Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

dream journals, old connections

Sunday night, as I was falling asleep, I wrote an entire journal entry in my head, but I didn’t mention any of it in Monday’s entry, because I got sidetracked. (Writing things just before bed isn’t that unusual for me, but the same practice happens more frequently when I am asleep, and most of all when I am in the shower. I come up with all of my good ideas in the shower, which is a reason I’ve been afraid to move to another apartment for 4 years.) Let me see if I can recap the idea.

On Sunday, I called one of my friends in Indiana (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent, but it’s obvious to those who know me) and in the course of our long and interesting discussion, a name came up that I hadn’t heard in a while. It was a girl that I’d hung out with five years ago, who now worked with my friend. That’s not too strange, considering how incestuous a social community Bloomington really is. There were many social circles, but they all collided in so many strange ways that talking about any person from our old gang was usually like talking about how virtually any rock musician is somehow related to one of Frank Zappa’s touring or recording bands. And in the usual fashion of our long and winding (yet very interesting) conversations, I started to tell my friend the story about how I knew this girl way back when.

It’s probably a boring story if I just dumped out the facts – girl x emailed me way back in the beginning of 1994, I spent a few months chasing her even though she wasn’t interested in me, she spent a brief period of time enamored in me, even though I had bigger fish to fry. She was cute, and fun to be with, but had some major issues. And hey – so did I; this was only a few months after Tanya dumped me. The spring of 1994 was a confusing time, and telling this story made me think about all of the other things going on back then.

The basic mood of the day could best be summarized by going to your local record store and shoplifting a copy of the Rollins Band CD Weight. It was the CD of the week for about three months back then, and it’s still not a bad little opus. If you put the last three songs on repeat, that would give you a feel for my life back then. The first song would be this eerie, quiet, art-rock-esque number with Rollins quietly talking about despair. Then it explodes into the second song, which is a speedier, pissed-off-Rollins thing, and the last spng is a more laid back song that talks about how you only get one chance so you better not fuck it up/make the most of yourself kindof rap. If you go get that album, listen to it 400 times, and then listen to the rest of the story, it will help, but I’m not going to force you or anything.

So I liked this girl, and we had a connection going, although it was more playful and childlike than anything else. We shared lots of inside jokes and emailed a lot and spent tons of time on the VAX phone talking. But I could never make the transition to real life. And then summer happened, and when she got back, I found out she got married to some dork she just met so she could get financial aid. End of story.

This is another chapter in the seven volume set entitled “Konrath’s lost and missed opportunities”, which, as many of you know, is also the basis of many of my best short stories. In fact, my last two good stories are about missed opportunities from the same timeframe, the beginning of 1994. At the time, I just wanted to get past it. And now, although I’m not saying I would trade my current situation for anything, I often think about those days. But who couldn’t? My writing career was only months old and beginning to grow, I lived in a pretty kick-ass apartment, I was in good shape, and even though I was busy 14 hours a day, I had a certain freedom that you don’t find in a 9 to 5. I’m 100% sure that in a few years, I’ll be looking back to 1996 as my prime, even though I spent half of the year wanting to drink a gallon of Drano and get it over with. I don’t think time heals all wonds – it distorts them.

Nothing else to report except that I actually slept 8 hours last night with no interruptions. I didn’t have as many odd dreams, but I did find my first car, the Camaro, in Edwardsburg, Michigan. I bought it back from the current owner. Then I met at a Long John Silver in Bloomington with my first girlfriend and the guy who split us up (they later married and then split, so I don’t know why they were together again.) I also had a dream where someone mentioned planting an autographed picture of Nixon and a bag of hash on somebody, but I don’t remember the context.

That’s all…