Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stephen Elliott at Quimby's

Posted By on 10.31.09 at 12:00 PM

AdderallDiaries.jpg
Stephen Elliott comes to Quimby's on Sunday to read from his new book, The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder. He'll be joined by Chicago novelist Joe Meno (The Great Perhaps).

Here's an excerpt from The Adderall Diaries:

It's May 4, 2007, the morning after the Golden State Warriors won the first round of the NBA playoffs against a Dallas team that was supposed to be one of the best ever to play the game. I'm not thinking about murder confessions.

I'm taking Adderall, a Schedule D amphetamine salt combo, emptying the time-release capsules into glasses of orange juice, trying to break down the casings surrounding the amphetamines to see if I can get all the speed at once. I swirl the juice, press against the beads with the back of a spoon. I take five milligrams at eight, five more at noon. My roommate is gone. He left his door open and his computer sitting on the floor and I shuttle back and forth between his room, where I pass hours playing cards online, and my room, where I stare out the window and struggle to write something and then give up and go back to his room and play more cards. It's a lonely, pointless existence, but that's what happens.

I head to a party at a small publishing house in the Mission. All the kids are there, eating cake and bean dip and drinking beer. It's 5:00 and they're off work. One girl wears bright red pants that come to her rib cage. She's just back from Germany and says everybody in Europe is wearing these kinds of pants.

I talk with Doug and Brent about the Warriors' run, how they barely even made the playoffs.

'I have the Chicago Bulls DVDs at home,' Doug says. 'I watch the games of the nineties over and over again. It helps me relax. You know the best player on that team wasn't Michael Jordan? It was Scottie Pippen. Scottie could dunk from the free-throw line at any time. He just elevated, and it was done.'

I know what he's talking about. I lived in Chicago all those years. I remember the playoffs against New York, Scottie Pippen flying to Patrick Ewing like a warhead destroying a mountain. Of course it was Jordan, and to a lesser extent Phil Jackson, who enabled Pippen to do what he did. He was never any good after he left the Bulls. he had his payoff, his championship rings, his millions, the rest no one will ever know.

I feel ready to kill myself.

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