A Letter with the capital L

  Dear Ashley, 

Thanks for your Letter with the capital L. Please, read this answer with my typical strong Italian accent. Your Letter arrived at the beginning of April, from Boston, it crossed the Atlantic Ocean to reach this tiny town in Tuscany. I imagine this Letter making the reverse trip to your home in Massachusetts. As a child, I remembered asking my summer friends their mailing address, and sending them postcards and letters during the year: I miss so much doing this. The quarantine gives me a lot of time to write, and here I am collecting “letters” from all over the world. Handwriting a letter today may seem obsolete; technology gives us all the instruments to communicate instantly. Without technology now I wouldn’t be able to read and answer your Letter with the capital L. I wish to write you soon another letter and to stick the stamp on the envelope by licking it like I was used to doing. 

Waiting better times to send Letters with capital L,

All my love

Camilla

 I used to think that technology ruined us and the way we live. But I wouldn’t start collecting letters from all over the world without the internet, and right now, I wouldn’t be here sharing my writings and the messages I received. The internet has pros and cons, but during these difficult times is a crucial instrument for communication and information. 

Sometimes, I believe that smart-phones made stupid-people. We no longer live in a world where people were writing Letters with a capital L, and emails are becoming obsolete too. Whatsapp, Wechat, Telegram, Facebook, Instagram, all provide a faster and convenient way to communicate with people. We are so used to read short messages that our attention decreases when we have to learn something longer than 150 digits. Like on Twitter, we communicate “twittering” and handwrite a real letter became difficult for many people. The technology prevents us from making grammar mistakes while we are writing, but also made us forget grammar. Spelling words? No need, a computer is already doing it for us. It is all fast and easy, but I bet you to handwrite a letter with no grammar mistakes or misspelling like we were taught in school. This convenience is bringing us to write without thinking and consequently to be surrounded by disinformation. We lost our critical thinking. I see this on Facebook, where most of the users do not spend more than a few seconds reading the title of an article ignoring the content. We don’t write, we don’t understand, and we don’t think, but we share online some empty knowledge. As soon as I started using the internet, I was taught not to believe everything I found in this infinite source of data. In essence, today, we seem to be no longer able to discern information from disinformation. 

We should start giving back words the importance they lost, like when we were still handwriting letters with a capital L. 

Dear Madam Camilla,

It is I. Letter with a capital L. I imagine you had been waiting, sitting in front of the mail slot of your front door crisis cross applesauce, tapping your toes and twiddling your fingers, and here I am. As my origins rain from the British Paper Company, I request you to employ a British accent when reading this, even if it is only in your head. I know it may be challenging as a beautiful Italian but please, I implore you to try your best. Your efforts are much appreciated.

As you can tell, I have traveled a long way to get to you and it has not been an easy journey. I was traveling with those dreaded Boston lobsters and the whole time I feared for my life. I cannot begin to tell you how uncouth they are! Their claws clammering away at my delicate pulp. And don’t even get me started on their second cousins twice removed by marriage… the baked beans. However, while flying over London I was able to briefly enjoy the mist and rain of my earlier days and I have put myself together enough to be able to relay my mistress’ message properly.

She says she is well and conveys her sincerest regard to your well-being and to the rest of the land of fetticcini, lasagna, rigatoni, ravioli, gnocchi, and her utmost favorite conchiglie. My mistress would like to inform you that she is much more politically correct than this but as I am the Letter with a capital L, I will make adjustments as I see fit. I just hope she does not proofread before sending. Blimey! Spiketed snofalofagus! Rourous rancous lollipulluzza proposterousnessessess! Ooo, eee, ooo, ah, ah, wamma namma, a ding and a dong! In other words, that could be disastrous. But as you are reading this now, apparently I have gotten away Scot free (pun intended).

She spends her days distracting herself from the impending doom of the virus by taking long strolls in the cemetery near her family’s home. Strangely, she finds herself comforted by the limestone graves whose names have been washed away by acid rain. Conversely, as she dictates this message, she is listening to cheesy 80s music. Right now it is a-ha’s “Take on Me.” I only wish she would stop singing or I may start to buckle and wrinkle before my time.

My mistress longs to know how you are spending your time and hopes you will be so kind as to write a Letter to her.

Yours Faithfully, Letter with a capital L XOXO

Ashley Cristiano

Letter with the capital L

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