My name is Patrick Bateman. I'm twenty-eight years old, six feet tall, seventy-four point eighty-four kilograms. A daily workout routine ensures I stay extremely fit, and a daily, almost religious bathroom regimen ensures I have perfect skin. I'm a vice president at Pierce & Pierce on Wall Street. I own seven Valentino suits, three Armanis, two pairs of Oliver Peoples glasses, and four pairs of Gucci dress gloves, including a remarkably comfortable black Italian leather duo that I normally wear on cold nights such as this one.

I particularly like this pair because they're warm, practically tailor-made, and provide an excellent grip, such as for when I'm strangling some insufferable dickhead like Donald Kimball in the cramped dirthole he, until maybe thirty seconds ago, called home. I say thirty seconds ago because although he stopped breathing well before that, I recalled reading that you have to keep up the pressure even after the loss of consciousness to kill someone. I could always check for a pulse, but I don't want to remove an article of clothing in this mess of an apartment.

It's obviously smaller than mine, but really, the man made a living as a private detective; I imagine his salary is far less than what I spend in a week. Although our previous conversations made him out to be a man of some taste – he enjoyed "Huey Lewis and the News", and even knew the better nightclubs in upper New York – his dwelling is clearly not that of a high-society man, yet another reason for me to remove his stain from this already-bleak city.

It was the soup, I'm sure of it. Oh yes, Kimble had been annoying me ever since Paul Allen went missing, and I already had a number of grievances against him that could only lead to this outcome, but if he hadn't been so clumsy as to spill his $25 creamed potato soup on my extravagantly expensive, tailor-made Brioni suit coat, I might have been nice enough to finish him off with the knife I picked up from his kitchen when I went to mix a drink.

Of course, he didn't invite me to his home, nor would I have accepted had he done so. However, I've found that in the course of my existence here, it's become increasingly easy for me to disappear even in the sparse late-night New York crowd. I was almost put off by the grubbiness of the tenement building Kimball disappeared into, but I've become accustomed to dirtying myself somewhat.

Kimball, surprisingly, did not own a firearm. I'm sure of that because if he had, he would have tried to retrieve it when I went in search of liquor after breaking his legs with the baseball bat from the umbrella stand beside the door. I didn't drink to make the subsequent murder easier – I never feel so much as a twinge of doubt before such acts – but to alleviate the intense contempt I feel rising up inside me for this man, this grubby, pathetic excuse for a human being who wore imitation leather and earned money by harassing people he had no business speaking to. People such as me. From the photographs on the coffee table, I gather he has a son and at least used to have a wife; this is not a family apartment, with its tiny kitchen, sparse dining-slash-living room, and the lone bathroom I refuse to enter. All this I take in derisively before releasing Kimball's corpse, allowing his otherwise-motionless form to slide to the floor.

There is still some scotch in the glass, and I down it somewhat gratefully, although it's neither a particularly luxurious brand nor very well kept, judging by its taste and temperature.

As with the others whose lives I may or may not have taken, I feel nothing but the sudden absence of the murderous urges that brought me here. I never feel less human than when I stand over some poor schmuck's carcass and utterly fail to care that I have just ended a life. This complete emptiness is what I feel most of the time, and it is what I feel as I carefully cover Donald Kimball's now-empty shell in dry newspaper before striking a match and leaving him to burn. It is what I feel as I close the door behind me and briskly walk down the empty corridor and out through the faded wooden door into the chilly Brooklyn evening. As I stride leisurely down the sidewalk, the emptiness is slowly but only partially filled by a grim but nonetheless delicious satisfaction. This is perhaps the rarest of emotions for me; although recent events have caused me to question my sanity and perception of reality, and although I can never truly know what I have done or to whom I have done these things, and even though I am never sure whether I actually kill the people I intend to – I like it.