Kim lives in London. I last saw her in September, when I visited her for a week, but I haven’t talked to her in ages. I miss her. I should call her. (I don’t know how to call her. A phone card? A landline? My dad has turned international calling off on my phone — he who pays the bills makes the rules, right? Right.) I should write her an email. No, emails are so boring. I know: I’ll write her a letter.
I should write more letters. Why don’t I write more letters? I like writing (not “writing,” but actually writing like, actually writing words down with a pen — my favorite part of school was recopying notes to make them perfect). I like textile things. I love making people happy. I want this letter to be special. I’ll use stationary.
This striped stationary that I bought specifically to write a thank you note (written, unsent) for a dinner party that I attended last month is only appropriate for short notes. And this stationary that I bought specifically to write a thank you note (also written, unsent) for a job interview is too boring. I need to get some new stationary. I’ll put that on the to-do list (I don’t have a to-do list).
I need a to-do list. How have I been getting by with only a constantly open .txt file on my computer? Physical paper and a pen is what I need. I’ll go to Jack’s 99 cents store and get one.
The notepad selection here is horrible. Where is the college-ruled paper?! It’s all wide-ruled and terrible! I guess I’ll just buy this pad of blank paper. It will be versatile. Also: could double as stationary. But only in a pinch. My friends deserve the real stuff.
I need a little indie paper shop, maybe one that does its own letterpress. I should look into this (I don’t look into this).
It’s a Wednesday night and I’m housesitting in a new neighborhood, and I’m going to go have a relaxing drink by myself at the little bar on the corner. This is the best bar. Great atmosphere. Super lovely. Too lovely to ruin with the bright blue glow of an iPhone. What to do? Eavesdrop? Chat with bartender? Make friends?
I KNOW. I’LL WRITE MY LETTER TO KIM.
I am putting pen to paper and writing this letter. It’s kind of a great letter! I should write letters in bars all the time! This must be the secret, to writing letters: bars. I order another drink, and have a chat with the bartender. I go back to the letter to update Kim with a transcript of my conversation with the bartender (“Do you own this bar?” “No.”) This is a great letter. I tell Kim in the letter: “This is a great letter.”
Later I tell Kim in the letter:
“You probably already know this because of the disintegration of my handwriting, but I’m drunk and going to bed! To be continued!”
When I should have said:
“And this concludes the letter.”
The unfinished letter goes into my purse.
Kim’s letter has been in my bag for ages. It is now torn and crumpled and also water stained from either coffee or rain or beer. Unsendable, basically. I’m a failure at letters.
I need to finish this letter, then recopy this letter, then send this letter. How to make myself do it? Accountability, obviously!
Subject: (no subject)
i wrote you letter the other day but i havent sent it – it’s a lovely
little letter. you’ll like it. I’ll send it today!
Subject: (no subject)
can’t wait for your letter. make sure you mail it!
Didn’t send the letter, obviously. Haven’t even finished letter. All details of life have changed since originally wrote letter. Maybe will just send original letter, but with update? No, will rewrite some parts. I will do it tonight. At a bar, as motivation. Letters in bars. So cool.
I write the letter. I finish the letter. I put the letter in an envelope. I look up Kim’s address on my phone, and then address the letter. IT IS ON.
And then: I have the addressed envelope with letter inside hanging around in purse for … days? Weeks? Why haven’t I sent it? So many reasons. Never see a post office, and if did, it would surely be terrible and filled with lines and people and sadness. Also, how much does it cost to send a letter to London? What if I wait in line forever, and then it’s $100 to send this letter? (If I ever actually make it to the post office, I’d pay whatever they asked me to pay, who am I even KIDDING.)
Letter still in bag. I’m never going to send it, am I (no, I don’t think I am).
Photo Credit: flickr/lizasperling