Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

The Burroughs house

I am back. I am sick. I could barely talk today, and felt like crawling under my desk and dying all day. But I have a deadline this Friday, and I had 248 mail messages waiting for me at work, so I had to get there. Plus I woke up at 6am when the Nyquil wore off, and I had nothing better to do. Actually, I had a lot of better things to do, but I chose to go to work instead of calling in. Maybe tomorrow.

New York was cool, although I was too sick to do much. It was good to see Marie for a couple of days, and hang out with my two feline friends Mungo and Henrey. We did go out a few times, to a Ukranian deli, to the village to look at CDs, and to Tower. I bought two new prerecorded MiniDiscs (Ozzy and Pink Floyd) and I saw the lab which was used as an exterior in Seinfeld when they went to get the frozen yogurt tested for fat content. So that was my big brush with fame for the trip.

Actually, on Saturday, we went to a big party at this giant three-story house. It turns out that the place used to be divvied up into tiny apartments, and in 1943 and 1944, William S. Burroughs lived there. Kerouac and Ginsberg visited there a lot, and it’s the place where Lucien Carr visited the morning after killing David Kamerrer and showed Burroughs the pack of bloody cigarettes he lifted from the body. It’s a flat with some real history to it.

Of course, when we were there, all of that was gone. The building was converted into one giant house long ago. Burroughs’ old residence is now a kids’ bedroom, full of toy cars. On the top floor, there was a bathroom that was seriously as big as my entire fucking apartment, with a sauna, giant bathtub, fireplace, everything. And the whole house was wired for audio and TV, so you could listen to music all over or divide it up to certain rooms. Later, we were trying to guess how much the place would sell for – at least in the seven digit range.

So here I am, sick. I better stop my whining and get some rest and a few good belts of the Robitussen. Maybe tomorrow…