Recently, I have started hating people on the streets. Random people. Everyday people. Normal people who just happen to stare at a smartphone screen, or do groceries on a Saturday afternoon, or have a bit louder conversation.

It comes with lower motivation to go out myself and meet people. I have no desire to go out, do something, anything, take a weekend break, go on holidays, visit museums, have a cup of coffee in the city or even go to concerts.

It reminds me of many embarrassing scenes in my late teens. I hated crowds. I hated people around me. I walked out on many concerts just because I couldn’t see the artist or hated the people around me with surprising intensity. My height of only 1m75 definitely didn’t help. Of course there was more. I didn’t go to festivals for a long time because I disliked mud, rain, general discomfort and essentially sharing the festival terrain with 30.000 people for 3 whole days, and I skipped many stadium concerts because I failed to see the fun in experiencing a concert from a distance, through binoculars.

I outgrew all of it. I will never love people, but for a long time I tolerated their existence, even if that existence was in my vicinity. Being surrounded by people didn’t give me instant violent fantasies anymore. I accepted some conventions and managed to behave.

But recently something changed. I think I am regressing, my old self is taking over again. I’m getting more melancholic by the day, absurdly sentimental, even for my standards, and I consume enormous quantities of old-school Punk, Post-Punk and New Wave. I have ‘Back to the future’ fantasies: I want to go back to save my future, replace my original mistakes with a fresh set. And as I observe the people around me, all of them substantially younger, I think: I don’t know you, don’t even want to know you, go away and leave me alone. But for them, I wasn’t even there. They were minding their own business, looking at themselves on a smartphone screen. A version of a version.