Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More Lit Crawl - Stephen Elliott

I took a Continuing Studies Creative Non Fiction class from Stephen Elliott, a major staple of the SF lit scene. (You can't avoid him, especially in my 'hood: his books are at McSweeney's/826 Valencia and Good Vibrations, and he lives there.) I like Stephen and I liked his class, although I've only read some of his stuff (which he assigned, um, in class). I get the sense that there's a Stephen Elliott crazy-fan contingent out there, and I'll say right now as a disclaimer that I'm not in it. But. He spoke at Lit Crawl the other night (because he is a Star of the SF Lit Scene, he had a session all to himself), reading this piece "The Score" which was published in The Believer this March. I'd read it before, but his reading made it funny, in a sad way (which, given his subject matter, makes sense), and he had photos and videos to accompany the reading, which was pretty fun as well. It made me happy I'd taken the class and that he recognizes me (barely) on the streets.

When I left her apartment the Tenderloin was full of fog. It floated near my kneecaps. The air was cool and wet and it wasn’t totally dark. There were drug dealers and college students in front of the red and green flag of the taqueria. Forty thousand people had gone to the desert carrying art to burn and pills. A spontaneous, impermanent city.

She would call and say it was over. She would send me a note detailing all the time we’d been together and she had felt alone. Sitting on a bar stool later that night I felt the floor shift beneath me. I felt profoundly fucked up and sad that I hadn’t spent the night with her. I wanted to tell my friends about it. I would build up to the punch line: “And then she fucked three guys just to make sure she didn’t go back on it. And then, get this, she tried to go back on it anyway.”

It also makes it pretty amusing that I know a lot of random information about his love/sex life.

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