Underneath A Red Moon

For months now, I’ve spent an hour or two hours on Saturdays writing or drawing, then mailing my little objets to about 20 puzzled friends and family members. Some of these objets are more obviously one thing or another. For instance, when I took apart a cheese cookbook and colored in the pictures, I was obviously commenting on inappropriate relationships between mildew and marking pens. STOP LAUGHING. Anyhoo, my aunt, who is amazed by every foolish thing I do, called my bluff by cutting up a square calendar image and mailing it to me without the first hint of what picture I should be reconstructing. I was intrigued! Individual pieces, I could kind of begin to piece together, but but but – for days, I couldn’t figure it out. I almost gave up! But I gave it one more try and realized I was looking at the frame all wrong, and then it came together. In that moment, I wondered why we weren’t mailing each other puzzles all along.

A zillion years ago, we used to mail each other letters, perhaps even before you were born. I was a maniac with stamps from the beginning. In second grade, I mailed fun size chocolate bars to my best friend and learned not everything that fit into an envelope should. But you know: I keep trying.

You have friends and you know where they live. Mail them letters. Mail them calendar puzzles. Send them cards and pictures from when you were both 8. Today, I mailed out pages of My Weekly Reader from the years I was in first and second grade. My mother had saved them – for some reason. But there’s no reason to have them now, which is why it’s funny and unexpected. Now that’s in the ether, even if/when the pages go into the round file. What matters is the thought, the idea, the proof that you care.

Buy some stamps. Reach out. Send something stupid because it’s funny.