I really fucking miss it.
I don't miss the drug deaths, the people being carried out covered in green vomit or the god-awful music, but I miss the simplicity of interaction there. I miss how tactile it is - not the groping, but the hand on your stomach as someone you know passes you in the crowd just to let you know they're there. I loved that every time I talked to anyone they'd be laughing at the whole setup where all the men posturing and grunting are just putting it on and you knew that all of those beefy muscle boys would dissolve at a Victoria Wood quote or if the DJ accidentally played Madonna.
It felt, when I arrived, like I wouldn't be able to reconcile the badger I feel like I am today with the tattooed dragon I was back then. Thing is, though, tattoos don't disappear and neither did I, no matter how quickly I tried to change skins. My hide's a little thicker now and not just with a cicatrix of memories. My hair's a little greyer and perhaps even I'm a little calmer now. It's the psychometrist's curse to believe that walking the same road will always lead to the same destination when really, perhaps I couldn't have seen the damage coming. Perhaps it isn't always bound to end so painfully. Perhaps it wasn't all my fault.