I like to hole up in hotel suites. I like to turn off the lights and crank the AC. I like temperature-controlled and contained environments. I like to sit in the dark and let my mind race. I was set to meet Bill Stoner the next morning. I ordered a room-service dinner and a big pot of coffee. I turned out the lights and let the redhead take me places.
I knew things about us. I sensed other things. Her death corrupted my imagination and gave me exploitable gifts. She taught me self-sufficiency by negative example. I possessed a self-preserving streak at the height of my self-destruction. My mother gave me the gift and the curse of obsession. It began as curiosity in lieu of childish grief. It flourished as a quest for dark knowledge and mutated into a horrible thirst for sexual and mental stimulation. Obsessive drives almost killed me. A rage to turn my obsessions into something good and useful saved me. I outlived the curse. The gift assumed its final form in language.
in My Dark Places, An L.A. Crime Memoir p.206
© 1996 James Ellroy
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