Apropos of nothing (let’s deftly avoid how I’ve neglected this little blog for over a month) I found this email when I was searching for an email from a friend about Italy.

from: e cavouras
to: Krissa , Luiz
date: Sun, May 25, 2008 at 6:26 AM
subject: sucess at last

Titiu and luiz
after two (count them 2) 4 kl trecks and 5 bridges* got me a sim card so you can call us. Phone # is
xxxxxxxxx. This Number is valid while we are in Italy.

we love you.

PS Lui
Will send email to Max but dont know if silvana will see email before monday if she works so maybe you call and pass the info.
PS 2 we are 6 hours ahead of NY and 7 hours ahaed of houston and Chicago

* bridges mean steps up and down. Also venice is perfwect for NYorkers who live in 4 step walk ups

I love every little word of this email. I love the joke at the end about New Yorkers. I love how dedicated dad was to finding a SIM card so that we could call him on their Big European Vacation. I love the typos, man-oh-man how I love the typos. My dad was actually quite exacting when it counted, but emails from him were always this weird amalgam of LOL-speak and telegram-like staccato communiques. Once, I forwarded a particularly choice example to Stuart, laughing, and Stuart responded that emails this bad were usually ended with “Sent from my Blackberry”.

I also love how with the hindsight of history, I know Venice wasn’t the highlight of their trip. Mom got sick with a bronchial infection and found Venice too touristy by half. But Dad still trecked (sic!) up and down a bunch of bridges to find a SIM card because that was what he did. He identified what needed doing, and did it. When he would visit us in New York, there was always a hodgepodge selection of things we needed coming with him. A new filter for our sink. New sponges. “Here, a new cordless phone, why is your house such a death trap for cordless phones?” He was at once incredibly proud of me and also constantly finding ways he could help me with things he lovingly joked I was incapable of handling. I’m more than capable of figuring tricks and tips out in Excel, but sometimes I would come across something I wanted a spreadsheet to do and I’d just email him and ask him for help. He’d always spend two hours crafting me the exact document I needed.

Anyway, this email made me happy. I mean, it also made me sad, because the label “dada” in my gmail account is populated with a finite number of digital objects, each so incredibly mundane, except what did I expect? Was every email supposed to wax rhapsodic about the short time we have on this earth, and how much he loved me? No. Instead I have a folder full of reminders about tax software, links to inexpensive camera gadgets, suggestions on where to buy hardware I needed for some harebrained home renovation project, emails from abroad with temporary phone numbers, cryptic text speak, jokes about my dog, and Excel spreadsheets designed from scratch to improve my life, or just one day in it.

Here’s another one, just because it’s a perfect example of my archive (and no, I didn’t forget any of these things):

from: evangelos cavouras
to: Krissa Corbett Cavouras
date: Sun, Nov 18, 2007 at 10:15 PM
subject: dont forget

to pack
a) my camera
b) swiss knife
c) electrick screwdriver
d) red box with drill bits/screwdrivers
e) stainless suare cake pan

love u


Love u, too, dd.