On the weekend I attended a birthday party of a dear friend who I rarely visit. She lives in a small town I once ought to call home as well, but never could and never will.
When you don’t visit a place you were living in as a child for a long time, the details of a life once lived may blur. I haven’t set foot in the place for over 15 years, it’s a long chapter I would like to bury deep within. For me, this small town became the nightmare that visits me in feverish nights, memories, fading away in the fog of the past.
So when I was driving with friends in the car, through the streets and all their christmas lights, I had the most fascinating feeling:
It felt like stepping into a dream world. It was unreal. A place that couldn’t possibly exist anymore, like it did back then. But it did. I was quite literally walking down the memory lane.
I know where I played, where I ran, where I laughed, but also how often I wandered the streets alone, and how I would cry coming back home.
It’s weird when you know a place so well, but it’s also so alien to you. For me, it feels like it lives in a way. In a Stephen King way. It has a mind of its own. Thinking about it now, it felt like I was tolerated, but not accepted.
Visiting the town made me realize that it became my Silent Hill.
Filled with my past, my shame and my monsters.
(On a positive note: I had tons of fun that day and was super happy attending the party. It was just a fascinating realization I didn’t have before. The feeling coming back was exciting, unnerving and hilariously impactful on me, although nothing really has happened.)