My Angel -
Don't ever forget what I said - You ARE my heart.
I've been through 48 hours of such unspeakable pain that I am in a kind of delirium. This letter is so blotched, I can't stop crying at all, even for a few minutes - I miss you so - It's come too soon - we had so little. The only thing, that keeps alive my will-to-live is that you and I are one flesh - I was sure of that after our first dinner together at that Spanish place. Be very careful what you write, a chance word might be more than I could bear. Once you were in this state, and I gave you all the strength and courage I had - it helped you, I know. Now, I look to you for strength.
Don't know whether you understand what I've tried to say - my head feels so strange - can't express things with my usual clarity.
That you and I are all washed up as lovers, because of months or years of being parted, is not what is making me so desperate. It's hard to lose that, - I hate it - but can bear it. What I fear is that the bond between us may be lost, if our bodies are parted for thousands of miles, and for months, and years.
Three days have passed. How I lived through them I hardly know. I have never known such a feeling of loss, life seems so empty and meaningless without you.
I am terribly glad that I took big risks for you darling, not just occasionally, but every time we were together. Every kind of risk, I threw caution to the winds, because for you it was worth it. Even risked my life once - remember Junior?
Yes, and every letter I wrote you would get me turned out into the snow to starve if it ever got into the wrong hands!
Although I've not seen you for over a month there is nothing much to tell you, life is so quiet and humdrum these days. The government has cut the allowance of coke to civilians to 500 lbs. a month, and your order isn't delivered for 2 months. In March we could have had an allotment of 1,000 pounds as well as the April one of 500 which would have kept us going quite nicely with careful rationing. Coke costs L1.10.0 for 1,000 pounds, and had to be paid in cash, which we didn't have, so we couldn't get it. I was told no coke or coal at all
will be allotted to civilian homes next month. Nice prospect!
We find ourselves with enough coke in our cellar to run the boiler for 4 days. All I can do is to stop using the boiler, and schedule hot water once week for 4 weeks. Then there will be a month when we won't have any at all.
Far worse than no hot water, we got a letter from the income tax people which, said that they knew we had a lodger - and that we must declare any increase in income. In plain words, that means that we shall not only have to pay 10 shillings on the pound on H's rent in the future, we have to pay them half of all that he has paid us until now! I shall have to sell something of mine, again. The last bracelet? Or else my sable scarf that L.S. gave me. I kind of hate to part with that, I loved him a lot in my young-girl way, and it has sentimental value, as well as being warm and beautiful. Coming just now, on top of the ending of your sweet, adored visits, has made this week a hell of anxiety.
Darling, I hope I haven't bored you with the family problems. I have to talk to you like this, makes me feel a bit less alone. Pure illusions, of course.
April 21 - '44
Enclosed are some addresses where you can find me in future years, should we get separated. It is possible to get lost when neither has a permanent home where parents live. We don't know each other's friends, nor move in the same circles.
To lose you right out of my life would be a disaster of major proportions which I want to prevent. I have already lost one man friend merely because we had not known each other long, and had no mutual friends. I know it can happen. I'm putting in the addresses of friends I would contact as soon as I went to America, as well as bank and legal addresses. Keep this paper in the folder with my photographs. Darling, send me a number of addresses, including some of close friends in New York. If I rang them up to ask if they knew your whereabouts, I would say that I was a friend from England, looking you up on my return to the States, etc. I'd make it sound as if we were the barest acquaintances - as I don't imagine you have written about me to anyone you know, why should you.
Oh, my love, my love - where are you -? I need you so.
Sunday - April 23
My Darling Boy,
I see in the papers what is going on - it's the Battle of Britain in reverse, you must be so busy that letters just don't enter into the scheme of things, at the moment. I can't wait to see you again - my God, it's been five weeks! Hard to believe, isn't it.
There comes a testing moment in every relationship. If it is true and beautiful and real, it stands the test. Do you remember something I said to you the first night we went out together? I said that when two people drifted apart, it was not because of any fault, or lack on either side, life itself was pulling them in opposite directions. Outside circumstances constantly enter to break the spell of intimacy. As life tugged them apart with all it's vast forces, they had to hold onto each other's hands. Two swimmers, about to be swept apart by the surging waves, holding tight, hand in hand, the waves will sweep them on together, but if they let go, the distance between them will widen inexorably, as time passes.
Our moment is coming when the waves will sweep over us. Then we'll have to put up a real fight not to lose each other. I'll fight. Will you?
