'The Adderall Diaries' - Page 2

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