Well, already the end of April, and I didn't quite end up with thirty poems. I counted and it's more like 22 and a half. But I've been legarthic and coming down with something the last week or so and barely functioning, so it's not surprising I didn't write anything worthwhile. My sore throat from last week was followed by a hacking cough this week and became a full on cold and I've been sneezing and sniffling all day. I blame the weather.
Spent the afternoon getting caught up on my craft class assignments and exersizes, since tomorrow's a wash with working til five then the radio thing. Hopefully I'll be able to breathe.
I was thinking today about all the pen-pals I had in highschool, all of whom I eventually lost touch with sadly. My 9th grade social studies teacher used some organization to hook us all up with someone, but then me and a couple of friends kept doing it all through highschool and had people all over the world we were writing to. I remember writing to folks all over the map. There was this Irish guy who was hilarious and sarcastic. A studious German stamp collector who was out to increase his collection. A wild celebrity obsessed Irish girl. And this quiet Belgian guy who inexplicably developed a weird crush on me after only a couple of letters. Others from France, Brazil and Spain. I amassed a huge collection of cool international ephemera---stamps, postcards, clippings from British Magazines, cool stationary from a guy in Japan. I would watch the mail obsessively for those air mail envelopes--I still have a couple stacks of them somewhere in my parent's house. Me and my friends would all get together and read each other's letters. Everyone was in love with the snide Irish guy. When they made me demand a picure from him, he sent one of his cat.
It's hard to imagine that pre-email, pre-bog world, where now that sort of correspondence is so commonplace it's like breathing. I loved writing those letters and getting them even more, which is probably one of the reasons I like blogging so much. It's sort of a similar thing, though with a much more general audience. Me and Adnoctem were discussing a while back how strange and cool it would have been to have all this technology when we were teenagers. To blog with your friends, or even e-mail them. the only equivalent we could come up with may be slambooks--how we passed them back and forth and filled them with lists and various oddities. I kept one once with my friend Michele in junior high, and we'd write in it, pass it back and forth, make collages and gossip, put in clipping and photos of whichever teen actors we thought were hot. I believe she ended up with it in the end.
It's funny, that obsession with the mailbox wouldn't end with waiting for those letters. When I was in college, I started submitting poems, and once again I was anxiously watching the box around noon during the summers, running across the yard barefoot to check if there was anything for me. This resulted in at least a couple nasty bee-sting incidents. And of course, I still love getting mail today, even outside of my poor sorry SASE's and bills. New issues of journals, books I've ordered or swapped for, postcards, writing related junk mail, just about anything can make my day...