Snail Mail, Love Code, and Vigilance

Not that I’d ever give up email, chat, or text (difficult as the latter two are, with my lupus slo-mo fingers), but I think the world lost something goofy and charming–and touching–when we lost snail mail. No more margin notes. No more silly drawings. No longer a cache of mom’s old love letters left behind for the children to discover that there was more to mom than they ever knew.


Shocked Teen Boy

And I Thought  I Was Having Fun!

Here are traces an old boyfriend left behind in hardcopy. Perhaps, were we dating today at the same ages we were then, our e-communications would be even richer. I doubt it.
(On the night of his birthday:)

I am still awake and I am 18 and you are only 17. Nyeah Nyeah. I can see dirty movies and drink in bars—what can YOU do?


Snail Mail Who Is The Real Norman Normal

Can YOU Tell Who the Real Norman Normal Is?

(Before his driving test:)

I never used hand signals—what if he makes me? I’ll say the window is broken, or my hand is dirty. Should I bring a gift for him? Oh dear.


Snail Mail Stroot Madroople Love Code

Stroot Madroople Love Code–If You Click to Enlarge, Return With Your Back Arrow 🙂

(After landing his first job:)

How rich I’ll be in twenty or thirty years! You are probably wonderin’ what it is that I do. I help big, important people make big, important decisions. How do I do this, you ask? Well, you see, when big, important decision-makers have to make big, important decisions, they like to be alone without distractions. Sometimes, they find the most conducive place is the employee washroom. This is where I come in.



Enough of this foolish charade, I can’t bear to go on dissembling, I must let the truth be known!

I am but a humble janitor boy junior assistant trainee.


Snail Mail Whats John A-Writin

“What’s John a-Writin’?” “’bout the Revelator!” I Can Still Hear It Being Sung. So Can You 🙂


I once received a charming envelope from this creative boy. He had sewn it out of blue-and-white ticking on his mom’s antique Singer treadle machine.

Cloth Envelope Button

The Flap Was Held Closed By Only a Button

In those days, the U.S.P.S. would deliver differently-crafted items like that.

Cancellation Stamp on Cloth Envelope

Here’s the Cancellation Stamp

Sewn Letter B on Cloth Envelope

Even My Name Was Treadle-Sewn!

The outside of the envelope held a puzzle: A tiny sticker cut out from the Dick Tracy comic strip:

No Substitute For Vigilance

“There Is No Substitute for Vigilance”? Why Was THAT Pasted On?

After I finished reading the letter inside and reached the definition below, the crude but amusing intent of the envelope’s outside sticker become clear:


Vigilance Definition

VIGILANCE: The Readiness of Any Organ…For Its Highest Type of Activity, Physiological Vitality, and Efficiency…

In a sad case of foreshadowing, this is the boy who later raped me. But aside from his behavior that day, he was a sweet, witty, creative, and fun boyfriend, and I thought it fair to show you that side of him.
This post was a result of my continuing attempt to reduce, reuse, and recycle–my LIFE! Out with those old papers! On the blog, out the door 🙂
Earlier posts that issued from the murky depths of those dusty boxes:
The Summer of the Naked Bear and
I Once Knew a Girl Named Maria.

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