My apartment sits above a restaurant with a tacky fake fire pit outside. Every night, the light flickers and bounces off the tree by my window, and I think there’s a fire. This routine started when the building next to me burned down and I developed a fear of crazy, irresponsible neighbors who play with fire. The night it burned down, I was away, but I received several calls from people who saw the fire on TV and informed me with complete certainty that it was my building that had burned. I learned that when faced with the possibility of losing all my stuff, I didn’t really give a shit. I knew everything would be okay, and that as long as no one was hurt, I was thankful and at ease with it. But at the same time, I really didn’t care. I was crushed at the thought of losing my treasured copy of Anna Karenina, but nothing else seemed to matter. Well, that’s not entirely true…terrible prospects flashed through my mind of firefighters investigating the rubble and finding signs of drug use. I wasn’t sure what the protocol on that would be. But I found myself putting on an act for the friends who called me in order to feign concerned about losing everything in my apartment. I had reached the perfect level of detachment I had been seeking.
I had a tidal wave dream last night. Those are the worst. I don’t know much about dreams, but something in the meaning of those dreams seems inherently obvious. The few times I’ve managed it, quitting drugs has opened the door to things I don’t want to face. It’s daunting. I crawl out of my skin with thoughts and emotions and memories, and it’s like I’ve forgotten how to be human. Even good emotions are hard to accept, because I don’t quite know how to regulate them. During those sporadic periods of sobriety, I reflect on how badly I occasionally let my addiction get out of hand, and I wonder how I could become so indifferent. It’s more of a removed and temperate curiosity though, because the indifference hasn’t actually left. Now that I’ve done such a good job of perfecting it, I want to let it go a little, test what happens if I let out some slack. How to begin the process of unlearning detachment?