March 15, '45
Tonight I long for you. I love you so much. Perhaps you will not come, so I will answer these 3 angry letters received today. If you do come this letter will be redundant, as you said: "We can always straighten things out." We can - I know it. If our sweet, heavenly friendship should end, it should not be from a bottle of scent, or a few casual suggestions, and reminders.
Your furious rage against me is trivial and unimportant. Evidently I've been tactless, and for that I am deeply sorry. Please forgive that I blundered.
You're going through another time of not being "in love" with me, so, it is wrong that we should continue to be lovers. A very delicate balance must be preserved in sex. If both parties are faithful, you get perfect balance; no lies, suspicions, fears. If both unfaithful it becomes a light-hearted, hedonistic arrangement, also a good balance. One of us is dead true and loyal. The other is not. So the balance is disturbed. I am jealous and constantly unhappy. You feel guilty because you make me unhappy. That is what makes you cross with me!
Eliminate sex between us and there is no reason for fears, deceit, and jealousy! I wouldn't resent that you "get around" to me once a month. As your sweetheart that humiliates me. As a friend, I should regard it as being perfectly normal. One has many friends, and one does not have the time to get round to any one of them much oftener than that.
Sexually, you are often so satiated that it "comes out of your ears", to use your own phrase. I am really redundant in that way. Yet we both need each other's love in other ways. Rarely does one feel so congenial, so effortlessly at ease and happy with a member of the opposite sex. Without the tormenting factor of sex, our difficulties will simply melt away.
I am too old for you. You are so sweet, to never mention this. I understand that you need the companionship and lusty sex contacts with very young women. But you are trying to keep me too in that way. I don't know why, you must not.
In future I shall think of myself, very happily, and without regrets, as your God-mother, Foster-mother, or "Marraine". If I had it all to do over again, from the first morning at the Club, I'd do it exactly the same.
I am your devotedly loving, deeply interested, and sympathetic Mum. and your very own -
Thursday, March 22
I don't feel like scolding you for not coming today because we did have two lovely visits this month. Our last escapade succeeded beyond all expectations! What luck! Pictures of the week-end fresh in my mind; eating steak and fried potatoes, so good because we were dining together, at home, and alone. The room upstairs, what would it be like if you lived in it, while studying in London? Snatching a kiss as I pass by doing my housework.
I am glad you had a good rest, sleeping the first night, until 1:30 the next afternoon - but the second night, I fear I rather spoilt your rest. (Oh, shame, shame!) I won't do it again though, for it was not at all a success!
The night after you left I got more and more sexy and would have given anything for you. I am glad you felt that way, too. Curled up in your arms on the couch, just before you left, I felt that crawling excitement inside from the sweet kisses of your mouth.
Did you like the two books you borrowed, darling? I would like to read the Lenin one, when you bring it back.
I love you every day in every way -
Sunday, March 25
It was one of those Sundays when instead of being my day of rest, I was on the hop every minute, rushing about with the old broom and mop. Dan bringing his friend, the young scientist, to tea; then it was suggested he should stay the night, and YOUR bed had to be made up for him. They have just gone to bed, and it's after one o'clock, so I shall have to skip a lot of things I wanted to say to you and write again tomorrow.
Next week-end is Easter and I am dreading it beyond words. T. will be home for FOUR DAYS in a row! Our Easter Holiday - means that my usual daily grind will be stepped up to the point of delirium and the end of the 4 days will find me ready for a mental home. He has the work all thought out; "On Friday we will do this - on Sat. - so-and-so". If I dare to sit down for 5 minutes, I feel guilty, and have to jump up in a panic when I hear his foot-step.
When are you coming next, darling? Don't come next Friday- to-Tuesday. Come before, or after. What are all those "lovely things" you found for me? Do tell me what you've collected when you write next. I'm looking forward to the book "Light Sons and Dark". (Gosh, I did enjoy those nuts, darling!! and the lovely oranges.)
It was lovely hearing from you this week. I got your last 2 letters Saturday afternoon. They were written on Weds. and Thurs. Enjoyed hearing all the little details of how you got back. I'm so glad the trip was comfortable, if slow. It was lucky finding the nice R.A.F. people with their tea and sandwiches to help out the food problem. I can imagine how you yawned over the lady lecturer and her poetry. I thought you might have put something in the laundry basket - you do every week you come - so I looked, and saw your undies, which I snatched out just in time. Absolutely in the nick of time, because the very next morning, before I got up,T. took it into his head to do the laundry himself - something he has never done before! He wrote the list, and put it outside!
