Sunday, March 4
You are so very precious. Precious things - and people - have to be guarded lest they come to harm and we lose them. So, darling baby, I hope you understand that it is your dearness and preciousness which causes me to try (in a lot of different ways) to keep you from harm. I am so happy when you spend the night here - for that night I know all is well.
It was particularly sweet to spend our year-and-a-half anniversary together under the same roof. I was amused by the play and the players, our talks and wanderings about - it was truly a sweet and happy time, and I must say I was pleased that your ardor for me was still so alive that you practically raped me! (With excellent results, too!) Later that evening in the kitchen. Your washing the dishes with beautiful meticulousness, while I slept so utterly tired out. You were so comfortable and happy. I understand that feeling. Sometimes I come down early in the morning and sit near you while you sleep. I drink a cup of coffee and read the paper, very quietly so as not to disturb you. While I sit there reading, I am conscious, of a feeling of peace and comfortableness, which comes from your presence in the room. Although you are not consciously with me, the nearness of your body, the sight of your tumbled curls on the pillow, and a quiet sound of breathing - spells a peaceful content that is very lovely.
That you have arrived at the state where you get a lovely feeling out of doing my work for me while I rest, is a good thing for the continuation of our relationship. That comfort in each other's nearness, the working together, the "being together" with no need to talk, or even to be awake to bring pleasure to the other one, that is the basis of all relationships which are real. The phony ones fall apart as soon as sex is over or scintillating conversation ceases.
I have given up trying to understand our relationship. It gets stranger and stranger all the time. That it should last so long - you being such a crazy redhead, so wild and so young - simply amazes me. For myself, I often wonder how I can spend two, three days at a stretch with you. I've never been able to do this before, we're not out of each others sight for the whole time, yet never do I feel the slightest tinge of boredom. Indeed, sometimes when you are asleep, I feel terribly impatient for you to wake up so that we can plunge into talk, laugh and touch lips and hands. Perhaps our last kiss was a moment ago; our last talk had lasted for hours. Yet I'm so keen to begin again!
No wife or mistress will be as close to you as I am, in heart and soul and body. No woman could love you so tenderly, with such searching awareness of all your faults, errors of thought and judgment, yet with such utter appreciation of the good things of your nature. I have a most wholesome respect for your mind. Soon your intellect will catch up to me and pass me. Then I shall have to begin to work hard and keep my mind sharpened to be able to hold my own with you, my darling baby!
You understand me far better than I do you, because you know me as I really am. You come into my home. I never lie to you. You, I can only understand in patches. You cover yourself, in talking of either past or present (or future), with such a dense veil of lies, prevarication and evasions that the view of YOU is very distorted. At times, by accident, the veils blow aside and I see a flash of the truth. I ought to be furious with you for following a policy of consistent lying in your relations with me. It makes things so incredibly difficult, but instead of being angry, I feel rather touched. I realize that in a way it is a compliment to me, that you take such care to conceal the real facts of your life. You want me to have the best possible opinion of you, because you don't want to lose me. You think I'd be shocked, disillusioned, if I knew the real truth about you.
Your vivid imagination - so vivid that you seem to have difficulty in disentangling reality from fantasy - should be harnessed and put to work in some constructive way. Writing?
Dearest, I hope you will come again soon, for I shall miss you if it's longer than a week or ten days. Meanwhile, send your lovely letters. Please bring me "Forever Amber", and the letters. This is very important to me - and I should not be worried just now -
All my love
Tuesday, March 6
Wrote you a nice letter all about YOU on Sunday. Today was very disappointing that there was no letter from you. I do realize that it's easier for me to write you, than vice-versa. All I have to do is sit down and knock off a few pages of what I did yesterday, today, what I'm going to do tomorrow, who I met, and what I thought of them. It doesn't take long to write a true account of one's little doings, yet they make interesting reading if the reader loves one.
When you write me, you are faced with the problem of being unable to tell me anything about what you did yesterday, and today, because you keep your life so secret. You can't tell me knowing I would probably worry about it - or be furious! - You can't tell me whom you met, because you don't want me to meet any of your friends, or even know who they are. I might find out something about you that would be different from the fairy tales you tell me! You can't tell me what you plan to do tomorrow because you never really know; you just do what your mood dictates. Sometimes you're feeling "in love" with me and the letters flow in by every mail. Other times you're hot on the scent of a new "Babe", and don't think of me very much, so what are you to write about?
What an impossible situation.
I wonder if the Paris trip will come off this week? That would be fun darling, and I hope you can manage it. Be extra careful while you are there don't drink too much. I saw another thing in the paper about 8 U.S. soldiers who died as the result of drinking only two drinks of a French liqueur. It contained paraffin. The French are always out to swindle Americans - they've been doing it for years. Their good drink is being bought by the big firms for export here, and there is probably not much good stuff released to the bars. If you had a taste of a French hospital, or prison, after a drunk where you blacked out, you would be a very sorry little boy indeed! The moral of this is stay dead sober while there, the English are lenient and kind, but the French are very anti-American.
