I slide the crisp-white earphones into my ears and walk steadily down the wet, muddy path. My head lowered, I stare at a busy screen, yet my eyes don’t notice the convolution of words that’s being lit up.

I’m too focused on walking. Too focused on arriving at my destination, one I’m still not familiar with, but familiarity in itself has become unfamiliar.

I lift my eyes up to see the parade of people that walk by, but there is not one face I recognise. Empty stares and immersive conversations pass – can’t they see me?

I’m angry.

They anger me. Their wide-grinned tête-à-têtes anger me. This muddy path angers me. Even the stairs to my right and the vivid propaganda stricken against the exposed brick… they all anger me.

This. Place.

My quick stride places me before two transparent glass doors. They open in my presence. They can see me. I enter, as my lips twitch and my eyes start to well up. I had missed feeling greeted. The tight hugs and cozy sofas. The feeling of being home.

But this was my home now.

A tight pull and my earphones fall into my palm, but nothing’s changed. No rhythm, no tune, no falsetto. It’s the white noise that had kept me busy. The white noise in my head.