I went to my mom's house today to clean out the closet of what used to be my room, as she's about to move.
Way deep in the back, I found an old shoebox. Inside, letters. Hundreds of letters.
They were from college friends, mostly, as well as a few high school acquaintances. I'd like to say I had a bunch from old flames, but not really. Mostly just people I might have tried to have a spark for.
Anyway, as anybody who's ever cleaned out a closet before knows, it completely killed any productivity looking through these letters. Most are about 10 years old, which makes sense. That's about when the Internet and e-mail went universal.
I miss letters. Most of them are hand-written. Still in envelopes, and dated. Because they're not instantaneous, more goes into each one. Most are several pages, filled with details both great and minute. Each one is like a little time capsule of who I was and who the sender was at the time. Letters are more personal than just plain old e-mail. I think I'll take some time tonight to pound out a few. Of course, my handwriting is atrocious, but I do have my handy ol' Hermes 3000 manual typewriter. I think Courier, slightly uneven font is what my handwriting looks like in my head.
P.S. I have a letter from a friend of a friend, who played the cello and who I fell in love with for a few hours one hot summer night 10 years ago. Stamped across the back of the envelope, it says "Promise you'll never forget me. Ever."
I come close. I did for a while. I wonder if I will eventually permanently, or if I'm supposed to? It's a reminder of how people come into and out of your life, and you'd better enjoy the moment while you've got it. Thank God I found at least one person who will always be there with me, and whom I will never forget.