As I opened each letter, each one a relic of friendships past, I relished the handwriting, the goofy drawings, and the snapshot of adolescent drama captured in each missive. I thought of each friend, patiently collecting his or her thoughts, finding paper and pen and envelope and stamp, and intentionally reaching out to me in conversation. Much of what was contained in those letters could easily be contained in email nowadays, but I feel no affection for email. I do for these letters.
This is why I like sending and receiving real mail: it has a touch and a feel. Sometimes it has a smell: cologne sprayed in it, aged paper, new ink, plasticky. It has color that doesn't hurt my eyes or make me questions if it's black or navy.