So I was walking around Heildsburg, California this weekend. Its one of those towns that tries too hard to mix old culture and new money. The air is uncomfortable and the burgers cost 20 dollars. I noticed antique shop with wide open barn doors and enough stuff in it to choke a horse.
I never really had a taste for antiques. Something about other people owning things before me, always freaked me out. I'm much more of a, get it new and throw it out kind of person.
There has always been one thing I wanted second hand though, and that's a typewriter.
I've been obsessed with the concept of using those old things ever since I started reading the Beat Generation writers. Jack Kerouac wrote On The Road on 12 foot pieces of paper. He taped them together to form a long scroll. Pretty cool huh?
It seems that when you're typing on that machine, you write more deliberately, because you can't go back and erase things. If you screw up, you have to strike through, and correcting your mistakes, and going back on your word become the same thing.
This machine is old school, and it makes you want to play for keeps. Each word is important. You have to think about if you want a comma or not. And if you screw up, you have to start over and re-type the page.
Nothing is as simple as the "delete" button. The good thing is that typewriters don't have them.
I remember reading about this sort of thing when I first got into Hunter S Thompson and his magnificent work. It just makes things feel more permanent. You have the page right there in your hand.
Building on that thought, I had another: Wouldn't it be cool to start sending people letters?
Like real life letters...ones that don't exist on cyber space in any way. There is only one copy.
The interaction exists between two people. Nobody else. It's a beautiful way to create intimacy in a world where words can't be felt on paper. They're constantly edited on screens and stay live forever...
So I got the idea to make something permanent:
The first 10 people who comment on this card will receive a hand-typed letter from me. Let me know what you want the subject to be, or what you need to hear.
If you'd like to write back, feel free. If not, that's okay too.
***The first 10 people to comment on this card will receive a letter by the end of February, or the first Week of March.***
If this is something more people are interested in, we can do a second round of letters after everyone has received theirs from the first round!
So, if you'd like a letter, please comment with:
1. How you'd like to be addressed: sir, madam, king, whatever.
2. The subject you'd like me to write about. Advice, poetry, just a friendly chat, whatever! It's up to you!
Also, make sure to NEVER share your address in a public setting on the internet. I will message you privately to confirm where to send the letter.
I'll post another card with the selected people's topics after all of the participants have been selected. Feel free to share the letters on Vingle, make sure to tag!
If you want to be first for the second round, feel free to comment here anyway! Doesn't hurt.
I keep thinking about the digital design of our lives, and more often than not I find myself yearning for something real. So let's start here.