When was the last time you wrote a letter? I'm not talking about emails. Those are just communications. I'm not talking about Christmas and birthday cards. Those take no effort whatsoever. I'm talking about something you wrote, either typed or handwritten, and sent via snail mail. When was the last time you did that?
I used to do that all the time. Now I do it very rarely. With reason, of course. Email really is easier and more cost effective. It's no surprise that letter writing has fallen by the wayside. However there are a few instances where it becomes necessary.
The only letters I've written in the past five years or so were to prisoners. A friend of mine was locked up for a while, and I typed up letters to her and sent them along. No other way to communicate with her.
And then there's Walker County Jail in Georgia. A friend of mine is an unwilling guest there at this time. You know him. He's my partner on The Cocaine! Bros. I feel he's been imprisoned wrongly. I won't go into it because there could still be legal repercussions, but suffice to say he should not be behind bars for this.
Walker County is particularly vile because they don't allow prisoners to get letters. No. The only thing you can do is send a 3 x 5 postcard, and what can you really say on something like that? What are they afraid of? That a normal 8 x 11 piece of paper can be used to give a guard mortally damaging paper cuts? Or God forbid a couple of pages?
I sent my friend a letter. It came with an unpublished story of mine. He's my first reader. Everything I do passes through him before I send it out. I wasn't looking for feedback this time. This time I wanted to entertain him for a little while. He's going to be in there until November at least. That's when his trial is. You see, Georgia is a state still living in a forgotten time. They only hold court there twice a year. How fucking backwards is that?! I thought we as American citizens were entitled to a speedy trial. Am I reading the Sixth Amendment incorrectly? I can only assume that their judges ride into town on horseback ready to deal out justice in a saloon with the barkeep as a bailiff.
I received a postcard from him recently stating that his bail has been lowered. If only I could reach his mother. She would bail him out. I don't have her number. I don't know where she is. I contacted his friends and girlfriend in hope that at least one of them would have this information. None of them do, and I have no money. I spent more than a month unemployed, and I have very little money and no working credit cards.
He's stuck there with no one to put money on his books. He's a tough bastard. He can take care of himself. He's a machine that was built to kick ass. When he was a kid he was abused so badly that he became an expert in kicking other people's asses before they had a chance to do the same to him. But he's in a really tough spot.
And my only way of communicating with him is through a shitty 3 x 5 postcard. What the fuck? I hope he gets out of there, and shortly after I hope a toilet seat from the space station falls on the warden of Walker County Jail, or whoever came up with that bullshit rule about postcards only.
When was the last time you hand-wrote a "letter" to someone you love? I did it today. I wrote as small as I possibly could on a 3 x 5 piece of card. I fit a lot more than I thought on there, even though I spilled over to the other side. No paragraphs. I wrote all the way to the edge.
It felt weird working without a delete button on something like this.
Here's an added bonus: Rob Tannahill's birthday is on the 8th. He's spending his 39th birthday behind bars with no money on his books and no hope of being freed by his mom.
How's that for a kick in the ass?