A letter in your mailbox.  Thick textured envelope with a certain important heft.  Hand addressed with the scrawl of someone you admire, perhaps love.  The letter itself, line after line where the heel of a hand leaned firmly on the desk, the thumb and forefinger pressed either gently or tightly together to hold the pen.  The middle finger has a callous bump from years of letter writing and that callous holds the indentation of the pen briefly when the writer lays down the pen to fold the sheets of paper.  First the bottom folds up, then the top down, just so.  The top intentionally does not meet the first fold.  There is a gap of perhaps half an inch to allow you to open the letter without fumbling.

Then the letter is slipped into the envelope, perhaps smoothly or perhaps it catches on the corner fold of the envelope before the flap can close.  The sender licks the strip of glue.  It tastes vaguely sweet.  The  taste lingers.  One must press down quickly and hold the flap in place so that the glue will not dry before sticking shut.  Then the stamp – again that sweet taste.  Although nowadays the stamps stick of themselves and do not require that final kiss.

Email can’t compare.


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