Welcome home, Stew. Nothing's changed. I get home and within hours have fallen into the same routine I had when I was last here. Isolating myself with a computer and a net connection because there's nobody here I know. Locking myself away and thinking for long periods, doing nothing but bashing out words on a keyboard in order to stop myself getting too self-reflective and vanishing away into the dark corner of depression and self-loathing. Again.
None of the routines have changed. None of the attitudes have changed. I have, but they haven't. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. The stupid thing is that I know I've been here before. I've run through this psychescape before. Different circumstances, different outcomes, but still the same root problem. The first summer back from university, the most dramatic change in base-state I've gone through. And yet, nobody noticing. Tension. Friction. I didn't know how to deal with it at the time, so I put some scars in my shoulder for a reason that made sense at the time.
Coming home for the first time after spending seven months in Germany. Nothing had changed. I'd still been 'away', just five hundred miles and a timezone distant rather than being in the Midlands somewhere. Everything was the same. People assumed that I still cared about family friends that I'd forgotten had existed. The routine was identical. Nothing had changed, and yet here I was after seevn months of adapting to what had been an entirely alien culture, wondering why things changed for me and not for them. Fortunately, I bailed early that year. Didn't have to stay around too long, and spent the Hogmanay up in Edinburgh. A better means of regaining mental stability I haven't yet found.
Home again after graduating, always the same. Assuming I was the same as I was all those years ago, just wanting a job as well. Not realising that I'd lived in three countries in that time, and thus the base-state had changed rather dramatically. But that bleeds on to last May, and I've gone on about that plenty already.
One thing is different, one thing in all of Hull. It turns out that I do know someone. Those reading long enough to remember Funhouse Reflections, same person I parafictionalised there. Her plus her now-husband living in Hessle, replete with their two little girls. Invited me around for coffee. They have kids, a house, a mortgage, a car, and bemoan being unable to go out and get drunk or stoned or take a day off to go tripping. We talked for a couple of hours, and I was glad of one thing. Glad I hadn't turned into them. I like where my life is now too much to want that.
: Not technically true any more.