It's a few months shy of ten years since I came back to my hometown, cloaked in the shame of failure and an illness that didn't have a name.
Diagnosis came soon after. But there was little help involved and before the year was out, I was shuttered away like a summer cabin.
Rarely do I make it out. I spent more time interacting with this town when I lived in another state than I do now. Stuck in the house, it's years since I've been a regular anywhere but my room.
Despite being the end of a string of generations in this small town, I never fit in here. I still associate it with the melancholy, stifling familiarity I was running from when I left at 17. Seasonal jobs and a rotation of hangouts with shag carpets, faux wood paneling and hard alcohol clutched at my ankles.
But now everything is inverted, and I yearn for that feeling. It's out there waiting along the highway and tattered back roads. The town, faded and weathered versions of my memory increasingly interspersed with the unrecognizable, though it has forgotten me, is mine.