Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

The facts, in summary

The facts, in summary: Last day of work, Friday 3/9. Sarah’s mom is here 3/9-3/12. Sarah’s last day, 3/13. We fly to Denver on 3/14-3/19 to find an apartment, try to buy a car, and get as much done as possible. 3/23, movers come and take everything but the nails in the walls. 3/25, fly to Denver. 4/2, Sarah starts work.

We were talking about driving across the country, and that would be ideal in that the movers are going to take a week or two to get all of our stuff out there. We have two days in NYC with nothing but suitcases of clothes and vitals, and maybe a week on the other end with just that and what we buy new on the other end. (A large Target run is on the books…) The drive would be very appealing if car rentals were cheaper, gas wasn’t like three bucks a gallon, and the weather was slightly nicer. But as it turns out, two one-way tickets is much cheaper, and getting an aerobed for a week and for later use by guests will not be a bad thing.

The tough thing now are the goodbyes. This happened to me in Bloomington and in Seattle. In your last week, you have a hundred dinners or lunches or drink invitations, from all of these people that want to see you or bid you farewell or whatever. And that’s nice, but there’s a certain weirdness to saying goodbye to people that you might or might not ever see again. And what’s weird is that you’re not sailing the seas to the American territories or whatever; there’s email and phones and planes and cars. People can stay in touch as much or as little as they want. Some people will be friends for life, and some people will never be heard from again, and those won’t correspond to the levels of friendship or affection that you see when you’re in regular proximity to them. And people will get hit by busses, or die of a heart attack, or be in a car wreck, or move to China, or whatever else. So each dinner or drink may be the last time you see the person – for all you know, they will get shot in the head ten minutes after you leave by a random Charlie Whitman wannabe in a clocktower with a sniper rifle. You just don’t know, and that’s always weird to me.

It also sucks having to tell the same story to every single person you see for a month straight. Ever since it was announced at work, people I’ve never exchanged more than five words with are interrogating me for the full story while I’m trying to take a piss in the bathroom or eat my damn lunch. It’s exciting the first 50 times, routine the next 50, and then it gets to the point where I’m thinking of just writing it on an index card and showing it to people when they ask, like those deaf dudes in the airport with the “I’m deaf, give me money” cards. (Maybe they have gone away since 9/11. If so, thank the Baby Jesus for the TSA and God Bless America.)

I forget what else, except I am reading The Risk Pool by Richard Russo. John Sheppard gave it to me, and it’s the best damn book I’ve read in a while. Very thick description, excellent characters, and a good story. Only problem is it makes me want to go back and write another Summer Rain, and I can’t go there.

Speaking of, gotta get some work done before work. Four more days!