Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath


So we saw two of the four Cubs-Rockies games this weekend: on Thursday, the Cubs won, and on Sunday, the Rockies. We had tickets to go to Saturday’s game. but after Thursday, we didn’t think we could stomach being in a section with 100 Cubs fans at a thing called “Cubsapalooza”. It turned out, however, to be “Cubsalosea”, with a wildly lopsided victory, and Jamie Carroll’s first grand slam. Anyway, I have nothing against Cubs fans, except that I really wanted to like the Cubs as a kid, and they repeatedly broke my heart. They play much better now, but it’s always hard to go back.

Speaking of going back, I am scheduled to make a trip to Indiana tomorrow. I say scheduled because I have no idea if we’re going to make it or not due to Sarah’s client at work completely flaking out. There are various scenarios that might play out: the trip goes as scheduled; I go tomorrow, Sarah meets me on Friday; we both come out on Friday; we reschedule a few weeks later; we move to Pakistan and leave no forwarding address. And I haven’t mentioned this trip here for various political reasons, one being that I will be in Elkhart for three or four days and I already have like 17 days of meetings requested and/or scheduled, and none of that includes seeing friends or doing something that’s actually vacation-like. (Not that there’s anything vacation-like in Elkhart. There is the Elkhart drinking game, where you drive around town, and every time you see a business you remember from childhood that has gone bankrupt and turned into a Mexican grocery store, you take a shot, and in about 15 minutes you die of alcohol poisoning.)

Believe it or not though, I do have some kind of sick fascination with Elkhart, because it’s really a fly trapped in amber. Every time I go back, I find I can still drive everywhere without even thinking of it. And there’s never anyone there when I drive around during the day. It’s like visiting the ruins of a city that was knocked out by a Neutron bomb. And I guess some of the fascination is that I have not been there for three years, and after an hour of driving around, I will be bored out of my fucking mind. But I also realize that I have almost no pictures of Elkhart, and I’d really like to drive around with my new (as of 2005) camera and get some good shots of the desolation. I always liked elkhartsucks.com, but it is dead and gone, so maybe I need to create my own version. (And I will turn on comments on pages so Larry has something to do at work.)

And I guess I think a lot of the summer between high school and college, and how it was 18 years ago, which is half of my lifetime now. Having a car now, and having an iPod that has all of my old music on it sometimes reminds me of that period. And almost all of it was in Elkhart, and it brings back thoughts of that time. And to be truthful, I did a lot of stupid shit back then, and probably the stupidest thing was getting involved with the girl that I dated right before I left for school, and the ensuing breakup. But with some distance, those thoughts are interesting. I always thought about writing a fictionalized book of that era of my life, and I made a couple of false starts, but I now realize I can’t write stuff like that anymore. The second you finish writing a book about someone that fucked you over in life, their lawyer contacts you. (See also Augustin Burroughs, although maybe you need to make a hundred million dollars for this rule to come into play.)

Christ, it’s almost eleven and I haven’t even started writing yet.