Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Crossing the river East

First things first: I’ve moved. It’s just across the river to Manhattan, and it’s not 100% done. But I’m in the new place 100% of the time. So if you have need for my phone or postal address, please drop a line. (It’s at the username jkonrath plus this domain name, if you don’t know already.) Also, please drop a line with your current contact info, as I’m trying to get all of this stuff organized so I can sent out another holiday card this year.

I’ve had a back-breaking long weekend here. Sarah is in LA, so I’ve been trying to get the last of the worst stuff done in the old place. I hauled the last of my CDs here, and boxed up all of my books. I also went through a lot of old stuff, recycling papers and junking things that won’t make the move. I also did a lot of cleaning, although you can’t tell from the look of the place. Being on the first floor of a New York apartment means a constant layer of dust and smog, and it accumulated all under every piece of furniture. It’s a horrible thing. Now I am nervously trying to plan how I will move 21 boxes of books plus four huge bookshelves and all of my AV gear, plus how I will give away, sell, throw out, or burn a bunch of half-assed furniture that did not make the cut.

I’ve been thinking about the past too much lately, which is dangerous. I have this huge stack next to my desk that contains probably 20 or 30 spiral notebooks dating back to 1993, filled from cover to cover with daily notes about my aspirations, conquests, fears, and failures. And since all of my other books are in transit, I’ve found myself pulling out a random journal and paging through it in my downtime. What amazes me is how much I used to write, and how varied each entry was. And it also boggles me to see how great my dreams were ten years ago, when I was fresh out of school and had nowhere to go but up. You would not believe all of the wacky future plans I sketched out on Mead college rule while waiting for my food at a Seattle Dennys. I found academic plans on attaining PhDs, house layouts, book outlines, magazine pitches, movie script pieces, just about everything. It’s weird to me now, because my current future goals pretty much have to do with getting a Ryder truck to move all of these fucking books.

I found more of this stuff when cleaning today, pieces of printer paper with outlines or paragraphs scribbled on them, pieces that don’t make a complete puzzle, but are filled with ideas that I never get now. And I try to think of what would someone swing this back in my direction, like saying “yeah, well, I wasn’t planning for retirement back then” or something, that somehow justifies why I’m not doing stuff like that anymore. But I can’t really find a reason. I don’t have kids or commitments or anything else eating up my time. The only thing I can think of is that I used to have all of these great ideas, but they were just that – ideas. I was never able to take any of those wild thoughts and turn it into a concrete book or degree or story or whatever. Through experience, I learned what could and couldn’t fly, and I stopped chasing the things that would end up dead on the vine. And while it has saved me a lot of time, it’s also made life a lot more boring. And that’s the one thing I really miss when I go through old journals or old writing, is that it always seems much more interesting than where I’m at right now.

The stupid part of all of this is that at some point N years in the future, I will be reading this entry and saying “man, things were so much more happening back in 2005.”

As I was getting ready to head out of the apartment tonight, the dimwits that live in the back apartment started some sort of altercation with each other, with the usual screaming and yelling and door slamming and other bullshit. Normally, this would bug the fuck out of me, but it was so nice knowing I wouldn’t have to hear it anymore. I’ve had real mixed emotions leaving this place – I mean, I’ve been there for six years now. I’ve seen some good times there, and despite all of the problems, it’s been a good place to hole up and hide out. There are times when the neighborhood is quiet, the drug addict neighbors are passed out, the car alarms aren’t going off, and all is peaceful, when I’ve really enjoyed myself there. I will miss the place. I won’t miss the ceiling collapsing in the bathroom, the hot water going out, the heat not working in the coldest winter ever, my mail being stolen, my phone line going out at the drop of a hat, my power lines blowing out when you turn on three lamps, the insane neighbors, the heat, the bars on the windows, the truants dealing drugs below my windows, or the biggest bugs I’ve ever seen outside of a David Cronenberg movie. But you always miss an old place. Hell, I still miss my old place on Mitchell Street.

Okay, I’m dead tired….