Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

On eating a triple decker

It’s largely impossible to eat a triple-decker club sandwich and work on a journal entry at the same time. Usually, it’s impossible for me to eat a triple-decker, period. But I’m trying to do both at the same time, and making a huge mess of it. It’s bachelor night, since Sarah is out of town on business, and I’m sitting here eating a triple-decker club sandwich. I guess I probably would be if she was here, except I’d be in the kitchen and talking to someone, instead of sitting at my computer and listening to iTunes and typing this. Ten years ago, I’d be eating a club sandwich and injecting Jack Daniel’s into my heart. (Okay, maybe not.)

It’s actually very weird to think that next April, this thing will be ten years old. I know I haven’t updated every single day of all ten years, but I very distinctly remember starting this journal, and I also very distinctly remember when I was ten years old, and you put those two facts together, and it’s pretty fucked up. I just thought of this because I was listening to a Pat Metheny song that reminded me of 1997 or 1998, the salad years of this thing. And also, I finished reading that second Jonathan Ames book, and it contains a lot of columns with dates on them, and when I read that sort of thing, I try to remember what I was doing then, or if eBay existed then, or whatever. If I’m reading some old Bukowski journal, I can’t do that, because the dates are like a decade before I was born. But now my Seattle years are ancient enough history that I can look back at them and have enough space to really think about things.

The other thing that came up like that was the fact that my youngest sister turns 30 next month, and I very distinctly remember when she was born. I think I vaguely remember one moment when Monica was born. My mom had to stay in the hospital for like a week, because that’s what they did back then, and at that point, I don’t really know if I’d been away from her for more than a few hours, let alone a week. When we were in front of the hospital, (my dad, my cousin/foster sister Linda, and I), my dad pointed out where my mom was in the large sea of windows that made up the side of the hospital. This hospital is probably smaller than the parking garage in my current complex, and I have no idea if my dad knew where my mom’s window would be, but it was a nice gesture. As far as my sister Angie, I remember my mom having a packed suitcase in the kitchen, ready to go for the labor trip. When it started, my mom and dad dropped me and Monica at a friend of theirs that lived a block or two away. I sat in their double-trailer, bored, until we got the call that it was a girl.

And Angie was the Polaroid child. Back before everyone had three camcorders in their back pocket and/or cell phone, about the best you could do was the Instamatic, which my parents bought right before her birth. All of her good and bad moments got captured to little square images bordered with that trademark frame of thick white cardboard. The photos stopped after a year or two (those film packs were expensive), but the images lived on in albums, until they rapidly aged into nothing but cyan and amber tones. Monica was the 135-film child, which had a delay while you dropped off the rolls at the pharmacy. But I was the film slide child, and all of my photos were locked in that unviewable format until I got a scanner and digitized them this year. Anyway, Angie’s birth seemed like a few weeks ago, and it was 30 years, and that really makes me feel old. I’m sure I’ll blink twice and it will be 50 years. What the hell happened to those three-month summer breaks that lasted forever?

Well, as much fun as I’m having in bachelor mode, I’ve got to take my vitamins and then think about going to bed soon.