Tuesday, Nov. 7th.
Dearest darling Gerry,
On arriving home from the R.C. I found my letter box positively stuffed with letters from you!
It is nice to hear from you regularly once again after the many months when I never got any letters at all - except those FUCKING censored notes which made me so miserable! Excuse me not being a Lady, but it was YOU who got me into the habit of using BAD WORDS.
Not much time today to answer you, I must go back again to the FUCKING National Service Labour Exchange who have kept me sitting about for days because they won't release me to go to my new job. However, Twentieth Century Fox got on to them and wangled it, I must go to pick up my Release Card.
I leave London on Monday for a place in Northamptonshire - hell of a long way off. I'll send you my address tomorrow, you must write to me there, because I shall be perfectly miserable doing this LOATHSOME job, and being so far from home, and from You, too. Be careful what you write, it's a business place and letters might be opened. Don't write to Southwick St., either.
Gerry, Gerry! Oh, what can I say? In none of your letters do you tell me when you are coming for our, "Man to Man talk". You just come flying in with excitement and love for me, telling how you'll be back in 2 days for a "proper" leave - and from then on we are going to see each other once a week - that the new job gives you lots and lots of free time, and it's nearer London - and we can even set definite dates and be sure of keeping them - get theatre tickets, and arrange parties with friends.
Then it all falls to pieces. Not only do you not return in 2 days, but 17 days have passed and you have not come. After this week, I will be unable to be with you in our old way. I did SO hope we could have one "proper" leave together. Just one (it would be the first since March) before I become a sad little prisoner, locked into an office building all day, every day. From what you say, you could have come to me several times during this past 17 days, or I could have come down to spend a week-end with you - well, words fail me. It's all just hopeless, hopeless.
To make matters worse - if anything could - I've been going through a 3-week spell of being keyed up in a sensual way. You felt this when you were here on the 20th. It's getting worse all the time, I just explode in dreams every night. I hate to relieve it by going with another man, I feel I am being violated when I sleep with anyone else but you. It just feels wrong, and it does not release me at all, but only irritates, and makes me far worse than before. The friction puts my nerves into a frantic state, and I need you to soothe me down again.
I never dwell on this, I miss you so many other ways that it does not seem important. But Gerry, to be away from you sexually as long as 3 and 4 weeks at a time, has been very hard on me this Summer when I was so much in love with you. The sad thing is, it was unnecessary. I kept myself faithful not from moral reasons but because the sensation is infinitely more exciting for both of us. You got the same tremendous lift as I. It was another way that I had to make you happy.
I've been re-reading your Nov. 4th. letter, trying to sort my thoughts out. I don't think any good can come of discussing the things which are wrong between us by letter. It is better we have our talk - but when? It must be quickly, quickly, quickly or things will get worse. Not seeing each other at such a time is dangerous - if the separation is prolonged now, if the explanations are delayed, we will drift farther apart. Gerry, can't you see you are losing me? I am drawing away from you . . . I have to. You didn't make me happy, and one can not go on being desperately unhappy. One has to make a full stop and build up one's life anew, on another basis.
Every relationship has it's times, or periods, when it doesn't go well. We have to spew out our pent-up thoughts and feelings, clearing the air. You and I are going through one of those trying times, I have no doubt we can find our way out of it - if we both try. It would be exactly the same if we were married. Ours is no "affair" - you have behaved as if it were, but it never was. It was a family relationship, and still is.
Now, you say: "I want us to get back on our old footing. Make no mistake, I'm not asking for any forgiveness with the inane standard of I'll try and make it up to you, or I'll try to be different from now on, I won't" This puzzles me, I don't understand what you mean. Can you explain? If you intend to go on doing the things you have been doing since last January, how can you expect to go back as we were? No, dearest, when I suggest a thorough talk I do not suggest it in order that I should tell you of all the things that hurt me, and ask you to change yourself, and be the way you were the first three months we were sweethearts. Do credit me with some common sense! There is nothing to forgive. You are. as you are. You live your life as you see it - It just isn't a kind of life which is making me happy. Since you do not wish to please me, make me happy, or protect me from happiness in the way that an adult male should do for the woman he loves, then I must dis-engage myself from being a part of your life. I must become, so to speak, an interested spectator.
The object of the talk is to work out what sort of relationship can give us both pleasure - and me no pain. Regarding you and your promiscuousness, my nature is strictly non-combatant. I am too dignified to put up a fight for any man if he desires to leave me sexually. The only unthinkable thing is that there should be no You and Me any more. We can give up sex entirely, forget about being in love and play up the strong comradeship. This would put me on another plane from your sex relations, which would no longer interest me, except as a tale you might tell me over dinner. You would have a series of girls, I would have another man, and we could all go out together and no doubt like each other very much! We could be good friends, resolve not to be seriously "in love" and continue our sex-relations, because they do happen to be very satisfactory. This would probably suit you very well, but it has one serious drawback. It's dangerous. I'd be continually running the risk of V.D. - not a very cheerful prospect, too high a price to pay for the very remarkable sex- affinity which you and I have. Under those rather cynical conditions, you would never know whether you were the only man in my life - as you do know now - and while you think you would not mind, I know you would.
We could carry on our Mother and Son relationship which hasn't lapsed, which means a lot to me. This would still be Home and I'd still be your Mum.
Darling, we can't go back on the old footing. Besides, what was the old footing? Whenever you thought of me, you felt me behind you, solid as a rock, backing you, loyal, truthful, your footing was solid as the earth. You knew I would never let you down. When you thought of me, words like kindness, thoughtfulness, loyalty, devotion floated through your mind - words that stand for the fine and beautiful things of this world. It was a very sure footing for you.
But for me? My footing was so insecure that I felt, from January on, as if I were walking blindfolded along the edge of a precipice, the ground continually crumbling under my feet. Do you think I shall ever go back to that again? No darling, what we must do is to change our relationship to one which will make me happy for a change, and not just one which suits your convenience.
Oh, I know you love me, darling. Yes, perhaps more than ever, just now. It is the selfish, demanding love of a child. Your attitude only seems like that of an adult male, strong, healthy, resourceful, highly intelligent. But you do not have the heart of a man for his woman. Your attitude is that of the naughty child who knows he can get away with murder because his mother loves him so deeply - and because she sees him prophetically as he will be in the future, she always forgives him. I excused the things you did on the grounds that you were young. There was a hell of a lot of good in you, if I had the time and the patience to quarry it out! I knew these were the most important years of your life, and it as worth while for me to suffer a bit, because, like all mothers, I was helping to mold and shape a human being.
But enough! F's Christmas present shall be attended to at once. As for Thanksgiving dinner, I hope you will have it with us - and Christmas dinner, too. I wonder if you are thinking that Thanksgiving dinner in war-time London will be any different from any other dinner? If you want a turkey you'll have to steal one or spend five pounds in the Black Market! You catch him, I'll cook him. I walked around the Square today to see if I could find a cranberry bog therein, but there didn't seem to be one. Oh, England, England!
Until tomorrow, darling, good-bye and bless you. Tomorrow (Wednesday) is Fire-watching, which I told you about last week. It would surely be a good time for a visit from you for even our Lodger has been out of town for several days and won't be back. We could have the house to ourselves, and have a lovely long talk and get something settled about ourselves.
Oh, for the days when I knew for certain that you'd come to me when I wanted you, even if you had to break camp to get here.
With all my love and kisses,