These days, I find myself missing the long, handwritten letters era, when the only thing that connected you to a distant old friend was the old, reliable postal office. Snail air mails have never been too reliable but we did not mind it back then. Whenever the smiling and wrinkly post man would drop something inside our fence mailboxes or stick between the grilles of our rusty house gates, there was always that feeling of unmistakable excitement and apprehension. Excited that someone from miles away might have remembered us, yet apprehensive all the same that the letter might in fact be for someone else.
Two nights ago, I spent my midnight browsing through old letters from friends. Nope, there weren’t any love letters, though I was wishing to find that there was one which I didn’t get to open. But there weren’t any, I had the most lackluster love life during my student days, and even when I am perfectly happy with my love right know, the scented letters still do not come that very often. The letters were from ten years ago, dusty and yellowed and forgotten. An old classmate who flew to New York wrote me on more than a few occasions. A dear high school friend who went to live in General Santos City and later settled down in Hawaii wrote how much she missed school and the rest of us. And then one of my dearest friends with whom I still remain in constant contact most insomniac nights actually wrote me a letter one Christmas and cheesy Valentine’s. I just wonder, how many letters did I actually get to write these past years, and did any of them survive dust, discoloration, and oblivion?
I wish I could draft more handwritten letters these days, even if I don’t get to send them. The keyboard is an amazing thing, but it only speaks of speed and convenience, nothing else. Maybe I’m just an old soul who relishes everything antiquated and romantic. Maybe facing the monitor for long hours has made me realize the elegance of the old years. Days when writing was a task and an effort, but also something that you would really find the time for even on evenings when you’d rather read a book or go to bed.