I love you -
Saturday night, April 29
Today I went to church for the first time in about ten years! The daughter of one of T.'s friends was married, and we could not get out of going to the wedding. We sat there while all the hocus-pocus went on. It was so strange that all that superstitious ritual was still going on in these supposedly advanced modern days. Singing hymns - jumping up and down - kneeling - the sermon! We had really forgotten it all, and felt most odd to be there.
Apart from that, however, it was a nice wedding, and the party afterward was fun. The bride, a trained nurse, was young and pretty; the groom, a doctor, was young, attractive and in the R.A.F. Both families are doctors, too. Looking at them, I realized that theirs was sure to be a good life. I envied them. The old ladies were cooing: "Isn't she the sweetest bride! such a lovely dress!" etc. I was thinking, did she have her diaphragm properly adjusted? Do you know diaphragms were invented by an English lady doctor? She claims so, anyway, Dr. Marie Stopes:
"My bride has read 'Wot Young Wives Orter Know',
She's bought them things she orter buy - and so -
I 'ates the Jerries, but Oh, 'ow I 'opes
'E drops a bomb on Dr. Marie Stopes!"
I got a piece of the wedding-cake; you're supposed to sleep with it under your pillow and see whether you dream of your future husband! Must try it tonight!
The trip home from my visit was comfortable and uneventful. A Wing-Commander in the R.A.F. engaged me in conversation and tried his best to "click". Nice-looking, but after 15 minutes of his prattle, I decided that he did not have an interesting mind. I gave him the brush-off. This seems to be happening to me lately. Last week I dined with a girl friend at the Hyde Park Hotel, and while we were having a drink in the bar the bar-man said to me: "The gentleman over there would like to know if you are the Miss McEvoy he met in Switzerland in 1938." Out of the corner of my eye, I examined "the gentleman" and decided that I would NOT be Miss McEvoy!
Gerry, you sweet person:
I sat on that cold, cold platform, waiting for you; with no hope you would turn up, resigned to going back to London by the next train. Yet feeling that it had been worth coming, just on the chance of being together for a little while. And then . . . my Gerry so very resourceful, arranged things so well - the little room under the eaves - the feeling of seeing you after six long, long weeks. Since I've came back, I've felt much calmer, and better. There was something very comforting in seeing you with my own eyes all in one piece.
your very own,
(Should I mention that I love you?)
Sat. April 29
I love you - and don't you forget it! Will write you a long letter tomorrow, darling. Today I have no time.
I'm worried about you, though - you did not look well, thin and pale - did not seem "yourself". That brief time with you, my angel - it was so worth while. Got home in good time, it was not quite dark so all was well. Be sure to write me about how things are with you -
More tomorrow -
Your own Bubi -
April 29 1944 night
Commenting on my statement; ". . . going home, after the war, depended on whether I had any money or not, that if I had none now, I probably would not have any then," - well, darling, the only predictable things about people like (you and I) is that our lives are always completely predictable! I could not count the times in the past when I have been completely penniless at one moment, even to the extent of wondering how next month's rent was going to be paid - and a few weeks later, would have the spending of hundreds of thousands of someone else's money! While this is not likely to happen in the future as it did (with great regularity) in the past, my future is still unpredictable.
There are a number of ways I might wind up in the next few years; broke to the last penny, without even a room to live in; maybe with a lot of money, not millions but a lot; perhaps living with you, as your Mum, living in the country with ten adopted children; or being somebody's cook (this would be the only kind of job I'd be strong enough to do, because it's irregular work - you can leave one job - rest a few weeks, and then work for a few months at some other place). I've never been a servant, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find myself one! However, if I've got to cook for somebody, it might as well be you, darling! then you could have me in the kitchen, and keep a blonde as a pet!! I'll bet that would work out quite well - when you got bored with her brand of hat you could creep into the kitch and swap cracks with Bubi!
April 30th. '44
What DO you think -?? I was in the kitchen, T. upstairs. We both heard someone come in, thought it was the new Lodger. Ten minutes later I heard footsteps in my room. This was damned odd, so I went to the kitchen stairs and called: "Who's there?" NO REPLY.
I then noticed there was no light on that floor. The plot thickens! I called again: "Who's is that?" - and received the singular reply, in a strange voice: "Now, now, its all right; it's quite all right." I started up the stairs on the run - like a darn fool, because, in the darkness, the Invader could have silenced me with a crack on the head as I came up. I didn't think of that, flew up, blundered about groping for the switch, saw the front door was open - then discovered he had gone, after ransacking my room and the hall. Ran out into the street, but could see no-one, yelled for T. who came down MUCH too late to
prevent me from being raped or murdered had the invader been in that mood!
