In Letters

I wrote the first bit of this during a car trip back to Palo Alto from Los Angeles.



I sent a package to the past today. I included a few fortune cookies, a pad of Hilton stationery (left by my nephew), an expired driver’s permit from the state of Arizona, and a picture. The picture shows a two story colonial-style home with a curved gravel driveway. There are Christmas lights strung across the roof of the house and smoke coming out of the chimney, but no snow on the ground. I used to live in this house, and it is to this house that I am sending this package. It was my childhood home. I would like to visit, but I cannot. So I sent a package.

Today, I received a package. No idea who could’ve sent it, since the return address had no name. Looks like it came from Arizona, but I don’t know anyone in Arizona, I’m pretty sure. I briefly entertained the notion that it was something from the regional office, but then I took another look at the address and it wasn’t corporate. Ate one of the fortune cookies. Put the picture on the hall table; it’s actually not a bad picture. Black and white is classy.


I was watching the World Cup today when the mailman came with a package. I signed my name and took the package inside, then I opened it. There was only a piece of paper inside. It was written on Hilton stationery. I took it back to my chair to read it, but I had disturbed the antenna when I got up to answer the door, so I had to fiddle with it before I could sit back down. Still 0-0. Then, I realized that I did not know who the letter was from. I got back up to read the address. It was from my old house. I went back to the living room, and sat back down, careful not to mess with the reception. Then I started reading the letter.

I sent a letter to that guy a few days ago. At least, I think it was a guy, if it was the same person who was on the driver’s permit. I was initially a bit worried about sending a letter to someone I didn’t know, but the Hilton stationery and the picture suggested he probably wasn’t a bum. This could be fun. I haven’t written a hand-written letter in a while, but it felt good. The stationery is really cool. Just for fun, I went on Google Earth and looked up the guy’s address, then printed out a photo and attached it to the letter. It’s a cool adobe building. We’ll see if I get a response!


I am going to mail the letter tomorrow. I finished writing it tonight after dinner, which was chicken and mashed potatoes. He seems to be a nice man. He does have a strange writing style, though. I was surprised when he complimented me on my photography abilities. I had not considered that he might think I was the photographer. I have had those photos forever, that one was just the one with the best view of the house and no one was in the photo. I kept the ones that showed my family. They help me remember… My back hurts. I am going to read my book and go to sleep. Tomorrow I have an doctor’s appointment, and I am going to mail the letter.

It came! I ordered an electric violin online; it just got delivered today. Honestly, it doesn’t sound as good as my regular violin, but now I can plug it in when the guys come over so I don’t get drowned out by their guitars. It’s interesting how a garage band can go from a hobby to a serious job, and then back to a hobby. Nice to have something to look forward to after a week at the office. By the way, that guy wrote back! I mean, it wasn’t anything too interesting, he was just explaining that he wasn’t the photographer, that it was actually his father, and that he thinks it’s great that I’m working at a start-up. I can’t believe the house looks the same now as it did 60 years ago. I’m going to grab my Polaroid and take another photo of the house.


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