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the in between

November 17, 2011

today, somewhere between the carpool line and a bouncing yellow bus, i sat in my jeep in the parking lot of a high school and closed the back cover of my most recent literary adventure: agatha christie’s murder on the orient express.  tonight, somewhere between one white bookcase and the other, i sat at my desk in my apartment and ripped open the seal of grandma b’s thank you note.  she wrote to thank me for the cinnamon blondies i sent her way to commemorate her recent birthday.  but it’s not just her message that spoke to me.  it’s the manner of the message.

grandma b’s cursive is impeccable.  with it’s loopty-loo’s and curly-cues, it’s dainty but not weak and traditional without being dusty.  i remember sitting in the back of a bus, somewhere between tonawanda elementary and 810 morningside, practicing my cursive.  it was a rite of passage, so revered by kiddos that i’m pretty sure the bus seating hierarchy was subdivided by who could write cursive and who could not.

in murder on the orient express, passengers were separated by social class and wealth.  could you afford a single bunk or were you forced to share your train compartment with a stranger?  did you smoke pipes or cigarettes?  who manufactured and embroidered your handkerchief?  the beauty of travel, much like the art of the handwritten letter, has fallen by the wayside as we aim to get from here to there as fast as possible.  after all, ugg boots make sprinting the terminals of an airport much more comfortable. and emails zing faster than the speed of a speeding bullet.

forget taking the train from baghdad to paris (quite possibly for more reasons than the distance and time).  forget sitting down with a pen and stationery.  forget putting on real shoes before you set foot out the door to run errands.  heck!  in this day and age, people forgo real pants in favor of underthings and second-skin leggings.

what happened to the handkerchiefs?  and the transcontinental train ride?  and the art of the handwritten letter?

way back when, somewhere between the dawn of air travel and the advent of the personal computer, we lost something.  the curly-cue’s and the loopty-loo’s.  and the thrill of adventure and the luxury of time.

and the decency to put on real pants.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Chompers? permalink
    November 17, 2011 10:47 am

    WOW! Again you’ve managed another well written piece. You rock.

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