(Wasn't that luck?)
No time for more tonight - will write a long letter tomorrow. Don't stay away too long, because you are one of those wayward susceptible people who are swayed by whoever they are with - and forget their allegiance to the one who is absent. The longer you stay away, the fainter grows my face, voice, touch, and soon I go right out of your head. Since my love for you is mature, it doesn't matter if you are here or away from me, my love remains the same, immovable, steadfast. I've tested it.
Until tomorrow dearest darling, and thank you for your letters.
Your own BUBI.
Monday, March 26
The end of the war is a matter of weeks, now. I heard, right from the horse's mouth, the following information, which might be useful to you to know. The first combat troops to leave Europe will be the Eight Air Force. The very minute hostilities cease over here, the whole of the Eight will be sent to the Pacific Zone, transported by plane, to be based either in Manila or Australia. It has not yet been decided which, but it is thought, Manila will be the choice. The flight will re-fuel in the South of France, and then fly by way of India, making only very short stops on the way. They will not go by America. A small combat force will remain to police Europe. None of the 8th will be left behind for that purpose.
When I heard this, I had a ghastly pain in my heart from the thought of parting from you. It is nearly upon us now, the moment I dreaded for so long. I can't contemplate life without you. The gap cannot be closed by any number of "affairs" - or friendships, no matter how new or intriguing they might be. You are so much more to me and closer to me than friends or lovers.
If we take a more hopeful view - for I do not imagine you look forward to spending years in Manila - it may be possible for you to wangle a stay over here. I don't know just how, but your long period in the European Theatre might be helpful in getting some kind of "educational furlough", or your bad knee might lay you up at the right moment. Let's hope you will be able to be as resourceful in this matter as you often can be in less ones. France will soon be opened up to travelers, and we could have some lovely weekends over there.
The one thing I hope won't happen is that you go on a long drunk lasting a month or so, the way you did last year. Our last weeks together would be wasted. Nothing would get done, all would be in a muddle - I still regret last summer, it would have meant so much to me, when both of us were so excitingly in love - what a memory that would have been . . .
You ask the meaning of Marraine. It's French for foster mother - but as the French have only 50,000 words, to our 300,000, each one of theirs does duty for several. The dictionary (English) says that God-mother is one who stands sponsor (assuming certain responsibilities) while foster-mother is one who nurtures, cares for, and shelters a child who is not her own by blood. A Marraine can be both. In the last war the French soldiers wrote to women in the U.S., or England, asking them to be their Marraines. They wrote to them regularly, and the Marraines sent them packages of "comforts". Marraine has a another meaning which implies a kind of mother-mistress. A young man beginning his sex life is encouraged to do so with some charming women of about 20 years his senior, from whom he learns much, and to whom he is very devoted. Very often his mother chooses some close friend of hers, whom she feels will look after her son and keep him out of mischief! These associations last for 5 - 10 years - or longer, if the boy does not marry.
Ultimately and imperceptibly, the woman becomes a kind of mother to whom he turns for advice and affection. A very well known French novel which describes one of these liaisons (a typical one) is called "CHERI" and was written by Colette Willy. It's Brilliant.
I hope you're coming up this week. T. has a holiday on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Will go back to work on Tuesday, so if you don't come before Sat., come for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Better telephone me as soon as you get this, so I can sort myself out. Thursday-Friday of this week would also be all right, but I don't suppose you have much cash left. Last week- end was so sweet, wasn't it, dearest - let's do two theatres this time as we did not do a thing that was particularly gay.
All the love of my heart -
I wish you were here, I just came into the house with two quarts of icecream! A windfall - I lunched with T.S. who, as usual, sent me away loaded with presents. Three grapefruit, a steak, (a real steak!) the ice-cream which she had made herself from country cream, and a pair of silk stockings. I never knew such a person for presents as that gal. When she feels she has a real friend she believes in working at it. I was summoned to advise her on a very ticklish problem which has arisen suddenly. Had to give what advice and counsel I could. (No cracks from you, "T., that bitch, what problems could she have? has her manicure cracked? has the champagne run out?") I'll have some of the ice cream for dinner, with a hot chocolate sauce and chopped nuts. Perhaps if I put the rest in my frig it would keep until you come up next Tuesday? Do you think it would, and are you coming that day?.
Been thinking about coming to Cambridge this month. If everything closes up there in May, I ought to come down in April. You could show me the town and your favorite pubs and people. We could go to the theatre, and a lecture. I could come down for one night, and go back late the next day. Time is growing short for us to do things together, darling.
