wasn’t sure. He nodded to the music and mouthed the words “When a problem comes along, you must whip it.”