I Wrote a Letter

One time when I was nine, I was on a vacation and I wrote a postcard to a friend of mine. I wrote out a message explaining that it was very hot where we were, and very pretty, and that I was having a lovely time. I then signed the postcard at the bottom. In the section next to my message, where one is supposed to put in the address of the recipient, I wrote my friend’s first name and the country he lived in. I was hoping that the postman would know the “Jesse” I was talking about who lived in the “United States.” Shockingly, my friend never received the postcard. Perhaps it was instead read by Jesse Helms or Jesse “The Body” Ventura. I don’t know.

I thought of this recently when sending an email to him. I wrote out “J-E” and Gmail guessed that I was writing to my friend Jesse and gave me his email address and then all I had to do was hit send. It was glorious.

I have Gmail. I have G-chat. I’m on G-chat right now. I just wrote “brb” to a friend of mine so that I could write this blog post. I blog. I don’t even brag about writing for a blog anymore. I’m on Twitter. I can tweet from my phone, you guys. I now use the word “tweet” without giggling at its ridiculousness right after. It is a word like “couch” that is just a word that I use. I’m on Facebook. I check my friends statuses constantly. I just “liked” a picture my friend posted of bell peppers grilling on her barbecue. I don’t actually like bell peppers. I kind of hate bell peppers. I’m on Flickr too. I’m on Google +. I don’t know how to do anything on there, but I’m on there. I have circles. I have videos on Youtube. I have a website that links to my Twitter, Facebook and Youtube videos. I’m pretty sure I have Friendster and Myspace accounts, drifting out there in the deepest darkest corners of the internet. They will remain after I die. A stranger will stumble upon (using StumbleUpon) my Friendster account decades after my death and save my pictures to their hard drive the way we collect faded photographs of strangers at flea markets.

Despite all of these programs, I decided to write an honest to God letter recently. It felt good. I thought about what I wanted to say. It had a beginning, middle and end. I wrote long-hand, in broken cursive. I dotted i’s and crossed t’s. When I signed it “Sincerely, Andrew”, I meant it. It was truly sincere. I held it in my hands for a moment after writing it, excited. And that’s when I realized that it did not have a simple “send” button, and I had completely forgotten how to get a written letter into the hands of someone on the other side of the country. I vaguely remembered “stamps.” At one time, I think they were a form of currency. But where could I find these mysterious stamps now? Surely old people still had them. Was I supposed to follow an octogenarian home and steal their stamps like a mythical leprechaun’s pot of gold? And how much money do stamps cost? Do you cut a penny in half, and that’s how much a stamp costs? Or does a stamp cost five hundred dollars now? I literally have no idea. And I don’t have my friend’s address. Who has someone’s address anymore? The only time I give out my address to anyone these days is food delivery places for pizzas I order OFF THE INTERNET. Crazy.

In any case, it felt good to sit down and write something. Hopefully I’ll get to the bottom of this “mail” thing and send it soon. And then maybe I’ll write another one in ten years or so.



3 responses to “I Wrote a Letter”

  1. lane says:

    and send it on 100% rag 32lb business stationary. pure or bone white.

    the physicality of a letter. we miss it.

    but we love apple. so…

    it’s a trade off.

  2. FPS says:

    Bell peppers are the worst vegetable.

    Letters are the opposite of bell peppers. I miss them. Last time I was at my parents’ house I went through two large shoe-boxes of them.

  3. Tim says:

    Recently (okay, maybe it was two years ago, but that seems recent to me these days), a friend who lives in the same city as I do sent me a post card. He closed his message with “this is like email made solid.” It was so much better than email, frankly.