I had a short letter from you yesterday, though I did not expect one as you said you were going to a dance. I didn't expect I'd get a letter until you've run through the Chicks, or Chick, collected at the dance!!!
(True, or false?)
My new beau has gone into the hospital for an operation and will probably be there some time. May have to lose a kidney. Personally I believe in firmly hanging on to all one's innards. One is better with a complete set than without. Anyway, he won't be squiring me about, so life is calm, except for apprehensive moments when one knows that the war will soon be "over over here."
Nothing more to say tonight, dearest. Can you collect some more of those milk chocolates bars. I've finished the ones you brought before. The oranges were absolute heaven!
Kisses for the Captain of my Soul -
Am I not a good gal to write you every day since you left? No news except D. is going to France at once, will be away until about next Friday - so-o-o if you come up Tues.-Weds.-Thursday, we'd have the house entirely to ourselves during the day, which will somewhat re-create conditions of your last visit. Only it's essential that you sleep here, because a lot of our nicest times are during the early morning, and afternoon - the leisurely arising, me waking you with a hand under your head (which I love doing), the smell of coffee mixed up with the steam of the morning bath, breakfast, and reading the paper by the soft light of the lamp, taking our time - and one of the things I like most is seeing you wander around naked, looking frightfully sweet, and kissing you just after you've shaved on a smooth, damp, cheek which smells deliciously whorish! All that is a major part of the fun of being together which would be entirely lost if we weren't in the same house.
Our border D. is in a bit of a flap as he expects to be sent to Germany any minute now - we'll lose our Star Boarder, quite a nasty blow. Not only shall we miss his very pleasant company, but the rent coming in regularly often makes just the difference between eating or not. I know it's hard to believe this, but it's the truth. I don't lie. He told me a lot of things about the devilish ingenuity of the Fritizes, and how London only missed a dire fate by a hair's breath. I'll tell you when you come up.
Darling, regarding your questions about my health - no, I really have not got a bad heart - it's just a bit tired after 6 years of intense stress and strain, shocks and too much work and worries. I'm organically sound, and never suffer from minor ailments. My life has been an exceptionally clean one, and I am reaping the reward of not polluting myself in all the different ways I could have done during the Roaring Twenties. I was often tempted to drink, and drug, and whore around, merely to see what it was like. But I took the long view - so now I'm clean and wholesome all the way through, with nice teeth, glossy hair, a sweet breath, and clear skin and eyes - and the digestion of an ostrich! To say nothing of having about the same shape as I did 20 years ago!
Besides being terribly tired out, and in need of six months complete rest, the only things wrong with me are a frail physique and serious gland deficiency. Which you already know about. Can do any amount of brainwork, but hardly any muscular work, or long hours of standing (or sitting), or exposure to cold. Men get bored with monotonous fare - with women who are Stakhanovitch Shock Workers!
One of the well-known sights of Monte Carlo, before the war, was Stalin's Maitresse en Titre (in English, his Favorite Fuck!) She looked as much like a Shock Worker or Land Girl as I do. Frail, slim, exotic, dressed by Moyneux, and wearing the most staggering jewelry that ever was seen on one gal, (and why wouldn't they be staggering, since they were some of the confiscated Russian Crown Jewels?) She would wander about, always alone, and always guarded by two sinister looking men who never left her for one moment.
Tell me what you've been reading. I love to watch the growth of your thoughts, which have developed so much since I've known you. You have learned, and assimilated, many of the things England has to give those who stay here long enough. It's always such fun listening to you talk, darling. I hate going out with other men, talk with them seems labored compared to the way it flows between you and me. Wish I had a dollar for every time you've said, "This is just like a marriage". The funny thing is that T. makes it like a war marriage! The wife living at home with her father because the young sergeant doesn't earn enough to give her a home. When he comes to her on leave, he'd, of course, rather be alone with her, and finds the presence of the father irksome - but this presence is very necessary for economic reasons!
I've written you a lot during this past week or so, because I've had a feeling of urgency. I want to write, and receive, as many letters as possible, as many telephone calls, (at least one a day) and as many visits from you, or to you, that can be crammed into these few last months? Or weeks? We shall only see each other 3 more times if it's only once a month, or if twice a month then 6 more times. Yes, perhaps just six more times together, and then - Nothing . . .
Make the most of your Maitresse en Titre while you have her.
All my love, baby,