Midnight Pub

does the bar stock champagne?

~maya

Sparkling wine of whatever provenance will do, of course.

Lately I've been writing letters.

I signed up for a sticker subscription, which meant I had to get serious about provoking some turnover in my sticker hoard. There's a certain mental block to using a sticker. On its sheet, it exists in a state of potential; stick it somewhere, and you've done something that can't be undone. It's easiest, I find, to get over this block for something you're giving away, since then it becomes a gift and not something to optimize. Letters fit the bill nicely.

The way you can communicate in a letter is very different from more synchronous communication. You can ask questions, sort of, but only as a rhetorical lead-in for something you want to say. You can muse, wonder, but the reader's reality is a mystery, removed from you by both time and space. It isn't like a phone call, contact between your two lives, and if you begin writing thinking of only the other person, it comes out stilted.

Instead you have to create a tiny artistic and literary work of dubious quality but with sentiment to recommend it, add a stamp, and never know really how it was received. I'm sure the effort I put in is disproportionate to the pleasure of its recipient getting something personal in the mail for once, but as a character-building exercise there's something to it.


nsilvestri

There was an app I used to use called Slowly [1]. It's a digital pen-pal application; letters still take a varying amount of time to arrive at your location. I actually still use it, letters between my penpal in Georgia (the Caucasus one) take 3ish days to arrive. If it sounds like your thing I could only recommend trying it out. It has a cool stamp-collecting feature, although that is also what they designed their monetary model around.

Inside me is some drive to write, apparently. I don't think of myself as a writer, yet, for the better part of the last three or four years I've been going between regular journaling, letter-writing, and Midnight Pubbing, so maybe I should reevaluate.

[1] https://slowly.app/

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maya

Ah, I love the paper aspect of my letters, though--composing washi tape and a sheet from a notepad and pens of various colors... There is an [evil facebook product] that seems like it could replicate some of the expressive/aesthetic joy I get from putting them together visually, but I won't use that and I haven't seen much else that manages it.

[evil facebook product]

I think that "being a writer" is a very useless category. If you relate to language in a certain way, that means something, and if you produce it expressively, that's also meaningful, and your smaller-audience writing is absolutely as significant as anything anyone does.

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brewed

May I have a glass of what maya is having, bartender?

I love how the medium we use shapes the form of the message. It's been an eternity since the last time I've written a letter. I remember that every time I sent one, there was a part of me that wasn't sure it would ever arrive at destination. So many things could go wrong! What if I entered the wrong address? What it the letter gets lost while being transported? The, even if it arrived in the right city, what if the mailman mistakenly give the letter to the wrong person?

I think that's why I start most the letters I write with "I hope this finds you well".

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starbreaker

I saw some tall, snow-blonde lady wearing a rapier in here the other day, having glass of Sangiovese with a rare steak, so I'm sure champagne's on offer. I would have left the lady alone, but Smudge is a steak fiend and was about to pounce on her plate.

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stripedmaple

The idea that a letter is less a communication directed at a specific person and more about general ruminations on one's own life. Seems similar to a journal entry that is tangentially related to the intended recipient.

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maya

Yes--though at the same time, I would never strive to please in my journal, and you have to try to make your letters appealing to the recipient. Or at least I feel I have to, to be worth the post office's efforts.

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