From 1994 to 2001, I lived in a room this color. The curtains were the same color, in crushed velvet. My mother made them, by request, for my 12th birthday. The room was “web safe.”

#FF0000 has the color name “Red Color.” The # sign is called a “hex,” abbreviated from “hexadecimal”: a base sixteen counting system using numerals 0 through 9 and letters A to F. In the U.S., # is commonly known as the “pound sign.” More recently, it has become the ubiquitous “hashtag” symbol.

The computer was downstairs in the family room, but tucked into a recess, so a person entering the kitchen couldn’t see right away what you were doing on the Internet—if that mattered, which it did. For me, the advent of the Internet coincided with puberty. It’s difficult to imagine it otherwise for other people. I remember discovering the pleasant sensitivity of my nipples, sitting up late one evening at the computer.

#FF0000 denotes a color with a red value of 255 (maximum value), a green value of zero, and a blue value of zero. In CMYK color space, an approximate hue is achieved by mixing 100% magenta with 100% yellow. Strangely, a family friend has twice reminded me now of the time I painted my room all black.

Rachael Wilson is a Ph.D. candidate in English at NYU and a co-founder of the Organism for Poetic Research. She also blogs at mostperfectworld.com.