A coda, according to the dictionary of your choice (I averaged all of the definitions for your convenience), is a passage that brings a piece of music to an end. In rock music, they call a coda an “outro”. In literature, it’s the conclusion (or maybe a footnote, if the author is feeling saucy).
If my current existence were a composition, the coda would be Adderall. The piece would be this roaring, sprawling, explosive thing that you don’t think will ever go anywhere, but then out of nowhere, there’s a defective crescendo in the shape of a 90 degree angle, a flatline on a 12-lead ECG on a planet where aliens are born when they die, and everything is suddenly very still. The beast closes its gaping maw.
And then I stop eating real food and only eat a cracker and then forget to eat for ten hours. I find pop-up advertisements not only annoying, but infuriating. I read three (pretty big) books in one 24 hour sitting, and remember the numbers on the license plates of the cars of strangers, and think more critically in one hour than I do in one week.
I turn into a wild, expensive computer with an operating system you have to reinstall every morning, two hours after waking up – and never on an empty stomach.
My compulsion to do good for people turns nearly robotic. My nagging guilt manifests itself into items on a computer-generated to-do list – nothing more than a routine debug. I stay up until two in the morning completing tasks someone else has written into their schedule – cleaning my mother’s house, driving my brother to and from and to and from and to school, cooking complicated dinners.
Like a machine still screwing lids on mayonnaise jars long after the end of the world, I am hard-working, silent, and essentially pointless – but no one would ever tell me that. After all, I survived the end of the world somehow.
When I’m not medicated, I lose interest quickly. I bury strangers and acquaintances I haven’t spoken to in more than three weeks in rubble that I stir up building marble idols out of new acquaintances that told me that they agree with some thought I had. The process repeats until everyone is a pile of broken art.
But on Adderall, I pin people to my dead butterfly board and stare at them until I need to go buy eyedrops. I turn into a referee for a demented game of bobbing-for-apples – the one with their head under the water of my train of thought longest, with their teeth dug into the apple of my brain the longest, is my new friend. When people stop talking to me, I turn anxious. I get cold. And I start cleaning.
I don’t know if this stuff is bad yet. I don’t know if it’s good, either.
I have to go get more crackers. Please don’t go anywhere.