Licking

[A Facebook post….]

The wife’s tribal records still list her by her maiden name and we’re trying to get her name changed to reflect her married name. Tribal land she owns, etc. It’s complicated. They asked us to fax our marriage certificate. Turns out we were married so long ago and in such a technologically primitive time–1980–that the state seal watermark on our marriage certificate won’t show up when faxed–faxes hadn’t been invented yet. They asked about the file number on our certificate, too–but there is no file number on the certificate, since computers hadn’t yet reduced us all to ciphers. I believe we did have electricity, however. As the Office of the Trustee of the American Indian won’t accept an emailed scan (too easy to fake) I am going through the nostalgic ritual of putting a piece of paper in an envelope and then mailing it. Licking the envelope. Remember that? All those germs sent coursing through the mail. Saliva had household purposes. We don’t lick emails. Well, I don’t. Not usually.

Of course, in 1980, I would never have told five hundred people this story. We were not fascinated by the inanely trivial then. Maybe it was the threat of nuclear war. Maybe we were too high. Or maybe we didn’t know five hundred people. Whatever. So sad to invent social media and then use it to blow sweet nothings into each other’s digital ears all day. Or perhaps that’s a sign of progress.

And no, I did not lick this before posting.

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