Saturday, Jan. 2
Don't know yet whether I am going to see you today or not - depends whether you got my 2 telegrams in time. Hope you got them, and know that I shall be alone on Monday and Tuesday, and hope you get a pass for those days. I won't date myself up until I hear that you cannot make it. Funny how long 11 days can seem when it's between seeing you. If only I had a photograph to help me through the long days. You promised you'd write home and have your wife send one to me. Have you done this? If not, sit down this very instant and do it. Have it posted to me, instead of to you. Because it may be months before it arrives, and goodness knows where you might be by then.
Funny you should think Greer Garson is unusually attractive (you've mentioned her in several letters as a sort of criterion of feminine looks), she's been my favorite actress for years. At 35 she married a boy of 22 - very sensible! We had some mutual friends in Hollywood, but I just missed meeting her several times.
Be still, my fluttering heart! Perhaps Retter will come today, and you will see him - but not alone. Still, just a glimpse is better than nothing.
Sunday, Jan. 16.
Gerry, adored one, Yesterday your letter lit a whole day for me. Since you left, I've existed in a void. I've had a lot of invitations that I was too sick to accept. Cocktail parties, a dinner or two. Bob rang up, he was here in London - "why hadn't I answered his letters?" I told him I had influenza and wouldn't grant an interview with Errol Flynn if he rang up! That rather nice married man I told you about, who has had a completely hopeless passion for me for 3 years, asked me to dine. Told him same thing as Bob. He wanted to come round and bring me a bottle of whiskey to cure my 'flu! I sighed, ground my teeth and told him to just send the whiskey. Some men are cravers of punishment. Before I hung up he managed to get in his usual: "I'll call you again soon -"
He suggested Claridge's for dinner, which made me so lonely for you that I almost burst into tears. That's the hotel where you and I sat in the foyer for an hour one night, waiting until it was time to go home - remember? We were in one of those moods when "what-might- have-been" was in the ascendancy. I sat holding your hand with tears tricking down my face under a gay red veil; you were hanging on to me desperately, too. I couldn't go there with anyone else, not for a long, long time.
Darling, I was sad with you over the news of your Buddy's loss. He wasn't a happy person, which is one's only consolation. I hope you do not miss him too much. You have me and my thoughts are always with you. That tragic task - sending back the belongings - my heart aches for you doing that for him and his mother.
My girl friend rang up today and said: "Gerry is a sweet boy and I like him". Are you a sweet boy, darling? To me you are more like one of those great bolts of lightning, spitting, hissing, crackling it's warning, that all who come within it's range will be scorched to nothingness in one searing second. When I put my arms around you I feel I am holding a great force which could sway a multitude. I am certain that you'll become an important man some day, and will need every bit of that super-health, cool brain, and great heart which you have. Guard those things as unusual gifts not given to more than one man in a million. My fear is that all this power stored in one fine man may be lost to the world before it is used for the good of humanity. It might be lost through the wastage of war, but it could be lost in other ways, too. Your nature is reckless and incautious - and you were well on the way to destroying your striking force before it was used. If this happens to you, I should regard it as the greatest tragedy I ever witnessed.
But I don't know how I got on this topic, today I feel very gay! The thought of seeing you soon - my spirits are high. I do not feel in the least maternal to you, my darling! I feel, I feel oh, how wonderfully I love you! In such a shining way! So passionately aware of the deliciousness of your body, it's glorious beauty and fire. If you were here this moment, you would not be mothered, you would be smothered! I'd be like the spider that eats her mate. (But I'd let you eat me, too!) It would be a mutual cannibalism. To which I shall just add the one and only sentence which people never never never NEVER grow tired of hearing - I love you.
Sunday, Jan. 16
My heavenly beloved Gerry, Tonight I do not feel maternal towards you! I don't even feel any older. I feel about seventeen, and rarin' to go! Why aren't you here to cope with this Oh-so-unmotherly mood?
Monday, Jan. 17, "44
My Darling Boy, When are you coming home, again? It doesn't seem like home, anymore without my Baby wandering round in fine disarray, eating jam and MATZOS!
Your loving Mamatchka
Tuesday, Jan. 18
Am in a hurry but want to thank you for your sweet letter enclosing your snapshot. It has been a nice week, because I got a letter from you nearly every day, and that is always such a comfort. My angel, you are sweet. I sent you a wire today to tell you not to come up on Thursday the 20th, it's not my day off. Saturday, the 22nd is, but that's not a good time to take 48 hours leave as I am pretty well tied up weekends, as you know. Better take your leave any weekday you can get a proper 48 hours.
Tuesday night, Jan. 18
You are an angel about writing this week, so thoughtful - it helps my loneliness, your letters evoke YOU so strongly that I am with you when I read them. Yes, darling, it does seem centuries since your leave.
No, darling, I did NOT say I thought the Germans would crack soon! I said that if the Russian drive went on at a rapid pace and they got near Germany, the Army would take over to prevent from being smashed up as an organization, preferring to keep intact until it was time to start the next stage of the modern Punic Wars. It would not be a question of cracking, but one of expediency. Once the German Army realizes the game is over, their last weeks of fighting will be the toughest ever. They will make the idea of peace look pretty good to the Allies.
In your beautiful letter you spoke of something I said: "My life is a letter written to Gerry." It is, taking a long, long time to reach him. While it wandered, it was delivered to others, who opened it. They were perhaps, charmed and intrigued by the handwriting, by the beautiful paper it was written on, and the perfume emanating from the envelope - but they could not read it, for it was written in a language they did not understand. The letter was forwarded on its long search, to find someone who could read it. One day, it was delivered to Gerry who opened it and read it very easily. He spoke its language - and he loved what was written. He understood it's meaning in a flash, he knew it had a message for him, so he wanted to keep it always. He wanted to read and re-read it, to keep it close to his heart, and carry it around in his pocket where he could put his hand on it whenever he wished.
But the letter had traveled a long and hard journey and it was frail, the envelope was worn as thin as tissue paper. Not to be handled carelessly or it would tear, and it's contents would disintegrate and disappear. Gerry knew that he would not be able to keep the letter always, that while he did have it, it should be caressed with loving care. Yet, when it was time, he would have to let it go on to its final destination, remembered with affection and love.
This, my darling, is just another way of saying I love you. I wish I knew a million different ways of saying it. It is now three o'clock in the morning, a time when one has fanciful thoughts, so forgive me if my imagination has that "dawn" atmosphere. Nevertheless, what I said is true. My whole life is a letter written to you.
Thursday, Jan. 20.
Darling darling darling,
Just heard that my "nite off" has been changed again! Owing to re-arranging the roster, the next night will be Tuesday January 25. (Not Saturday, as I wired you.) I have Monday, Jan. 24, off as well! So if you could possibly get a 48 hour pass for those two days, it would be wonderful! We'd have a lovely long time together. Do let me know at once if I'm to expect you. I still don't know whether to expect you today? It's 4 pm and still no word, I fear you are not coming. Concentrate on Monday - Tuesday! Telephone, for heavens sake! or I'll go mad! Your own
January 2-20 1944