Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Ugliest C ever

I just spent most of my lunch hour trying to add the stuff to my index program so the next/previous tags will automatically be updated on my pages. It is the UGLIEST piece of C code I’ve ever written – if you can even call it C. It constructs a couple of sed scripts that it systems out, and also runs a perl script to do all of the replacements. It is slow, of course, but not that bad. It’s only hacking at two files at a time. It looks like its working though, so I’m happy. I’m nervous that it will hit some kind of weird case where it will erase a bunch of files or something stupid like that, but it tested fine, and I think I’ll be able to just forget about it now and let it do its own work.

It’s another tiring day. I was up late last night reading my old journals from way back when. It’s pretty trippy – my first journal is very hands-offish and doesn’t really tell any details about what was going on in my life. I talked about paxil, and depression, but I never talked much about the women, or buying a new CD player, or working for UCS, or meeting Simms for the first time. A lot of weird stuff happened in that first few months of journaling, but it didn’t capture much. I had two journals going at once for part of that year, and the summer of 1994 (I kept one with me in a backpack, one at home). That journal was never finished, but the gossip and the dirt on a lot of the summer’s actifvities is all there – shit I forgot about. There were some strange gaps though. I talked about sex when I wasn’t having any, but on the rare opportunities that I did lure someone back to the apartment, I never filled the pages the morning after.

Some of my best paper journals are from the 94-95 school year. During this period, I wrote about 3 times more in my notebooks than I do now. And the stuff is classic – it was a period when I was reading a lot of stuff – my first Bukowski, WS Burroughs, Henry Miller, some Rollins – and I wrote for pages and pages every night about how much I hated Bloomington, and how I wanted to save my pennies and drive to San Diego or Mexico or Texas or Seattle and live in my car and write books about my fucked-up experiences. The stories about my wild ideas of escape would make a pretty good book in themselves. I guess I wrote a lot about my problems with Simms when we were living together, but most of it was some intense writing about that situation. I also had (shitty) ideas for a new novel about every other day. And the depression stuff was at its strongest then – a lot of rejection, all-out dating problems, almost no friends except for Larry, and I spent most of my time wondering when I would be fired from UCS for something I didn’t do. It’s pretty intense reading.

I thought about it a little, and it’s strange that my journals don’t talk about depression too much. I guess it has been pre-empted by long entries talking about dietary problems and gastroenterological problems. But ALL I used to write about was depression. It wasn’t that boring of stuff, either – a cross of parapoia and philosophy. I guess it’s hard to write about it when you’re doing OK.

I want to make sure this index works OK. Maybe I will write more, maybe not.