I enclosed a slip with the name of the perfume I want (L'Heure Bleue - perfume by GUERLAIN). You might have trouble finding it, as it's sold under the counter. Look up Elaine, she has been able to get several bottles of it. She likes you and probably would put you up for the night. It would be nice if you could bring back some bottles of Cognac, and liqueur brandies, they are very cheap. Get them through a good wine shop not from a bar, Elaine would know where, she understands good brands. Have been thinking how much more fun it would be if you and I could go there together for a weekend, I'd show you all my pet haunts. It might be possible for civilians to go over in a few months, before you go away. We could go to some nice but not expensive hotel, where one can get a large room with a balcony and a huge soft double bed, rather old-fashioned but nice, and lots of bidets and things about! The waiter brings in your breakfast and says "Bon jour, monsieuer-dame!" and there is no sneaking about.
Well, anyway, darling, please remember what I said about staying sober, because why make that long, dangerous trip if you are not going to know what you saw or did? Also the place is a perfect hive of VD, far worse than England, for they have lacked medical care and of course, have no penicillin. Take every possible precaution.
I promised to give you a round by round commentary of what happened here after you left. Well, when he got home, I had lunch on the table and was in the middle of house cleaning. I rushed about so fast from room to room all day the he did not get a chance to talk. I then hurled a very sketchy dinner on the table and said I was too busy to eat and went on working until quite late. He just sulked and polished floors and worked in the garden; then that night he started to give me a lecture on "informality of behavior" in front of young men! No sooner had one sentence got out when I burst into tears and got into a "state" - partly because I was so worn out! This resulted in efforts to calm me down. I did first think of cooking a lovely meal and being very affectionate and getting him to bed, but infidelity! It would have been the old case of the husband bringing home bouquets, only the other way round!!! I used the other method, of attack instead of defense, and it worked fine. Round one and two to me.
The upshot of it all is this, he does not really understand, but is becoming suspicious. He is very jealous of you, because he knows I love you devotedly. I cannot deny this, for it is obvious, but I have cleared the air, and he thinks it is merely a friendship, or family kind of love, which indeed, it is. He feels neglected because I go out two evenings in succession, and leave him to get his own dinner. That is the real problem. I only go out about 2 or 3 evenings a month, on the other 27 I stay in and cook. Sometimes, I have people here but that always means work for me. When I had a cook, I gave her 2 days off a week where she only had to cook breakfast. "8 days off per month for a cook, and only 2 or 3 for a wife." (A very frail and delicate wife who is unused to manual labor.) "This is obviously not fair, and I won't stand for it. I'll stand for anything that is fair. But I won't be imposed upon." Be very careful about coming early and spending the day with me. Stay here occasionally, the first evening we can go out, and the other evening we can take him to a movie, or better still, have some friends in to dinner, so there would be general conversation. The days we can have all to ourselves. Other times, when you are in London and want to see me (instead of Weenies, Wackies, and Whatnots,) we can meet during the day, and in the evening we can go to a theatre. I'll say I am going out with someone else. There are a number of old friends that I go out with every month or so. You can spend the night wherever you wish. What is needed is caution in handling him. We have pushed our luck much too far, and have been very tactless.
But, oh, what a lot of heavenly times we've had out of this year and a half! I have never been so happy (when I wasn't unhappy) with anyone. I have paid a high price for you, dearest, and made many sacrifices, particularly financial ones, but I would not have missed one minute of it. Even the suffering was necessary, I feel, for some day you will want to make it up to me. I had to feel the pangs of your growing pains as most "families" do for each other. When I think of the men I've known, all so much more suitable for me than you are - Handsomer men, richer, kinder, in love with me, intelligent - in short, suitable in every way. They didn't stir my blood one bit. You've probably known so many ravishing young girls, with flawless bodies, all very suitable for you, Yet how many of them stirred your blood, or touched your heart as I have?
Come soon, sweet one, I miss you. Be sure to bring what I ask you. You've been here 3 times since I asked for them.
With all my love,
L'HEURE BLEUE - perfume by GUERLAIN. Try to get some Kummel, Creme de Menthe, Cusenier's brandy, Cognac, etc.
Elaine Kennedy, Canadian Army Services - B.L.A. Paris. Get her telephone number and street address by ringing up the Canadian Legation in Paris.
Thursday, March 7
A hurried note to tell you a few "bits".
The Lodger returned from Paris yesterday, then left. He says you can get practically anything, cheap, but you have to take bottles with you. Brandy bottles for brandy, champagne bottles for champagne, etc. If you want, I can get you lots from Peggy, who has every kind. Says you don't need much money, swapping things is better. You get several pairs of real silk stockings for a carton of Chesterfields or Phillip Morris. The things they need most are soap, cigarettes, razor blades, kleenex, coffee, tea, shaving soap. Soap is so scarce, there is an outbreak of scabies, because the blankets can't be washed, (take your own, he says, there is little heating.) Body lice abound. Toilets don't work; and don't drink the water. He says every few blocks there is an enormous sign, visible for streets away, "PROPHYLACTICS STATION." VD is far worse there than here, there are few medical supplies, and people can't keep clean. Crabs, too.
