Friday, September 26, 2014

The Postcard

The postcard sits in my hand, flat and dry. The edges are ever so slightly raspy, but not in a way that will scratch the skin, unless you really try. The image on the front is always glossy and fun, yet somehow just as flat as the medium -usually a place you want to be that you remember, but can’t get back to again.

You can almost imagine the taste -it’s somewhere between paper and cardboard, and you’ve tasted both (for some reason). Because of the high gloss, the paper on the front side seems to emit a kind of light. You know it’s just a reflection in your eyes, but it (the light) seems to be passing through the paper anyway. Something about it is mildly uncomfortable, in the same way that the matte yet silky non-photo side also feels just a little odd against the warm palm flesh of your hand.

It is at this point that the postcard demands turning over, like something or someone baking in the sun, or a secret. or a rock. So you turn it over, a slight whoosh as you do so, your eyes trying to determine where your words should go and where the stamp and the address are to be placed in the hopes that the message makes its way from wherever you are to wherever you are going to be.

That little rectangle of white is just a blank square of hope, already diminished by the real estate required for the stamp and the address. You feel it in your stomach, that little knot that says, “What words can possibly convey ‘wish you were here!’ without sounding like a complete asshole?”

As you put pen to paper, the heft of the utensil feeling strange because to hold a writing utensil is such a foreign thing anymore and your handwriting is terrible “these days” (as you always say), you feel the slight drag of the pen as the ink and nib violate the gentle surface of the matte paper.

Ultimately, you know it doesn’t matter what you say or what you write.

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