Tuesday - Nov. 9, 1943 5:30 P.M.
Oh! What a relief. Your telegram arrived a few minutes ago. Now, I shall be able to eat my dinner. I was so worried, darling, because you had not received my letters - I feared that something had happened to you. Anyway, you are alive, and are coming to London this week. I hope Thursday will not have to be abandoned, no man can be sure of keeping promises in wartime, it would be a disappointment. Oh, how I have missed you - it's quite mad - and so are we, both of us! I promised I would write you a love letter. I will give it to you when you come. Oh, darling I am so excited!
- S. If your train is late and you cannot get to the MOSTYN Club between 12 and 2, ring me there, the number is Walbeck 2361.
Wednesday, Nov. 17, 1943
If you're restricted now, then you won't get a pass this week. FLAMING HELL! I've got both Friday and Saturday nights off. What a waste. I have not had a letter from you since the absolutely divine one, before you left London. Anyway, I have been doing my stuff; this makes my fifth letter this week.
I don't have any sharply cut pictures of our 20 hours together, they blend in a dream-like timeless way, one hour flowed into another with no edges. We spent the whole time talking, without stopping to draw breath. Our lovemaking was almost incidental. (It was lovely, exciting, sweet, clean and sort of "young"). The clearest picture I have of us, is the first time we met. Me in stiff, spotless white. You, drawing me to the other end of the room by your flaming hair. "There he is!" Many times during that afternoon I laughed at myself for having "fallen" so completely and instantly for a young man who not only had a pretty grim hangover, but who was so thoroughly decanted the night before, that a women of any kind just didn't register! A worse moment for You to meet Me could hardly have been invented. You were so sweet and funny that day, the complete Hemingway character in search of a reader. One of the hard drinking, wenching, cursing Boys of the Left Bank!
Speaking of Hemingway, a cinemagnate asked me to go to, "FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS", tonight but I refused. You asked me to go with you so I would not dream of seeing it with anyone else. It had patchy reviews, the Reds infuriated because politics have been left out, and the sleeping-bag scene is "too little and too late". We'll go together on your next leave.
Not to jump around too much, but you look cute wearing your overcoat buttoned up to your delicious round chin which is so nice to bite. You look 12 years old and I love you to death. I am going to love you until death, too, I know that now, I'm sure. This letter is far too long, all I wanted to say was that I haven't stopped missing you and please PLEASE come soon and please love me always. (I don't know why having your coat buttoned up makes my heart ache with love for my little boy - I can't explain this at all!)
- 00 p.m. Thursday - Nov. 18 '43
Your letter post marked the 16th arrived this morning. After I got home from the Mostyn, I found 2 other letters post-marked 17 Nov. They are wonderful letters, and I cannot believe that anyone could love me, understand me so perfectly. How is it possible that you, so very young, should know what I am, and what I want and need? I feel humble and unworthy of the treasure of your heart. I had a hard day at the Club and I'm about to cook dinner so I don't have time to write more. I will reply to them over the weekend.
I didn't spell Shicksa right did I?
Sunday, 3:30 P.M. Nov. 21
When you left, I could hardly believe that we had been together 11 hours. Could there have been a love affair in which the time was so desperate and urgent as in ours. No telegram, I am frantic, thinking you in some danger which I cannot help, some trouble I can't adjust. Darling, if only you wouldn't do these mad things. It is not so much the fear of loss in the many ways one can lose someone in a war, it is a much bigger impersonal feeling.
I would not love you in the absolutely insane way I do if I did not believe you to be one of the most remarkable people I ever knew. Someone whose presence in the world makes the world a better place in so many ways you don't yet know about. Your nature is unusual and outstanding - the power of your mind, not yet developed to it's full extent, the splendid vitality and health of your body, which I want you to guard so that you can make fine children, and have the health and strength to do the important things you will do with your life. The greatness and understanding of your heart. The power to love deeply which so few people have. In my eyes you are a valuable person, and I shudder to think of the many things which could happen in times like these.
Last night! If you only knew how I felt cooking bacon and eggs and baked apples for you! The fun it was to talk of the strange things we've done in our lives. I've told you a thousand things about myself I have never told another man. The exhilaration of being able to say to you: "You are my everything, my everybody, all my family, all the children I didn't have, all the friends I ever wanted rolled into one". To say this and know that you wouldn't love me less, or value me less, because you have had me so utterly and completely. After you left. Most loves begin lightly with fun and gaiety, and go on like that for a long time. Then comes the sad time, but with us the sadness began at once. You being tired and cold when you slip into the fog to return to base, not getting any sleep - no rest before you start flying.
While I am writing this, I am crying so hard that I've soaked two handkerchiefs. Not the tears I told you about, beautiful crystal drops, which fall upon a silky breast. No, just a stream pouring down, eyelashes in points, pink and streaming nose too! I'm, not the crying sort. It's years since I cried over anything. It's just YOU and the whole damn mess that I cry over. Our situation is tragic. We have missed the best, but there is still a lot we can give each other. I am going to help you always and always. You will be different for knowing me. You are already different, finer and nicer. Even your sex-life has been changed by me. We have come to each other in some magic, mysterious way. We just BELONG. We always will.
Still no telegram. God, what has happened. Did you get back safely? Were you caught? Oh, Gerry, please take care of yourself for my sake. Is Wednesday possible? If you can come, we will be gay and rush about to theaters and do things and not be sad for a moment! Meet me at Tania's flat at 1:30 for lunch. If you are not there by 3:00, I will go home and wait for you to telephone.
God, I love you.
Monday, Nov. 22, '43
Relieved and sad to get your wire a few minutes ago. You're safe yet I was looking forward to showing you off at our lunch with Tania. You do not say whether Thursday is off too, or when you will next be with me? I hope for a letter in the morning which will explain the change of plans.
Tuesday, Nov. 23 '43
I miss you HORRIBLY !!! How ghastly not to see you, or get a letter, for three whole days. I can just manage two, but three gets me down. My last letter was sad, so here's something to make you laugh. The photograph is me at two years old. It's Mama's favorite, she says I still have that same look of open-eyed (and open-mouthed) wonder at this odd world. This is the little girl of whom the neighbors said: "They'll never raise that child." Don't you think it would be nice if one of The Twins looked like her? The girl of course, because if the boy didn't look just like you, I'd send him back in a fury.
Thanks for letting me know that everything is all right. Why was your Wednesday leave cancelled? There are so many things that could happen to my very precious boy. If not Fire and Flood and Pestilence, or just the Outrageous Slings and Arrows of Fortune, there are other things which might snatch him away, "..... Because you know, darling, when they are only 23, they are very hot in the pants and you simply mustn't take him seriously. One day he will be walking down the street and he will see ....."
I vaguely remember I said something in my long letter that sounds as if I wanted you to change. Good God, no. Darling, I love and adore you for what you are. I wouldn't change a single mad thought in your mad redhead. To me you are what I love and have always wanted to find in one human being. Do you think I want you to go to bridge parties, or Bach concerts, or know all about ordering a complicated meal at the Ritz, or other silly things? God forbid. Nevertheless, you have changed since I first met you.
Wire and let me know about your next 48 hours pass. I've been asked to go for a visit in the country and it would be frightful to miss you on account of some visit, which is of no importance.