At 15 I loved formatting my profile and away messages on AOL Instant Messenger. I spent lots of time choosing the right movie quote or song lyric to express my current state, as well as font, color choice, word, and lettering arrangement. I defaulted to pinks, reds, purples, Comic Sans and Curly Q as a tween but in high school noticed my coolest friend was using cooler colors like grey, brown, and navy blue. As for font, I was in an almost-exclusive relationship with Arial Narrow (sometimes Arial Narrow Bold). Mostly no one commented on my profile or away message, but no one commented on anyone’s. What you talked about on AIM was not discussed in person. As usual I’d spent a lot of time organizing “And the only thing / keeping me dry is” from a Postal Service album I played incessantly. My color choices were gold, orange, hunter green, and a sort of earthy beige. I thought this was one of the best I’d ever done. One day, a boy in my math class, the only other person I knew who had heard of The Gossip, said, “You always know the perfect lyric from a song to use for your profile,” and at 15, it was the compliment I was most proud of ever receiving.

Katie Alice Greer is an artist in Washington DC, she is the lyricist of the band Priests.