"I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years. " (Chapter 1)
This is one of favorite all-time quotes from any book! It captures the essence of the novel, I think, because he remembers that moment that changed the course of his life and he has never been able to let it go.