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A point about high-functioning addicts: their function is often quite high.

Salman has two hours between errands to get the house presentable for tonight’s book club: he knocks out the laundry and the mopping in a tight fifteen. Gotta get some food in, too. Salman rinses a single plate with one hand and pops the dishwasher door with the other. He closes it with his heel.

One must have space to unpack the paraphernalia. One must have time to clean it, when done.

The door opens, and a smile is there to greet them. Salman could swear it wasn’t his.


Salman is playing chess with the Addict, and losing.

“I don’t see you as part of myself anymore,” he says. “I’ve attained a certain distance. I can analyze the way you acted–”

“We acted,” says the Addict.

Salman trades rook for bishop. “And the most embarrassing thing to see is how simple your motivations were. Anyone asks why I did anything–fear? No. Sex? No. Long-term strategy? No. Fix?”

“Yep!” says the Addict.

“It’s such a relief,” says Salman, checked, “to be a little more complex these days.”

The Addict reveals a lazy smile. “Oh yes,” he says. “You are.”