Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

The Bellevue Denny’s run

How long has it been since I’ve updated? Everything’s been a blur of either going to UPS or hauling crap down to the dupster. I have one last trip to UPS, and that’s to send off my stereo. Otherwise, everything’s going into the trash or my car, with the exception of a few things that others might snag. The place is starting to look very empty, but now the mad rush of cleaning, scrubbing, and vacuuming needs to start.

I have allegedly sold my car, for $100. I say allegedly because I have it until Sunday night, when the sale takes place, and there’s always a chance it will fall through. But it will be gone, and I guess I’m a little sad. It’s a piece of shit, and it’s starting to develop problems, but it reminds me so much of my old VW, the one from 91-92, and there’s so much nostalgia behind that old heap. I won’t miss driving in Seattle – don’t believe anything you hear, Seattle’s transportation situation sucks balls in a major way. And don’t believe that there’s a public transit system here, because there isn’t. I won’t go into that now, though. The car – I will miss it. I should take some pictures tomorrow. I would take it for a nice two hour drive, but that only gets me about 5 miles from my house.

Almost every Friday night, when nothing’s going on, I drive to the Denny’s right off of 520 in Bellevue for dinner. I eat alone, write a bunch, and then drive to the Barnes and Noble over by Bellvue Square Mall and shop for books. Sometimes I also hit the Tower Records there, and on the way back, I go to Safeway for junk food and various caffiene. Then I get home and write. This has been a tradition since I first got to Seattle. I didn’t know where any other B&N or Denny’s was, so I would go out there. And I’ve done this on and off for about four years.

So it hit me that today was my last Friday in Seattle, and I had no other plans, so I decided I needed to do this again. On the way over, driving across 520 in the dark and listening to the last Queensryche album, it really sunk in that it’s almost over here. I guess all week I’ve been so busy with packing and thinking “I’ve got another week,” and then it was suddenly Friday. I’ve got the weekend, then Monday and Tuesday are eaten up by cleaning activities, getting the rental car, and maybe saying bye to a couple of people. But then, I’m on the road. It was an almost scary thought, as I sat there in Denny’s eating one of those awful skillet things and scribbling in my notebook.

Everyone keeps asking me if I will miss Seattle. I thought about this today while driving around Northgate, listening to the aforementioned Queensryche album. That tape reminds me so much of the apex of my Seattle experience, which was probably when it came out – late spring of 97. It reminds me so much of driving around in my old 94 Escort, I can pretty much smell the new car smell and plastic interior, and feel the power steering and plush bucket seats. I drove so much then, down to Longview every other weekend, listening to that tape over and over. It was when I was pulling out of debt, and actually had a few bucks left over on the day before payday. It’s not that I miss the situations or the people as much as the general aura, the feel that I’ll always get when I listen to that album.

I guess I didn’t answer my question. But, it’s hard to explain. I miss all of the places I’ve lived, even the horrible ones, for different reasons. And I wouldn’t want to go back to them today, but the memories are great. And I guess that’s what will happen with Seattle.

I’ve gotta hit the hay. I’ve been trying to push back the sleep schedule so I can leave at 6am on Weds. I’m waking up at about 9 now, so I should be able to make it. We’ll see.