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Boyle's Brains - Methods of Escaping Eight New Levels of Hell

These new levels of Hell are largely self-inflicted, and all stem from being out of Adderall. The cure for escaping "Out of Adderall Hell," incidentally, is writing about being out of Adderall.

by Megan Boyle
Aug 16 2012, 6:00pm

The author, escaping "Writing About Being Out of Adderall Hell."

This new level of Hell involves eating sugary-tasting toilet paper embedded with precious orange dust molecules that are supposed to help your brain work, but more often lead to 40-minute sprees of neurotically editing late replies to emails, with the hope that their impending completions will motivate you to refocus on neurotically editing the document you originally purchased the Adderall to help you write.

Escape Route:
Write about being out of Adderall.

This level of Hell is hard to write about because it involves abandoning some kind of self-containment you had about not wanting to write about Adderall. There is something shameful and gimmicky about what you are doing. Now you are writing about writing and drugs. You said you wouldn’t do that. Your boyfriend doesn’t like it when you do that. If you find yourself in these first two new levels of Hell it probably means you lack a drug dealer or a prescription, which probably means you don’t talk to many people, and one of the many people you don’t talk to is a therapist. That is partially true. Your dad is a therapist. Is it OK to ask him for Adderall? Each sentence you write about being out of Adderall prolongs this level of Hell.

Escape Route:
Take sexy pictures of your ass in the mirror.

The pictures of your ass on your phone look OK, but when uploaded and maximized on your computer look five times worse than your ass on your phone, which means your ass in real life looks at least five times worse than it does on your computer. What were your plans for those pictures, anyway?

Escape Route:
Buy a new outfit from that vintage place you’ve been meaning to check out.

When confronted with GPS directions to the vintage place, you realize you will be required to parallel park, which isn’t really a problem, but imagining yourself parking leads to imagining yourself as the only person perusing clothes in a smallish space, watched by a girl who looks like a potential friend, who will probably be bored and will want to talk to you when she rings you up, so she will ask to see your driver’s license and you will irrationally fear being arrested for stealing your own identity.

Escape Route:
Go to Target.

Everything in Target looks predictably Target-like. Try on some dresses. Abruptly leave the dressing room after spending an embarrassing amount of time entranced with potential zits on your chin. Look at groceries. Since you didn’t come to Target wanting anything specific, your mind wanders at the same pace you walk, and you stay long enough to hear “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 play twice. Remember your boyfriend expressing a preference for non-dyed hair early in your relationship. See the six-inch roots of your natural hair color in a mirror display. Leave Target with a $38 bag full of merchandise that indicates you have unsuccessfully avoided the clichéd misconception that changing your appearance is a step towards feeling better, or more in control, or like you’re Stella getting her groove back, or something.

Escape Route:
Cut bangs and dye your hair.

Call your boyfriend, who has been sounding progressively grimmer each time you talk. Cheerfully allude to something he said about Martin Landau in a text message he sent you a few hours ago. Hear him say “Walter Matthau” in a toneless, faraway voice. Exhale and inhale. Say, “I dyed my hair. But it’s just back to my natural color. It doesn’t look different. Actually it really doesn’t look different at all. Also I did my nails, my nails are ‘did’ now.” Hear him say “Hmm.” Email him a picture of your new, not-different hair and write “#different” in the subject line.

Escape Route:
Watch a singular dot revolve around a loading-icon ring, which is basically the same thing as following one arm of a circulating ceiling fan, but the latter reminds you of childhood summers and the former means a website is preparing to depress you.

Walgreens named their brand of tampons “Perfection” and you can buy them online. The cheapest brand of cat food is also the cheapest brand of cat litter and they are both called “Companion.” People have thrown coins into fountains in the centers of malls. People have constructed highways thinking they would go somewhere. There is this gray stuff embedded in the rug of your car.

Escape Route:
Clean out your car.

Bring two trash bags to your car even though you know you mostly need a vacuum. Discover notes from your dad, fingernails, a proud-looking owner’s manual, a matchbook with “Thank You!” printed on its cover, eight pens someone must’ve bought, a green exoskeleton of a cricket-like insect that breaks into segments, an Altoid tin containing remnants of Adderall dust, and the first sheet in a stack of otherwise blank printer paper with the words “hi meggy look at my new novel i’m typing xoxoxoxox!!!!!!” you watched your boyfriend type to see if his now-discarded typewriter worked eight months ago.

Escape Route:
Throw away the fingernails.

Previously - People I Met in Truck Driving School


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