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Morning Sample

I was nineteen. It was the end of summer, August, the summer of schizophrenia, when I decided to be a writer. I had seen things, I knew people. I wanted to punish my enemies eternally, like Dante. I wanted to write for revenge, like Reyes. I had so much hate bottled inside me that it took me until now, nearly ten years later, to empty out and start over. Now, I have nothing. I lost all my friends and I don’t keep in touch with my family. If I choose to stay in the house, then no one will ask me to leave it. I can go on like that for days if I wanted to. People used to ask me what I would write about. I used to say I wasn’t sure, it was undefinable, both to remain mysterious and to inspire awe in the listener, as if I were grappling with the unknown inside me.

I know what a mistake that was, and what a fool I had been. A writer always knows his subject. I should have just said: the city, its people, my hate and my love for it. I can tell you everything I know about Los Angeles, things you haven’t read elsewhere, things politicians and historians and journalists won’t tell you, simply because they never lived it. I’m not even sure if I lived it. I didn’t take many photographs then, and I can’t bear to read through the journal I used to keep. All I have is my memory of what happened in those days, and with who. Perhaps it is not a dream I am living, but a reality I am constructing.