There is a place in the world where men still write letters to each other. I mean actual letters, usually handwritten, sometimes typed, but characters on paper, communicating things, which are then put into envelopes and mailed. These men write to each other with affection, tenderness, and brotherly love. They aren't -- well, most aren't -- gay. But they attach to the letters pictures of themselves, of favorite objects, and of hobbies and passions.

In the cafe of the Barnes and Nobles where I'm writing, a recently released prisoner is writing several letters to his buddies who are still inside the correctional facility where he served for a year. He's scribbling them in long-hand. He thinks before each sentence. I find this interesting and i ask to read one of them. Being streetwise, he's naturally suspicious of me. I pull the journalism card. Then I let him use my computer to Google me.

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