I’m trying to remember my first online experience but instead what I’m getting is the time right before: sucking on the wet edge of a dandelion ripped out from the grass. The neighborhood kids told me that it would taste like milk. Instead it was bitter and tangy.

We were basically always barefoot. On hot driveways the soles of our feet burned, turned the color of charcoal. I remember walking down the grassy hill to the common where all our backyards met. You’d go just to see if anyone was outside, playing. There was a wide, staticky trampoline. We did somersaults in the air like it was nothing. We’d lay down on our backs and have someone jump hard in the middle, sending the rest of us flying, howling.

Computers, at some point, appeared in all of our houses. These machines were only good for playing Solitaire or playing God. We’d gather around one screen playing the Sims, eating Goldfish crackers out the Costco-size carton, greasing our keyboards, trapping our Sim-selves in rooms with no doors and cheap ovens when we got sick of the game. We’d hard reset the computer and go back outside.

I have no idea when we stopped going back outside, or taking each other’s dares.

Jennifer Schaffer-Goddard is an American writer living in London.