I exist because of letter writing. Parents – penfriends who ended up getting married. Tindr 1960s style, but slower. Flirting not with emojis and gifs, but with handwriting and proper punctuation and the anticipation, waiting for the post.
Letters. Unconnected jigsaw pieces, fragments of the unseen total picture of someone else’s mind. Teenage friendships with foreign penpals, trading Smash Hits posters and the crushes we’d never risk sharing with our school friends. Handwriting changing over the years, our studied cool with artful spikes and squiggles below our signatures gradually giving way to the careless scrawl of adulthood on the annual Christmas card, friendships moving online with text messages and emails about work and mortgages. The last thing you posted me was a wedding invitation.
Letters from boys. The slightest hint of bad spelling and stilted handwriting cooling my interest as surely as bad breath or a mucky shirt collar. The lingering impact of a well chosen phrase, a letter read over and over again. Slim blue BFP envelopes that spoke of dusty RAF bases and Saudi sands, and boys missing home and beer and girls. Haunting the lane through cool summer woods, waiting for the post, fat air mail stickered envelopes from South Africa bearing tales of snakes and rhinos and endless heat, with words that bound us together across continents.
Letters from parents to children grown up and moved away. Slices of daily home life, walking the dog and running errands, reminders to eat fruit, stay warm. Letters rediscovered in boxes in the loft, after the writer is gone, and reading them is the only thing that softens the raw edge of pain.
I miss letters! Text and email and whatsapp don’t even come close!
Written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G. Hill. This week’s prompt was Letters. If you’d like to take part the rules are as follows:
1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.
3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.
4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.
5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.
6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!
7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.
8. Have fun!