Thanksgiving Day, '43 London
My Lord and Master!
I spent yesterday with Tania. She cooked me a sumptuous lunch, producing all sorts of special things one never gets anywhere else. We talked of you. She is intrigued to see what you are like, knowing that I have not showed interest in anybody for 6 years. I assured her that I was madly in love, and she assured me that she would do anything to help us. If you can possibly get a pass next Wednesday or Thursday, Tania asked us to spend it in the country with her. It would be perfectly feasible and safe; I go there a lot, so nothing would be thought of it. DO try, my angel, for those two days. You'd have to be here the night before, because the train that leaves from Paddington at 11:15 AM takes only half an hour. If you do not get here until twelve, there is quite a good afternoon train arriving in time for tea (don't worry, the drinks flow like a fountain in her house).
I went to a First Night, last night and to a party on the stage afterward. I went with two pansies - nice boys whom I have known for years. One of them is extremely amusing with a biting wit, very bitchy. Quite a pleasant evening. A huge crowd showed up today for the Club's free Thanksgiving meal. A choir of GI.'s sang very fine part-harmony.
When they sang "Hallelujah - Oh, Be Joyful!" I was so full of hallelujahs and hosannas that my heart sang, too. Maybe it did happen all wrong with us - maybe the war will last for years more and we'll be separated - maybe we'll miss the best thing that could have happened in our lives. But there's one thing we DIDN'T miss, glory hallelujah - we didn't miss each other. God, it makes me shudder to think how close we came to missing each other. I had to make the quickest decision I ever made in my life - in a split-second I had to recognize that there was my dear and my darling, and to resolve instantly and ruthlessly that I wasn't going to let him go out of my life (then or ever).
Remember the night you first kissed me, I was too ill and sneezed all over you. The next time we were together I was well and your kisses were - but how can I describe them? The lovely taste, the satiny skin, breathing the hot breath from your lungs. You opened your legs and drew me slowly into your embrace, closing around me, enfolding me. You're such a big boy, strong and beautiful. You're too big to grasp and hold, I feel the muscles of your legs and arms, so hard under their sheathing flesh. I see the burnished, solid roundness of your head - it is a head that tempts the hand. I even like that you are a bit too fat because it makes you more voluptuous and delicious.
All this week I have wanted you, wanted to talk with you, to look at you. Wanted you sensually more, much more than ever before. I was on fire for you. Sitting down made me so uncomfortable that I walked about most of the time. I was like this for four days, and I didn't do a thing about it, just let it burn itself out. Of course, there were things I could have done, but this state of sexual tension really belonged to you, it came into being because I was making myself ready for you. When you did not come, I was determined not to feel the pleasure alone, because it was yours, as much as mine, and had to be shared with you, or else not allowed to exist.
Don't be unhappy my angel, there is a future for us. I wish I can stay with you all your life, and see it unfold, but I cannot. Like Pop, I must leave you long before you are even old. But you can have my faith and courage and cherishing love for many years to come. Make the most of them while they remain on this earth, don't waste me, don't lose me.
This is not an answer to your wonderful letter, I am just "talking" to you to keep from being lonely. I will try to answer tomorrow. Gerry, I love your letters almost as much as I love being with you, they help me to understand you. When I finished cleaning up at the Club, it was four o'clock, and I was so exhausted I could only go to bed. I am there now, in a cocoon of downy pink pillows and quilts and pink linen sheets - wearing a white fur jacket with my curls tied up in a pink ribbon. The fire is burning. If only my darling, my darling was here.
LET'S GET MARRIED!! (Proposal)
Saturday, Nov. 27
Two letters from you yesterday (devine ones) - and I, also am astonished at the way our letters "cross", each saying many of the same things. Though in different words, the thoughts are oftern amazingly similar. You wrote me on Thanksgiving day, so did I you, each spent our Thanksgiving with the U. S. Army, (which in my case is a bit odd, you will agree!) And both spoke of our giving thanks for each other; - amd then the letters about that evening in the kitchen: At the time, I didn't know you noticed what you were eating, nor even the very gemutlich atmosphere of the room - and me popping bits of food into your mouth because I feared upu would not eat if I didn't, you were too excited to be hungry.
Today I'm too excited to eat, you may be coming up on Monday! How heavenly, darling, oh, I do hope you will get your pass. Tania wants us to visit her in the county. Would you like to do that? Telephone me, or telegraph what time you will be arriving so I'll be waiting for you at home.
I had a letter from Bob who said he was arriving Friday. He then telegraphed that he was held up for a few days, so it looks as if he'll be on leave the same time as you, in which case I shall not see him. I hope Bob won't be too disappointed. By the way, going out with Bob is like taking a fifteen-year-old boy for an outing! I use one percent of my mental powers entertaining him, and with the other 99 percent I silently design a dress, write a poem, or compose a letter. He is just one of those gallant children who careen around the skies, and I just could not help but be sweet to them, bless 'em all!
Most Honored Sir:
I prithee, Fair Sir, wilt thou wed with me?
