It’s early in the morning in the month of May. Bateman begins by describing to the reader the layout and contents of his apartment; he has paintings of naked women, beautiful and expensive furniture (including a jukebox), and all of the latest technology, including a large TV, VCR, and CD player. As he carefully describes each piece of furniture, he notes not only its beauty, but also the designer of the piece and occasionally how much he spent on it.
Bateman’s life is entirely materialistic. He surrounds himself with the finest, most expensive things because he believes they give him value as a person (and in his Wall Street world, he’s right). But at the same time, his constant focus on material value exposes vulnerability: he must constantly focus on what he owns because it is the only way he can have self-value – he has no other inner self to rely on.
Bateman gets out of bed, wearing silk pajamas, a paisley robe, and monogrammed boxer shorts, and heads to the bathroom to put an ice mask on over his eyes. He returns to his bedroom, where he begins his morning stretching and fitness routine. Back in the bathroom, he brushes his teeth, buffs his fingernails and toenails, and uses a tooth polisher to shine his bright, white teeth. In the shower, he washes with several scrubs and products and uses his high-end shampoo and conditioner to prepare his hair for flawless and neat styling. He presses a hot towel against his face before shaving, rinsing with water, and applying a non-alcohol aftershave and layers of expensive moisturizers and eye serums to keep his skin clean, fresh, and young.
Bateman’s morning routine is incredibly regimented. He obsesses over keeping his body in pristine condition (because for him it’s what’s on the outside that matters!), and the reader gets the impression that he goes through this routine in an identical fashion every single day—a kind of monotonous ritual devoted to upholding his (and his society’s) superficial ideal of perfection.
Leaving the bathroom, Bateman puts the new Talking Heads CD into his CD player and moves to the kitchen to begin his breakfast routine. He starts by taking several pills (aspirin, vitamins) washed down with a bottle of Evian water, and begins to eat a kiwi and sliced apple-pear. He also eats a bran muffin (microwaved, with apple butter), oat-bran cereal (with wheat germ and soy milk), and brews himself a cup of decaffeinated herbal tea. He describes the contents of his kitchen – a number of appliances including an espresso machine and large, electric knife.
Bateman is also very specific in the food that he eats, spending lots of money on exotic fruits and healthy meals. His breakfast is a well-executed and orderly ritual—but also one entirely lacking in any kind of enjoyment of what he’s eating. The food is merely fuel for his body – the power that will keep his perfect and pristine machine running.
Finally, Bateman gets dressed. Today, he wears an Alan Flusser suit, Valentino Couture tie, and A. Testoni shoes. While he’s dressing, he turns on the television to watch “The Patty Winters Show,” his favorite program. On today’s episode, the guests are women with multiple personalities. After he’s watched some television, he grabs his Burberry scarf, coat, and Rolex watch and gets in the elevator. He goes out the door of his building, hailing a cab to head downtown to Wall Street.
Bateman wears only the most high-end designer clothes and believes that he is a better person for it. “The Patty Winters Show,” like Bateman, is incredibly shallow, merely ogling the guests’ strange affectations and not paying attention to who they are as people. Today’s episode features a theme typical for daytime talk shows of this variety, though this won’t always be the case.