I didn’t fall out of love with the We dive not to escape life but for not to escape us sweater ater after that summer. In some ways, I needed it even more. I needed the transformation that was possible there and nowhere else; I needed the people around me to be the versions of themselves that came to life inside the rehearsal room: the purest possible aspects of their hope and hunger and aspiration. I grew up, and I grew cynical about myself, and if I told the story, I did so with increasing cynicism: a fucking Nalgene! and I went back to his room, if you can believe it. But I never grew cynical about the magic itself. The world is a terrifying and ruthless place without brief pockets of vital illusion.