There have been a few pieces of the states that I have been able to hold on to- I can listen to WXPN on streaming radio, I can listen to the This American Life archives, and I can read the newest additions to McSweeney’s.
There is something strange about the digital ping of David Sedaris’ voice, and the backlight LCD news of home that I read. I try to bridge the gap of my absence with internet pieces of home, digital conversations, binary reminders. The other day I sent out postcards, existential proof that I am here, that I sat in front of this card… that I thought of you… that I picked up a pen, and wrote- with no one else in mind but you. Hard copy reminders are harder and harder to come by- can the digital world offer this same proof, and if it can, is there any way for it to feel “as real” as an object? The postcard unapologetically travels across boarders and oceans; e-mails and messages are sneaking creatures, silent and secret, a disassembly and reassembly of 1’s and 0’s speeding mutely through space, with no hand, and little voice.
Postcards and letters, naked thoughts.
This American Life Episode 246: My Pen Pal features stories of correspondence, but even naked thoughts and handwritten reminders always fall just a bit short, like Ernest Tubb wrote, Letters Have No Arms.
Most recently McSweeney’s featured an article by Katelyn Stanek called, THE LONELY SOMMELIER:
BEVERAGE PAIRINGS FROM MY KITCHEN.