For a few years, too many, I drank too much. Poised between madness and rage, I knew no other rest. Between mediocrity and obsession, I have always chosen obsession. Between my extremes, tentatively, tenuously, balance has also always been obsessive and compulsive, as if any equilibrium found would be shattered with any lapse in vigilance. I have never smoked. I have never used drugs. Welsh, my intoxicant was whisky, neat, consumed by the bottle, corks discarded at opening. I am not friends with my dæmons, really, but nor are they my enemies. Like the malaria that is mine to keep for the rest of my life, raising its unlovely head as it wills, so my dæmons come and go as they please, wary, though, of my bite. The Devil asked me how I knew my way around the halls of hell. I told him I did not need a map for the darkness I know so well.