The Lives of Others, as Seen Through Random Letters

We all lose papers—scribbled shopping lists, love letters, Post-It Notes. You probably don’t think much of it, but over at foundmagazine.com, users submit these dropped pieces—and oddly enough, in a few funny, somber, or surprising words you can really see a whole life. Some favorites:

Thinking First: This amusing attempt at self improvement (“I need to start thinking before I say anything”) caused the finder to quip, “This fluttered into our front yard today. Not sure who wrote it, but I’m pretty sure it was meant for me.”

Maybe Relax A Little: “I found this in the IKEA parking lot on Black Friday,” the contributor wrote of the sarcastic note that begins, “Thanks for blocking my van. Looks like you bumped it too” and ends “Well Merry Christmas.”

Do You Hold Hands: Found in a high school locker circa 2000, this note channels high school crushes and the days of good old note-passing, complete with girly handwriting and cute doodles. “Do you hold hands?” the author gushes, prompting the finder to recall that when he found it, just post-Columbine, “The sort of 1950s sock-hop innocence of this note helped me remember that the entire world wasn’t always going to hell all the time.”

Fetid, Disgusting: The author’s adjective-ridden plea to keep those smelly sneakers out of the hallway gave a lot of pleasure to the finder, who picked it up on the ground far away from the scene of the crime.

Wishing Tree: A child’s simple, touching wish found near a store’s Christmas display caused the finder to realize its heartbreaking beauty.

Runnie: Found on a front porch, this hilarious child’s note has a tinge of sweet sadness (“Lost Caturpiller 1 inch If found please retern to first house”).

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