'The Adderall Diaries' - Page 2

A dose from San Francisco author Stephen Elliott's memoir of moods, masochism, and murder
Illustration by Jason Crosby

She's wearing panties with lace along the bottom and high heels and we're all staring at the back of her thighs, amazed.

When I was taking Adderall all I thought about was Lissette and when I stopped taking the Adderall I started thinking about other things. Lissette noticed and we broke up. Then we got back together, then we broke up again. Over the course of last year, after I had stopped, I often felt suicidal. I had time, but I didn't know what to do with it. I was a writer but I had forgotten how to write so I sat with my computer. I sat in coffeeshops or I sat at home or I sat at the Writer's Grotto, an old building near the ballpark where a group of authors share office space. I still had a bunch of pills left and occasionally I would take one, just to know the writer's block was real. Then I lost all the pills when my bag was stolen at a bar on 22nd Street six months ago, and that was the end of that.

If you asked me what happened this past year I'm not sure I could tell you. I could say I moved into this apartment on the edge of the city where I can hear children and dogs in the morning and I despise it. I could say I was with and not with Lissette, getting together and breaking up every couple of months. At one point I called her the love of my life. I could say honestly I started to write a novel every day. I could say I went on tour for six weeks with the Sex Workers Art Show and that a compilation of previously written essays and stories about my predilection for — my addiction to — violent sex was released to silent reviews.

I could say I watched the first three seasons of The Wire on DVD and on Sunday nights I went to a friend's house nearby and ate dinner and watched HBO.

I ran a reading series in the same bar where my bag was stolen. It was part of a literary organization I founded to raise money for progressive candidates running for congress in 2006.

I edited an anthology of political erotica.

I could say I did all these things and if it sounds like a lot I can assure you it isn't. I'm not married and I have no children. I have friends but they don't know where I am most of the time. I don't work. I live on money I made before, money that is almost gone.

Last year I made $10,000.

I live in San Francisco. Rents are going up.

I'm teaching a couple of classes to get by. I know I should get a job, but it's hard to do that after a while.

From The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder (Graywolf Press, 212 pages, $23), published in September.

STEPHEN ELLIOTT With Tobias Wolff and Bucky Sinister. Thurs/27, 7 p.m., $20 (free copy of The Adderall Diaries for attendees). Amnesia, 853 Valencia, SF. (415) 970-0012. www.amnesiathebar.com

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