This one? A page in a greaseproof bag. Next one? Who knows?
Writing a review of an edition of YOU is like reviewing a limited edition Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavour; it’s iconic for some parts of the world, and you never quite know what you’re going to get until you dig in.
Good analogy? I’m not sure, but I don’t think I can think of anything better.
According to its Zine Wiki:
YOU (November 2001-) zine takes the form of a free anonymous letter addressed to you from various writers, usually handwritten, often sealed in a paper bag, published by Luke You.
YOU ties into the curiosity that is so intrinsic to most of us. Something sealed in a paper bag? For free? I must know what’s inside. This curiosity is followed closely by an urge in much of the population – voyeurism. While it grants the writer the bliss of anonymity, it also gives the reader a glimpse into a life that the reader would very likely never know.
For me, YOU is like a present. Someone has given me something special: a moment of their life. I’ll never know the writer, and the writer will never know me, but I will still be able to hold onto this moment. This little piece of life that someone threw out into the universe.
This particular letter is about a beautiful moment. I smiled even though I didn’t know some of the names referenced. I dwelled on the handwriting, curious about the hand and the person that would write with those particular words and curves of the letters. Even before all that, I got to open the bag – getting the same kind of enjoyment I get from opening happy mail.
I love it, through and through.