Montag realizes he is numb when he tries to really talk to Mildred. He asks her if the televised White Clown loves her and if her television "family" really, truly loves her. She does not understand what he is after and asks him why he is asking silly questions like those.
At that point, he leaves the house and gets on the subway. Riding around on it, he thinks about how he is numb:
I'm numb, he thought. When did the numbness really begin in my face? In my body? The night I kicked the pill-bottle in the dark, like kicking a buried mine. The numbness will go away, he thought. It'll take time, but I'll do it, or Faber will do it for me. Someone somewhere will give me back the old face and the old hands the way they were. Even the smile, he thought, the old burnt-in smile, that's gone. I'm lost without it.
He connects his numbness to the night Millie tries to commit suicide by...
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