"He" had opened all drawers, bags. Left things lying all over the floor, etc. We touched nothing and sent for the police. Two detectives came round in a few minutes and hunted for finger-prints with an out-sized magnifying glass, it was all just like a Hitchcock film.
He had not had time to get more than the contents of my bag - the small purse in it, containing two pounds in cash and my latch-key, the only powder-compact I possess, lipstick, and a beautiful handkerchief. From the drawer he took the two pair of Nylon stockings which Jack gave me.
The incident had some surprising features. He knew we were at home, saw the light in the kitchen, heard me clashing pots and pans, T. was whistling. He came in with a latch-key, and made no attempt to be quiet, just walked about normally. Then, a few feet away from me - "Now, now, it's quite all right!" - gave me a fit of giggles afterwards.
I never got Marshall's key back after he left, he said he lost it. He knows a lot of very peculiar characters, who knew where he lived. I shall see him this week and see if he can shed any light on what became of his key. Have you lost your key? or can you recall any occasion when it was out of your possession long enough to be copied? (Which would only take about 5 minutes on the key-machine in all Woolworth's shops.)
The Insurance Company insisted that we have two locks, which has been done. It was all quite alarming because if I had been alone in the house - which I so often am, I might have been raped on the side, so to speak. Or, if we'd been out, he could have got many valuable furs, silver, etc.
Have just told T. I'm writing to you about the burglary and he says: "Ask Gary why he hasn't visited us for two months? Tell him we miss him, and hope he'll come for a good long visit before the 8th. leaves England." I said I would pass this message on to you.
Actually, D.C.'s room has been available ever since you were last here. He went on into Germany to inspect the newest gadgets they've captured. So you could have slept in it, and saved a hotel bill during your visits to London, the past 16 days. It would have been much quieter and more comfortable than the bed in the kitchen.
We've been putting up David, and his side-kick, a Jewish boy named Nemarov, who is one of the most unusual boys I ever met - as is David, too. Nemarov is also in the 8th., a fighter-pilot from New York, his father is a Polish Jew in the Rag Trade - owns a dress shop called Russeks's. So I thought you might have met him? He is a young writer of great promise, a sort of budding Steinbeck.
Thinking about you, Nemarov and David, all Americans, all the same age, I feel profoundly impressed by your generation. If you three are a cross-section of the young intellectuals, then surely the future will be a better one than I dared hope. I feel so humble, sometimes, when I am with either of you three, for I know there is no subject I could mention which you or they would not know as much about it as I, although I have the advantage of age. Interchanging ideas with any of you stimulates me in the most electric way. I don't get this kick out of people of my own generation for they seem to have lost their elasticity of mind, while I have not, which is why such a large number of my Comrades-of-the- Day are in their twenties.
Last week I extracted the information (from H.Q. at High Wycombe) that crews of the 8th. are already being shipped off to the Pacific, quite a lot of them have gone already. The Super-Forts are being produced at such a rate that they haven't got crews for them, so everything is being speeded up. I was told it was somewhat unlikely that many of the boys would get embarkation leave, the need for haste is too great. (You might get 24 hours.)
And so, dear Gary, the moment of saying good-bye to you will be upon us before we know it. In view of which fact, I do IMPLORE you - for the thousandth time - to bring me my letters. It gives me the jitters to think of those "live bombs" of mine, knocking about a deserted camp, being found by God knows who, after you've had to dump them at a moment's notice. It's not only because I'm scared that I want so much to have them in my keeping (to be kept for you, of course) but for sweeter and dearer reasons. I can keep them safe in a way you could not while you bat around the world. If it's too much trouble to bring them, I'll meet you anywhere you say - the railway station at Bury, or Cambridge and pick them up; at the same time collecting T's books, "Lenin" and "The Inequality of Man", and the egg-box which T.S. is very anxious to have. I so seldom get a chance to give her something she really needs - it's impossible for me to repay her endless generosity to me, over seven years. So will you please remember to bring it?
- just said: "Have you finished your letter to Gary? Be sure to send him my love and best wishes and hope we'll see him very soon -" in which sincere sentiments, I, of course, join - as ever, your friends
Bubi and T.
P.S. I sent you a telegram last Saturday asking you to phone and arrange a meeting - but that is not in reference to any of the things mentioned in this letter - another matter entirely, which I can only discuss with you personally.