Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

First Atlantic

If I knew how to play an instrument with any proficiency, I would start a Grand Funk Railroad tribute band. I don’t know why, other than the fact that there are too many Kiss tribute bands, and it seemed like a logical next step for me.

If you’ve ever suffered from heatstroke, please email me so I can figure out if I need medical attention or not. Actually, I’m not too bad today, but I’ve been pretty fucked up all weekend from the heat. I know that everywhere in the world it’s a cliche joke to mention how hot or cold it is, and then support the statement with a bunch of wild exaggerations about frying eggs on the sidewalk or whatever. I’ll spare this to be perfectly clear. Luckily I spent the whole day today on my ass, with a fan pointed right at me and drinking tons of water.

I spent all day Friday exploiting the MTA one-day unlimited ride pass, trying to find various bookstores and Beat landmarks like Chumley’s (MIA) and the White Horse (there, but somewhat yuppified.) There’s no story to tell except that I managed to leave the house and blow the whole day, most of it in air-conditioned subway cars. I brought a notebook and wrote, but this wasn’t a work day. It was a day of exploration and sort of a test to see how well I could find disparate points on a map of Manhattan and navigate between them with the subway. So, I did okay.

Marie’s birthday was Saturday, and we went out for dinner on Friday, to some place I don’t remember. I do remember we ate on a nice patio, and I ordered some pretty incredible bluefish. We also walked to Incommunicado Press a new publisher Michael mentioned that’s on the lower east side. If you’re into new and out there fiction, you should check out their site. We left with an armful of books.

I spent all day Saturday at Coney Island, my first time. It’s hard to describe without getting all stupid, but it was everything I expected: lots of people, lots of rides, lots of food. I liked everything, but suffered from some tremendous heat problems that completely fucked with my head on and off. Despite that, we rode the Cyclone, the log flume, a couple of the throw-you-around-in-a-little-car-until-you-puke rides, and the big car that crawls up a tower and gives you a panaromic view of the whole beach.

We also went on the boardwalk, and saw the ocean. It was actually the first time I’d seen the Atlantic, so we went up to the water and got our feet wet. It reminded me of the first time I really saw the Pacific a few years ago, in Oregon. Beaches in general remind me of Lake Michigan and the Michigan dunes, where my dad used to take us when we were kids. There were a lot of small lakes in Edwardsburg, but Lake Michigan was the first huge, nothing-on-the-horizon lake where we used to swim.

Dammit, I had this huge thought I needed to convey, and then I started reading something else for like an hour. You’re going to have to figure the rest of this out.