I’ve never met a person who doesn’t have boxes of stuff stashed somewhere in their house. It’s all kind of stuff. Stuff from when you moved last year, or stuff you took back from that ex, or stuff from old college classes you used to take. This is all stuff that’s going to continue being stuffed in boxes and passed around from address to address, following you like a ghost from your past, and when you dare to open it will take you on a walk down memory lane.
My favorite boxes are the ones that contain old letters and notes passed in class. Rereading them makes me feel young again. Rereading them makes me feel really immature. Rereading them makes me feel old. Call me a dinosaur, but I really like the feel of paper, particularly old paper. I miss getting letters in the mail, I miss post cards from a foreign land, I miss paper trails. Emails disappear, nestled between spam, spooning facebook updates and emails sent to you by some bot instructed to send you a monthly statement. And really, who ever sends you good news in an email? In a perfect world I would receive news from afar via a letter (hand written), and important information or birthday/ holiday greetings via a phone call. What I now know of my friends I know through facebook. I don’t need to engage them, I don’t have to wait to hear from them or run into them unexpected places. I wish I could put facebook in a box, and pick through it some times, when I feel like it. Having it readily accessible is just too tempting and unfulfilling. Facebook is like the junk food of communication: you feel good at first, but later wish you’d had something else.
This post inspired by this article on the NY Book Review. Charles Simic gets it right, but it’s not just summer post cards that we’re missing. In any case, I do still treasure my post cards. Maybe I will get back in the habit of sending snail mail. I think it needs a comeback.