Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Wednesday's Illustrated fiction post, "Postcards"
When I feel sad, I go to the junk store and leaf through the postcards. They have highly contrasted color photos of state capitals or big block letters that say "Greetings from the Grand Canyon!" with slivers of cacti and Indian jewelry within each letter. On the back, wives have written in loopy script: "The weather in St. Louis has been great. Only one day of rain and tomorrow we’re going to visit the Arch!" Or: "Hello from Idaho! Hope you’re well." They were always addressed to Mrs. Harold Mathers or Mrs. Ronald Kline or Mrs. Lawrence Bennett. Most date to the early 60s, when the stamps cost four cents. I picture tan women in big sunglasses and big hairdos writing the postcards to their friends, licking the stamps and affixing them carefully, while their husbands check under the hood or buy soft drinks. They wear lipstick and polyester and when I think of those ladies, and when I think of their vacations, seeing the U.S.A. from the passenger seats of their Chevrolets, I don’t feel so sad anymore.