Sunday, January 24, 2010

This is a draft I suppose

One of my favorite things about being grown up is that I get a lot of mail now, though it is only sometimes the right kind of mail. I used to get the mail from the mailbox when I was younger, and as I brought down the hill and into the front door, my grandmother would ask me if there were any love letters. There mostly weren't, though, just bills for my parents and advertisements.

My grandmother used to work in the post office, back before World War II, back in Latvia, almost a story-land. I have never worked at the post office, and anyway, it is different now. I hear they have computers to help sort the mail, sending thousands of letters in all different directions.

But I don't think the computers can read my scribbly writing. I imagine people poring over my letters, somewhere in central processing -- I imagine them cursing my scribbles, being thankful that I am at least legible with the zip code, sending my letters off somewhere near Cloverly where they get sorted again and sent out on the truck, imagining that they know my handwriting soon, imagine that maybe they are familiar with it by now, awaiting them even, sorting them with familiarity now that there have been so many -- a trail from all my other places back to my grandmother, letters leading letters, letters leading to her.

The other day I called and my mother thanked me for something I had sent her, and also said, "And Vecmamma reads your letter every five minutes." When I am visiting her I sometimes clear away the old ones to make room for new ones. And when I am far from her I make new ones to send to her.

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