Alack, Sir, in truth I have little to entice a man of your parts into the Wedded State. I am not a girl of fortune: my 'dot' is scarce worthy of mention - other than these paltry gold pieces. I am possessed of the following: -
A small bay mare named Apple:
A cat named Deborah, who is of a lecherous habit:
A house which standith near a stately square - Right handy to the church thereof:, in which house there is a goodly store of fine linen, plate and furniture and the withdrawing room was contrived by one Thomas Chippendale in his French manner (for he did visit France and was much intrigued by the styles and it did inspire him to fashion my room so.)
Four plain Lutestring gowns and twenty aprons for wear in the Herb Garden and Still room. A going out gown of scarlet Merino trimmed with Covey. Sundry bonnets from Rose Bertin of Paris (she who makes the folderols for Queen Marie Antoinette .) My long cape and hood of Russian fur brought me by Cousin Franklin from his grand tour. A jewel or two of finest water. Sundry gowns for the evening in Lyons velvet of black with Rose Point Lace at neck and wrists. My court gown of white satin having much fine embroidery theron in seed pearls gold and silver. And lastly my quilted gown for sitting by the fire and drinking a Posset late of an evening (if I make not to bold to mention this?)
But Sire! I do now perceive that these poor effects do make but a sorry show. I had best say straightly that I have but one thing to give a man of your Quality, Brilliant Intellect and Personal Allurements. I have only my heart. A poor gift, but I give it right willingly.
But it may be that we can discuss this small matter on December the First, which falls on Woden's Day, when you call at the House with the Red Door, over a dish of tea and sundry buttered scones of my own baking (though methinks gentlemen prefer Sack or Mulled wine -?)
Until then I am and shall remain
Yr Hmble, Loving and Faithfull
To which I set my Seal this Day of November the Twenty-seventh. The Watch has called the hour of Midnight, and All's Well - A clear night with stars.
Sunday, Nov. 28
What do you know darling, I have a slight cold. Usually I get only two a year, these days two a month, I must be very run-down. I am sure I shall be quite well tomorrow. Oh, I am SO looking forward to it. It seems centuries since you were with me. I am still using the things you brought. The coffee is wonderful. When I finish it I shall put rice and other things in those nice big tins to protect them from mice, and use the adhesive tape to keep out insects.
It was such fun when you arrived that day simply bulging with good things, just as much fun as the last time you came, bringing me only your dear self. What a lovely ten hours that was.
Nov. 30, '43.
Here am I writing again, (in red ink) to express my disappointment at your non-arrival yesterday! To show you how the Calf was being Fatted, I'll describe my day (very, different it was from E. Roosevelt's).
It began with a spring cleaning until all was shining and spotless. Made a creamy rice pudding, mine bears no resemblance to the pulp of the same name elsewhere. I baked the last two apples in England, made a casserole of veal with garlic, herbs, and tiny vegetables to be served on mounds of flaky rice, also mushroom soup. Had a hot bath full of fragrant soaps and bath salts: put on a white chiffon cami-knicker, embroidered like white flowers dropped on white snow, and my new Nylon stockings, which came over by bomber. Then suddenly I was so tired I dropped on the bed. Lying there, exhausted, I did not sleep, as it was time for you to arrive, just thought of you.
Phrases from your letters, your voice in my ear, "Tell me you love me" ....... The way you look walking round the room in shorts, smoking, suddenly stopping to look at me so intently that I wonder what you see when you stare so hard ....... suddenly a tremendous rat-tat-tat on the door made me spring up.
I knew what it was before I opened the door, and your telegram. I did not invite friends to share the good food. I spent the evening alone, darning, mending linen, paying bills, writing to you, just resting. My "other baby" rang up this morning from the country; I told her she need not expect our visit. She was sorry, and sent you her love! It was a dreadful disappointment, but somehow I had known all along that you would not be able to come. I was just kidding myself, because I so wanted you. The postponement last week made me fear that restrictions were imminent. Reading the papers confirmed this. I was not really surprised.
A Christmas-box came from dear Mama this morning containing things I badly wanted; candy, nuts, cranberry sauce, and silk stockings. Dearest, please tell me at ONCE what you need, or really want, so that I can give them to you for Christmas. It is terribly hard to think of presents for men in the forces. You've got a nice watch and a lighter. I coughed all last night and the night before, so I am a bit tired and shall end this letter soon.
Please let me know which of my letters you have received during the last ten days, dates, contents and so on. There are such delays that I like to know what reached you. While restrictions are on, I shall worry a lot, so keep in touch with me, just so that I know you are safe and well. I wish you could telephone, there is something so comforting about the voice of the one you love. Of course, I know the current quip; "My camp is 2 hrs. by Jeep from London and 5 hrs. by telephone!"
PLEASE SEND ME A PHOTOGRAPH FOR MY ROOM. I want to see it the last thing at night, the very first in the morning. Do you know, yet, what date your furlough will be? Tell me, my sweetheart, would you rather not get so many letters from me? Are they too long? Please tell me honestly, I hate to risk boring you. If I send you books to read instead of these long letters, would you like that better? I only want to make you happy. Reading this over, I feel doubtful about sending it. Suppose it makes you so sad and exasperated that you rush off to the nearest town to see the Red Cross girl who likes you, and - "knock her off a few times", as you put it with Old World Courtesy. But, oh, well, I'll risk it. I know you like to know what I'm thinking, it brings you closer to me in spirit.
November 26-30 1943