Dear Lana,

I think the feeling of disassociation is an interesting one. Disassociation can only be felt when you’re in proximity to other people. You can only recognize the invalidity of your own existence when you exist in context to others. When you are in solitude, existence is certain.

I used to describe the feeling of disassociation as feeling like a fake memory. I still accept that characterization to a large extent. It is the feeling of fading out of existence, as if the moment others reflect on the validity of their memories means the demise of your experience. In many ways, I feel that this feeling is amplified with the advent of Zoom. Disassociation can exist in any group setting, but I feel that it is especially amplified with the assumption that your existence is only validated by a shot of your room captured by a hole in your computer. Otherwise, it does not exist at all.

If I had a car right now, I would drive to the supermarket to purchase a bottle of wine. I think alcohol emulates the psychological feeling of disassociation into a physical phenomenon. You are more-or-less fading out of existence, as a memory does. There is a tingling, but the tingling resembles a tingling when you slowly feel your fingers again after they have been soaked from throwing snowballs. It is restoring vitality, and it is through the matching of physical and psychological sensations that this balance is restore. I also haven’t had wine in awhile, and wine tastes really good.

It reminds me a bit of the ending of Book of Illusions by Paul Auster. When the narrator saw the unreleased film, a writer was working on his novel. There was a girl who was fading out of existence the more a writer wrote his novel. She was taking care of him as he worked on his piece. When he finished his novel, the girl was on the brink of death. He recognized that he valued the girl more than his writing, and he threw his manuscript into the fireplace. Only then the girl returned from fading. But, at the same time, the girl wanted to fade out of existence. It was a pretty clear example of the manic pixie dream trope, as the girl was literally the invention of the writer. He clinged onto an idea of associative infinity as opposed to accepting the ephemerality of emotional disserverance.

There was also that scene in the Wizards of Waverly Place movie, when Selena Gomez’s character was looking through her hand, still muddy from falling on the ground of the imaginary battlefield where her wizard battle took place, knowing if she couldn’t become the family wizard and force her dad and mom to fall in love that their lived were condemned to never have existed. There was also that scene in Back to the Future, when Marty observed himself falling out of existence when his dad and mom were drifting further apart. In an instinct to preserve his existence, he sought to end his dissociative state. But what if the instinct of preservation and the instinct to associate were divergent?

Now that I think about it, Marty’s mom literally had the hots for Marty. I’m sure my boy Sigmund would have something to say about that.