Since the Raper has gone, the Rapery has turned into the Mopery! I've been moping about missing my Tortoise-shell Tomcat, feeling bereft without him!
I enjoyed "Down Oxford St.", thank you so much for bringing it. We'll discuss it the next time you come. I love talking about books with you; it's one of the passions we have in common, like the theatre. Remember you wrote me about the long hours you were reading and how the only thing lacking was that you could not come home and discuss the books with me? Well, I feel that too. I read something which expressed a feeling I have about you. Two people were discussing what the soul was. One of them said: "The soul and life are not one and the same. It was natural for primitive man to suppose that they were. That is why the Greek word for 'soul' is also the Greek word for 'breath'. The truth is the very opposite. Life is a fierce, passionate, selfish, unscrupulous energy. You can see it at work through recorded history. Life is a horrible, pitiless, and abominable force. It is another name for what our forefathers called the Devil. But the soul is a gentle, weak, tender, faintly sprouting entity. It's very hall-mark is that it denies the violent claims of the life- force. The soul has a hard time getting through but sometimes it does - that is when we see a man upsetting the instinct of life and laying down his life for his friend."
Well, when I read that, darling, I had a feeling that you were the very embodiment of the life force "fierce, passionate, unscrupulous energy" in human form - and that I, in my frail person, embody your soul-on-earth. "Gentle, weak, tender, faintly sprouting entity" no wonder I have a hard time making myself felt, amid the loud clamors of your life, lived a purely animal way. The body is no use without a soul, and visa-versa. So perhaps, if I am your soul, you are my strength, and my body. Between us we make a whole person.
Your growing pains are lasting an unusually long time, and I do despair sometimes, yet I've gambled everything on my belief in you as a wonderful-man-to-be, and I still hope that my gamble will come off.
I love you tenderly,
Wednesday Feb. 21
Very woeful because no letter today - in fact, you haven't written me for about 3 weeks. BAD.
What did I say, in my letter Sunday night, that I didn't expect to see you this week, I was right! So much for your promise that you would be here Tuesday and Wednesday. BAD AGAIN. I suppose you spent the time with the Boot-legger's Bride while her Tomcat was away?
To night during dinner I had a funny thought, we should get Mr. S. to take us out to supper at some gay spot, complete with his Paramour! It would be a novelty to have supper with a Boot-legger. That would make the evening, I would do anything once. (You, darling, extend this principle to the point of wanting to do everything 1000 times! Once is enough for me for just about anything.) Yes, I think that is a sound idea. Let's.
I loved being able to ring you up last week and chat and say good-night just before I went to bed - it brought you right into the room, your voice hung in the air just over my head while I dozed off thinking of you. Do you know, that is the only time, in a year and a half, that you ever gave me a number to ring you! Don't you think it's important that your Mummy should be able to keep in touch? It would have been comforting to know that I could ring up if I was ill, or something important came up.
The way the war in the Pacific is going is most amazing. What on earth has happened to the Japanese? They don't seem to be putting up any kind of a show - so unlike them. If things go on like this, another year ought to see the end in sight, on that side. I rejoice for your sake. If possible, try to take some extension courses here after the European part is over, that will keep you from sitting on some fly-bitten island, in the Pacific, for a year or so.
What fun it would be if, while studying, you could live here in that sunny top room over the garden! I would like that. It would be such a quiet room for you to study in, and sleep in, without disturbance. It has an enormous cupboard which could hold all your books and gear, and a nice gas-fire and lots of light, being so high up it gets what sun there is in this benighted country. Of course, you'd have to conduct you sex-life outside the home - but you do that now anyway, so it would be no different! We'd both be busy, working hard, and wouldn't see each other very much. It would be such a lovely feeling to know that we were really "living together" - if anything happened to you, I'd be there to take care of you, and make you well again, and love you, and darn the socks and check the washing - just like any Mummy! In fact it would be home. We'd go over to Paris for a weekend, whenever we had a few pennies to spare, and I'd show you all my favorite spots there. It's such a beautiful city.
We'd have fun. But then we always do have fun. We have fun holding hands at the theatre, or walking down the street - we have fun talking like mad about the past, the present and the future - and we have fun fucking! And we even have fun not doing anything at all, just sitting - that nice sensation of nearness. You always forget how happy you are with me when you stay away for a month at a time. Darling, don't do that.
I don't want you to visit here too often. With so many people in the house, I have so much work that I cannot drop everything and be with you, except at intervals. Come when you want to. When you want to see other friends in London, or just go on the prowl, ring me up and tell me about it - I hate lies. They do harm between us, BAD harm. Trust me darling. Be honest, you will find that it pays. Sometimes come here when you feel you miss me a lot. At other times, come if I want you to - if it's a "special" occasion, an anniversary, like next Thursday, or a time when I have a few days off. Those few rare occasions are important to me.
Don't feel I want you to be here all the time when you are in London. I don't. I want you to avoid the extreme of staying away as long as six weeks, the way you did between Dec. 28th. and Feb. 12th. Try to see me at regular intervals, often enough to keep things alive, yet not too often so that we do not feel the excitement of meeting after a break of some days, or a week, or two. Now that you have so much free time, this can be done.
You must be drinking pretty hard again to go on in this utterly irresponsible way, darling, and it just wrings my heart to watch. It's last summer all over again, even to the crazy idea that involves Mr. S. It's like last June, and will probably end in the same way, or worse.
Last Saturday, when I came in from shopping, and saw you standing by the bonfire in the yard, the sight of the beloved red head lit a bonfire in my heart. Everything blazed up, and I started living. I was happy that you kept your promise that time - maybe you are learning to live normally, like other people? I was sorry though, that you were so utterly shagged out, that being with me gave you no pleasure. With your splitting headache, you were too tired to take any pleasure in the theatre, or me, or making love, or anything. You'd had too much of those women, and drink, and no sleep, which is so often the condition when you come to be with me. It tinges my companionship with so much sadness and regret. Nevertheless, I was pleased that you came as you said you'd would, in spite of longing to do nothing but sleep! I won't forget it, darling.
Remember a letter you wrote me a few weeks ago? A love letter, saying you were feeling terribly sexy about me all day, describing all your gory symptoms? Well, when such a mood strikes you, drop everything and hare off to London straight to me. When you are in a mood that is not just sexy (your usual state) but sexy especially for me, it heightens our pleasure a thousand fold - mine, especially. I respond to intense emotion on your part much more than I do when you are just making love to me like an animal - just because I'm there, the only woman in the bed! (As far as you are concerned, I have discovered the secret of perpetual emotion!)
I am worried, darling, that you have not brought my letters back yet. I don't think you realize just how important this is to me. It is terribly urgent to get them in a safe place very quickly. Darling dearest, don't delay to bring them. If we are going to celebrate next Thursday, March First, be sure to bring them with you. I would like to go to one of our old haunts, the Ivy, that night. We'll hold hands under the table and I'll get slightly tight! I've got lots of things I want to talk to you about.
February 18-28 1945