I remember being extremely hot in a stuffy house with no A/C in the dead heat of an August summer. I remember wishing I could see my dad, who had to stay at work through the duration of the storm. I remember thinking my house was most certainly obliterated to nothing more than the foundation upon which it was built. I remember a club soda—the nasty thing—and how it felt to drink it while it was warm. I remember a small antenna TV my mom used to get updates on the devastation. I remember pacing, and pacing, and pacing back and forth, wondering when we could go home, only to hear my mother gently remind me that moving around made me even hotter. I remember waiting in a hallway the size of a closet, surrounded by blankets of all types, while tornado warning after tornado warning was issued. I remember a sense of loneliness as I waited for school to start up again, as I never felt truly happy anywhere else. I remember the boxes—the big, brown, cardboard boxes—filled with jackets and socks and barbies and pencils and shampoo and MREs and all sorts of wonderful, albeit small and simple, items that seemed so scarce at the time. I remember the strangers from across the nation, reaching out to my small Mississippi town, offering food, essentials, and hope. I remember the coast—immediately before (bright, sunny, calm, inviting) and immediately after (dirty, devastated, broken, intimidating)—and how seeing the two opposites changed my view of the world. I remember Katrina.