Was chatting with small madam yesterday morning, she asked what I was doing. I was finishing a draft of a letter to a government department. After hitting the send button, seeing the telltale Whatsapp double blue swoosh marks, I felt the familiar pause that attends the realization of loss.
I realize we’ve given up writing letters to lovers and intimates. We Whatsapp and chat and IM instead. We call, a thing easily done and quickly done with. Letters of whimsy, the best sort, sentimental and dreamy and true, are hardly written any more. The letter that survives is one without its art, it survives as a functional thing; a cover letter for a request for funding, the confident gambit of threatened litigation, an application for a CofO addressed to some bureaucrat.
There is a loss in this as I remember the women before my small madam. The ones I wrote love letters to. I think in turn of Victor Ehikhamenor’s mourning the death of the letter in his book, Excuse Me! So much, so much we have lost to this progress chomping and byting us into digits we forget we are a wondrous biology of cells and stars speaking a language of chemicals and hormones to other people, cells and stars they, equally wondrous.
I’ll write you a love letter, on actual paper, with a BIC biro. . .soon.