I met a man recently who said that his drinking was the only thing he truly understood about himself, could diagnose and wrap his head around. That everything else was uncertain. In therapy when he’d be asked, How does that make you feel, he always wanted to respond: I have no idea how I feel. I have no idea how I feel about anything.
What did he understand? He understood that he was looking for some sort of spiritual awakening to come, late at night, several beers in. He was an artist, looking for the muse, and he’d had hints that substances would bring it on fully, if only, maybe, he pushed farther, stayed up later. He was past due on his bills so he lit his apartment with dozens of candles. It gave the place an atmosphere conducive to a spiritual experience.
But each drink, or each night of drinking, was a candle going out. He was trying to summon a false idol, something ghostly and cold as vaporizer smoke, a particular kind of translucence with an appealing smell, almost thick enough to grasp.