I agree with the statement that an author’s greatest gift is a tortured childhood! Though James is telling his story from the place in his life that he is in now, his childhood was the whole influence on the life he lives now. He briefly describes that as a child he was a loner and no one made the effort to be his friend. He is haunted by his memory that his only friend was killed, and he helped her lie to her parents. That fact didn't necessarily drive him to drinking or doing drugs but it still foreshadows how lonely his life was and still is. I like this memoir so far because it is so outlandishly raw. Though it doesn't seem likely at this point, I just have a gut feeling that James will get clean and let people in his life again.