After she moved with her family back to West Germany, we wrote each other almost weekly for years. These letters, still scented with perfume, offer a passionate reflection of girlhood friendship that seems more reminiscent of an 18th Century romance than any modern day text messaging could capture:
Suzin's cards and long letters, mostly folded in thin aerogramme blue envelopes stamped Mit Luftpost, now stack almost a foot high. They were followed by the blue-lined binder paper scrawl of my first love at eighteen, ecstatic about the start of our three-year letter exchange over long-distance:
Already three years have gone by since we last saw each other, but our bond has become stronger and healthier! Nothing can separate us now. Our friendship is so special, that no one can describe or touch or disturb it. Not many people in the world have this kind of luck, this kind of priceless treasure, this kind of love. Not even the Atlantic Ocean could keep us apart, so what could?
You wrote me two letters! When I finished the first one I forlornly poked through the mail, wishing there would be another one. When I found it I couldn't believe it. I can't wait to write back tomorrow. I'm going to tell you everything in this letter too.
Your poem! Strange that I had recently gotten into poetry and then my mailbox responded with a call from a close, distant soul that is somehow attached to mine. Nonetheless this lone soul was encountering similar experiences at the same time.Rarely now do I add to the paper bunches, held together with rubber bands or colored string. There are the birthday cards, the love notes from my partner, and old letters sent from my grandmother's collection: my mother's descriptions of early married life on Greenbrae Boardwalk or in Brazil in the 1960's, and my father's tales from his first trip to Europe and Israel just before.