Human Parts
Published in

Human Parts

This Is Us

How Pen Pals Are Saving Me

A quarantine tale

An open paper envelope on a yellow surface. A serpentine rainbow snakes its way out of the envelope.
Photo: Iryna Veklich/Moment/Getty Images

For me, the single best thing about this last year — a year of unrivaled loss, sadness, rage, and anxiety — has been the mail. Corresponding with strangers has brought me happiness, fulfillment, and a sort of peace that’s lacking elsewhere in this untethered world. It’s as if these missives from afar are somehow anchoring me in place, rooting me…

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