Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Sick day

I was sick today, and spent the day at home. That’s why I’m writing this late at night, which feels a little weird to me. Anyway, my stomach was bothering me again, and I almost got ready for work and out the door before it really nailed me, so I got back in bed.

My apartment has been getting colder, which is a welcome change, but I don’t want to start running the heat until I have to, because I have one of those expensive and inefficient baseboard heaters. Also, since it’s been sitting for 6 months, it will most certainly release noxious fumes when all of the dust in the filaments burns off. Sleeping in a cold apartment is heaven, especially after all of the 90 degree weather of the last few months. I love getting under my blankets with a book and keeping warm while reading. It’s great at night, but even better during the day. I’d often sit in bed on Saturday mornings and read until well past lunch, which is one of the most relaxing things I can do.

So that’s how I started the day. I kept reading my Mars book, and listened to the traffic outside my window, and felt the cool radiance from the weather. When I woke up thismorning, it was dark, cloudy, rainy and cold. I kept the blinds closed and kept with the book. After a while, I got up and put in a christmas CD, one of those Windham Hill Solstice CDs. Being in a cold apartment reminded me of when I spent holidays freezing my ass off in the Mitchell apartment, or in other places in Bloomington. Cold reminded me of winter.

I fell in and out of sleep as I was reading, and then really started thinking about the xmas CD. The music reminded me too much of people and places from 3, 4, or 5 years ago. It’s not that I have traumatic memories of college, but sometimes my memories are too good. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion for me, and all of that hit me at once. I thought of this ex that I was dating around one holiday break, which is ironic because it was xmas music and she was jewish. But it felt heavy to me.

Before I started reading old e-mail or dragging out pictures, I opened up the blinds and was greeted by some warm sunlight. The bed and floor heated faster than my wimpy baseboard unit could accomplish, so I got out of bed to find something else to do. I spent the rest of the day weaving in and out of cleaning the apartment and reading more of the Mars book. It seems like I spend so little time here sometimes, or the time I spend here is in decompression or sleeping, not in living. Alone and with the day to myself, I was able to clean things I hadn’t touched in over a year, and think about simplification.

Since the whole liver thing started a few months ago, simplification has been a bigger issue in my life. At first, I wanted to find ways to simplify my diet, so I could make eating fast and healthy, not fast or healthy. This meant knowing what to eat, what to buy, and turned me into a cheaper shopper. Once I had a couple of extra bucks here and there (well, more than a couple after I stopped eating fast food every day), I started thinking more about money. Some things save me money or time, like stocking up on stuff at the store. It’s also a nice psychological thing, making me feel like I have more here. If you spend $20 on a surplus of canned food, cup-a-soup, and kool-aid, you won’t feel like the cupboards are bare and you won’t feel poor. All of this is slowly blossoming into other issues with me and simplification – I got more shelves for my books; I do my laundry more often and reorganized where it goes; I can see my desk now – lots of little things, making life easier to manage.

Anyway, I take back the low grocery bill thing, because I went to the store and spent like $60, without buying many appreciable food items. I finally bought a lot of cleaning stuff I’ve been out of forever, and just stocked my cache of nonperishables.

I didn’t eat almost anything all day except for toast and cup-a-soup, but Karena came over and I managed to eat a salad and a bananna. We watched all of the new shows, and she was amazed that I did the dishes finally. Well, the mold did most of the dishes, then I cleaned off the mold.

I have to finish this journal so I can finish the print one. I wish they were one in the same – maybe if Apple keeps the Newton going and in a few generations comes up with something way better. Who knows. Anyway, hope I’m not sick again tomorrow….