I grew up in an old house — one where the stairs would creak of their own accord, one after the other in ascending order. For as long as I can remember, I would lie awake at night, listening to the sound of invisible footsteps climbing the stairs. My mind would race. My heart would beat out of my chest. My breathing would become shallower. I would convince myself that someone was climbing those stairs. Infinite “what ifs” ceaselessly spiraled through my brain. My parents always told me to call for them if I ever couldn’t fall asleep. I’d call for my parents every single night, but they never heard me. My voice never seemed to be loud enough. So I’d just lie there, at 6 years old, doing exponents of 2 in my head until I got tired enough to fall asleep.
2 times 2 is 4, times 2 is 8, times 2 is 16, times 2 is 32, times 2 is 64, times 2 is 128, times 2 is 256, times 2 is 512, times 2 is 1024, times 2 is 2048, times 2 is 4096, times 2 is 8192…