(21 october 2010)
mail from famous people is impossibly scary to open. the simple fact that it might have been caressed by famous hands or licked by famous lips (or more likely the hands and lips of those in their employ) lends such missives a distinctive fragility. as though they were highly bruiseable, like an infant or a thin-skinned fruit.
as the recent recipient of celebrated correspondence, i’ve observed that, when given the opportunity, people exhibit an extraordinary reluctance to handle said correspondence themselves.
i should be more clear. the correspondence they will handle. it is the envelop they fear.
thus, time and again as i’ve handed a letter over for perusal, it comes sailing back to me just as quick, with a brusque no, no, you do it- as though i am somehow more adept at these matters.
i’m trying to maintain a balance here, dancing on the fine line of being overwhelmed by the awesomeness of what i’m doing and underwhelmed by its actually happening. to this end, i’ve taken to storing the really really important things in a pile of papers on the floor located approximately six inches from the litter box.
so when a friend asks to see, i shove the cat from the paper pile by her bathroom and fish out the letter that has been requested. blowing off the litter dust that has lent it an antique aspect rarely found in mail less than three days old, i anticipate the no, no, you do it and slip the letter from its sheath.
i find i can only feel this- the excitement, the immediacy, the sense that things are really happening- through other people. i do not know what to make of the fact that there is so little wonder in it for me now.
and so i toss the thing to her as though it were a month-old us weekly and smile as her cupped hands catch it like a semi-precious gem.
and i watch her fingers run gently, reverently over the 15 letter name written in 11 pt., bookman old style, pantone 287 at the top.
no, no, you do it. yes, yes, i will.