Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

still sick

I’m still sick. It’s progressing, and it’s just a cold, but colds tend to completely level me out. And since I have about no immune system, stress makes them worse. Unfortunately, a million and one things all tend to go wrong when I have a cold, which is what I’m currently experiencing.

First, I have no heat and no hot water. I haven’t for three days. Calling the landlord does no good, because he’s – I don’t know where the fuck he is. Italy, I think. Or dead. I’m not sure. He has a son in New Jersey that still cashes the checks and comes over every few weeks, but that’s it. And there’s no super. Which is illegal. So is not having hot water any time of the year, or not having heat during heat season (starts this weekend) or when the temperature is below 50 or something (it was 36 this morning). I called the city today and started the long and drawn out process to get the landlord in trouble. This morning there was a sign on the front door that said “we are repairing the boiler, thank you for your patience.” I don’t know if that means it will be fixed today or it will be fixed in ten years. The other major sticking point is that I don’t have a new lease, and my current lease ends in December. Legally, anyone in a rent-controlled apartment automatically gets their lease renewed unless Bad Things happen, like you run a drug lab or something. But as this motherfucker has no concept of the law, I have extreme fear that I will be looking for a new apartment in December with no money for deposits (i.e. sleeping in a cardboard box.) So that kind of shit certainly adds to your stress level and lowers your ability to fight a cold.

So the last two days my mornings have consisted of putting every pot and pan on the stove, filling them with water, turning on the oven for some heat, and washing in the kitchen sink. The one thing that would really, really help my motherfucking cold would be a half-hour in a hot shower. But no.

Also, I have to fly tomorrow. It’s a little-known fact that taking someone up in a plane with a head cold was ruled a form of inhumane torture by the Geneva Convention in 1947. I did this once before, from Boston to Seattle, and if the doors on a 757 actually opened during flight, I probably would have jumped out DB Cooper-style without a parachute and plummeted to my death instead of facing that horror. As the plane pressurizes or depressurizes or whatever, every individual sinus explodes outward with an incredible force, like someone is driving white-hot steel stakes into your face. And that’s before all of the shit you go through with the ears. One of my ears didn’t actually uncompress until three days later at a doctor’s office, when he shoved some kind of evil death rod into the depths of my ear. It’s not pleasant. I’ll be there tomorrow for a 1PM flight. I plan to drink an entire bottle of nyquil before the flight, and then put in those earplanes ear plugs. Those actually help a lot, they balance the pressure between the inner ear and the cabin. Just don’t buy them at the airport, because they cost twice as much.

I also have tickets to go to this Rush concert tonight ($100) and I really don’t feel like going. But, I know if I don’t go, I will forever regret it. So I will load up on the DayQuil in a few hours and go to MSG and check that out.

I haven’t started packing at all for this trip. I did all of my laundry last night, which was a major bitch, but at least it’s done. I will be very happy in about 30 hours when I am sitting in a nice hotel room with working heat and a working shower and cable TV and nothing else. The main goal right now is to reduce the number of variables from here to there. I’ll feel much better when I’m sitting at the airport gate with my bottle of nyquil in hand, ready for the plane to board…

Ok, I may or may not update after this. If not, be back in a week.