Pen Pal

Call me old fashioned, but I've always wanted a long-term pen pal from somewhere far and mysterious. Woman, man, young, old, it doesn't really matter as long as 1) They are open and honest with me 2) I get to learn about their culture 3) They write beautifully.

Is that too much to want?

I browsed Craigslist to see if anyone was looking for a pen pal. Oh, also, I would prefer snail mail. Somehow, "email correspondence" doesn't have as nice of a ring to it. With all the psychos and ax murderers in the world, I understand the danger of sending a stranger my mailing (home) address... I would like to think that my perfect pen pal is none of these, though, nor anything equally dangerous.

I happened across a letter-writing website a couple of years ago. An English-speaking/writing man had one simple message on the site: that if you email him your mailing address, he will write you a letter. His reasoning was that folks nowadays are in too much a of a hurry to appreciate the beauty behind a personal letter and that many people in the world are lonely and only looking the simplest human connection.

That was so beautiful to me. I teared up when I read that. I went back to the website not too long ago. It was either moved or taken down; for whatever reason, it wasn't there anymore.

I want to do something like that. When I saw his website, I didn't feel the need to be written to (although that would have been interesting as well), but I wanted to partake in this project with him.

His message continued, saying that he writes about things that anyone would write in a letter - his day, a poem that he found, an interesting lyric or quote. He doesn't tell the recipient when they should expect the letter because that takes away from the fun of waiting.

If I started my own letter-writing project, I imagine that it would be a bit like blogging, but with one audience member. One real, live reader. When I write here, I write to anyone and no one. I write to me of the future about me of the present and past. If I started by own letter-writing project, I'd write about the important things; I'd bare my soul and include no return address.

This brings me back to my pen pal dilemma. A pen pal needs a return address. I suppose that's what P.O. boxes are for (or I can just get with the times and use a regular ol' good-for-nothing email address). But that's fine, a pen pal needs a reader, too. Someone who cares.

I'll care. Just write to me. I'll save every letter.

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