Interview with a Lost Mail Curator


As we gear up for the excellent inaugural edition of our new Lost Mail Program, we here at the Intergalactic Postal Works wanted to give you a glimpse into the daily life of one of our esteemed curators at Sorting Station 09091. So our staff field interpreter, Jay Lele, interviewed one of 8 curators working there, Edo Gomuk, and transcribed some notable parts below. We hope you enjoy!

Jay Lele: Could you start by telling us a little about how you came to be a curator?

Edo Gomuk: Well, I am a late-earth historian, and I've always been, you know, just, totally fascinated by analog things, print things, these physical, tactile objects that people used to attach so much meaning to. It's not a very popular thing to study because of the, you know- "an offensive-"

JL: "offensive degree of indulgent impracticality"

EG: "-Indulgent impracticality." Yes, well, there's a lot of that post-post-post-etc-modern critique that just keeps circling around the same indictment of the twenty-first century life on Earth as unreasonably materialistic, anti-utilitarian, and - therefore - anti-social.

JL: But you were interested in that materialist aspect, so you wanted to join as a Lost Mail Curator?

EG: Exactly! When intergalactic postal delivery was introduced, it was a lamentable and temporary measure. Everybody was, in theory, against it. But, in practice, it was extremely popular: the postcard illustration styles and the writing styles that emerged were a way to reconsider our place in the universe during a time of extensive existential upheaval. And, you know- every post card I read it's like-  footprints, leading up to a leap of faith. You craft this precious message on this beautiful object and you throw it - literally! - into space, and hope it gets where it's going!

JL: Except these ones didn't really get where they were going...

EG: [laughs] right! But maybe they sort of did. The art of the postcard is, after all, necessarily kind of an exhibitionist one.

JL: I've never thought of it that way...

EG: Well, to be fair, I hadn't either. But, working here for - what? - maybe a solar year now? - it's important to have some way of relating to some of the more private things you read, and-

JL: You said you've been working here a year?

EG: Mhm.

JL: Well, you see, this interview is for our potential patrons who may subscribe to receive some of the lost mail you've been curating!

EG: Oh! That's very exciting!

JL: Yes! But, for them, this project is just barely getting started.

EG: Right, well there's been a lot of preparation.

JL: Could you tell me more about that, please?

EG: Well, the main issue is that transfer between the different sorting stations - we've got four, one over on Europa in the Solar System - is not feasible en masse. The whole postcards-in-space thing barely passes any kind of efficiency muster; really, it was just established due to the tremendous neglect - and subsequent loss - of the civilian communications systems. As a result, we had a lot of demonstrations and talks and negotiations, because it was important to everybody at IGPW that civilians continued to have unrestricted access to intergalactic communications, but there was also a severe shortage of technical expertise and, frankly, even competence. Repurposing old junkers as postcard carriers and drafting the most straightforward temporary addressing system was, technologically, the best solution that was available.

JL: As a temporary stopgap.

EG: Well, "temporary" stopgaps rarely are, you know? [laughs] Well, anyway, a major part of gearing up for the launch of the Lost Mail Project has been assembling a group within IGPW that would be able to procure, set up, and maintain more sophisticated technologies once we - the artsy historian curators - manage to raise some capital for it. We were committed to not just fundraising for, you know, new paint for our postcard spaceships [laughs].

JL: And your role in this - the "artsy historian-?"

EG: Yes! It's a dream job. There are real gems here [gestures to a pile next to them] that I am very very excited to share with our subscribers. It's been a real privilege for me to do this work.

JL: And it's been a privilege for me to interview you! Thank you again, Edo, for your time.

EG: Happily. May your days be long, splendid, and many!

JL: May your days be long, splendid, and many.