It is difficult to get the best scents, but if you can find them they are cheap. Try Channel 5, and also L'Heure Bleue, through Elaine Kennedy. He says Paris is great fun, and he loved it, met lots of people. The French are anti-American now; they impartially hate any army of occupation! On the surface, very polite. He saw Elaine, who was suffering from scabies, but otherwise having a very good time. He got in touch with her by ringing the Canadian Legation and telling them she was in the Information department of Canadian Army Service, B.L.A.
You can relieve some of my worries, bring me what I asked for a month ago. Every day that it doesn't arrive only increases my anxiety. Particularly after what you told me about the girl in Cambridge. That situation adds to my hazards.
12 - 3 - 45
Dear darling one,
I read that the date, 1-2-3-4-5 will not happen again for one hundred years!
Coming home late today after hours in the queues, I stumbled in the hall laden down with my basket of potatoes, cabbage, and other luxuries, - looked rather apathetically into the mailbox and received a shock that galvanized me into new life! Four letters from you, rushed down to the kitchen, brewed myself a pot of tea, and sat down to mull over the four at once. I had been feeling so blue and lonely, not having seen you for ten days, or heard from you at all, so it was a relief.
In case you get this letter before my wire and note of today, I'll repeat that the Family is going to the country next Saturday, the 17th, and will stay until Monday morning. It is about 6 months since we spent a whole night together and this would be two nights! No rush, we could take things easy, take our time, go out, or not, as the mood dictated. I will have time beforehand to cook you some of the things you like, and buy some pumpernickel, dill pickles, and whatnots. Your last letter said that you wanted to see "Three Waltzes", so do I. I saw it in Paris in 1939, with Yvonne Printemps. She has such a lovely voice, fluid, effortless, pure, it flows easy and spontaneous like our lovemaking. The memory of Paris, and those fabulous, "before-the-war" days would come back to me with such nostalgia if I saw the show again. If I do not hear from you by Friday I will conclude you are not coming, and will make other engagements. Telephone me (not at night) the minute you get this, to can make all the arrangements. I don't think He will go until about lunchtime, so coming here about three o'clock would give us time to stroll about and get theatre tickets. One thing PLEASE do not do, dearest. Don't gum up my two days off by saying you are coming if you are not absolutely certain. These brief holidays from my prison are so rare that I can't bear to think of them being wasted the way the last one was, when I spent three whole days of glorious hot weather last summer waiting for you to come, and you didn't. If you don't want to come, say so frankly, and I will do something else. I always love being with you more than anyone on this earth, but I cannot fully enjoy you unless you come to me with the same feeling of heightened anticipation.
Now, for a laugh! I wrote my Mama that I needed some brassieres - and WHAT do you think she sent me -! The kind of brassiere that is called "Maiden-form"! It has little cotton pads in the busties to give one that up-lift plump look! I laughed until I choked when I saw them. I wonder what Mama thinks have happened to my pretty little tip-tilted boobies, which admittedly are small, but very charming! I don't want them to be any bigger, do you? I might wear my new "bust" the night I go out with you, under a skin-tight black satin dress! (I'd look like a Peter Arno drawing!)
This week, has been rather funny in a way. I've put poor Tam through the jumps, and as a result his mood has changed, and he is now eating out of my hand and has come round to my way of thinking - ie. that the war caused us to see too much of each other, and that is why he and I get on each other's nerves. He agrees - now - that this is so, and agrees that I should have my own friends as a change from "Life with Father" in the kitchen. I can go out without being made to feel that I ought to cook a six-course dinner beforehand. He was sorry he got "in a mood" that night, and says he hopes you will continue to regard this as a home, while you are in England, and that you are "very welcome always", and to come whenever you like. Says he likes you, a lot, and finds you very interesting to talk to. Our former lodger rang me up last night to ask me to go out, and T., thinking it was you on the phone, rushed upstairs at the double to say; "Ask Gerry to come round and spend the night with us." He says he sees no reason why you and I shouldn't see each other as much as we wish. He admitted he was silly to mind me having my shoes off. We had a lot of long talks, all quite amicable, and things have sorted themselves out. It took a bit of doing, though.
I was puzzled by conflicting statements in your letter, that you did not intend to try and be friendly or tactful with T., because you couldn't feel you had enough in common with him. Then you say "Nor do I go for the idea of meeting you on the outside, sneaking round, I will only turn to that as a last resort, if and when it becomes impossible to see you above board." These two things seem to add up to meaning you feel it would be better not to see me at all! I certainly hope that is not what you mean dearest, because the time is coming, all too soon, when we will not be able to see each other at all - owing to the wild expanse of water between us.
Well, anyway, the opportunity of being together in a quite easy and comfortable way has now arisen, so let's take advantage of it. There is the possibility of the date of his going away being changed to the following week-end, that would be March 24th. I will send you a wire if the date is changed. I should know by tomorrow. Little room to add more than, that I love you very very dearly, my darling, and can hardly wait until Saturday. Ten days is a long time away from you.