Friday, Oct. 1945
Please let me know if the package sent today reaches you safely. Hope you like the things.
I received a long letter from you yesterday that was very interesting. I'm awfully sorry to hear about the further shipping delay. Wouldn't it be possible for you to continue your studies (a short course, somewhere) while waiting? Or perhaps a temporary job? Just to sit round doing nothing is the very worst thing in the world for you.
I do so agree with D. who said that if you "found the kind of work where you could use all your brains, the whole of them" you would then be happy, and lead a much more normal life.
Anyway, dear, I am so very sorry to hear of the postponement of your happy plans.
As for me going over, I've been to the Embassy, there will be no shipping available for non-business civilians for at least a year. Here I'll be - still in prison, - after already doing a 6 year stretch.
So you receive that letter I sent to the old A.P.O., for a whim! I never mentioned it, as I wanted it to be a surprise. Don't remember a word of it by now. It was the expression of some mood I felt urgently needed expressing - but what the mood was, I don't know! Yet I recall so clearly, sitting on a broken chair on that very dark landing, writing with a pencil on my knee, was as blind as a bat as I'd forgotten my glasses -so I just scribbled. The landing was permeated with the smell of doughnuts - a smell - always bring back Rainbow Corner with nostalgia. While I wrote, Beryl stood by the staircase flirting with a GI who was an awful thug - she always stands there when she is fixing herself up for the night! I knew darn well what she was doing, but she didn't know what I was doing and that made me giggle!
Regarding your letter, which I've read and re-read - I've written 3 long responses, all different, - and tore them up. Hence the delay. I'll leave everything until we meet, and not try to discuss anything at all by letter. It is too difficult.
When we do meet, I want you to keep always in your mind how entirely I built my life round yours. When we said good- bye, Sept. 30, 11:30, the clock of my life just - stopped. The mainspring broke - no ticking was heard. . . only a dead silence. . .
Believe it or not, dear Gerry, I like men best for their minds, which is why I wanted to spend so much time with you. Physically, you know how attractive you are to women - but all that was truly unimportant to me compared to the terrific kick I got out of your mind. Brains first, second, and third when it comes to a choice of friends, acquaintances, or lovers. I so seldom meet a man who can dominate me mentally, or who can accept the depth and breath of feeling and understanding I have to give to a relationship. I reject 'em all, as they come along.
Your going away means the ending of a period that is not repeatable. Mostly, our lives fall into a familiar pattern. Year after year, the episodes repeat themselves with different people; - life hardly differs, whether lived in New York, Paris, London, or Hollywood. (OR the Bronx!)
But OUR two years are not repeatable. It gives me such a lonely feeling knowing I can never again grope through the blackout with a torch and a mad redhead! You can't hold in your arms a woman you love, with the ecstasy of 22 years, and feel her tremble as the first of the V1 weapons roars over your bed. Nor make love to the staccato of gunfire. What excitement can ever match it? There is no drama to touch that of Love and Death - and we had both together! The things we've lived through together! The thrilling times! Entwined so intimately in each other's lives.
There was a richness, an exotic quality, a charm about our association . . . yes, the charm was there.
Those years can never be duplicated. That is why every wrong, during your last months and weeks in England, had a heightened importance to me. Every mistake in dealing with me took on the aspect of a catastrophe. I was so fearful that you'd blunder and do things that would leave a bad memory. I tried so hard to gently hint that now, of all times, you needed all the gracefulness towards me which would give me only sweet dreams, of you, at the end of "OUR two years." You see, I knew that if our most recent memories were not good ones . . . oh, well, you know what Time and 3000 miles of ocean can do to anything.
I always had a feeling of Fate - a conviction that our future was in some way connected, mixed up inextricably. I often wondered about this, how could this be so? I could not see how. Yet I felt it was so. Then you discussed the idea of the Foundling Home, it flashed through me - "This must be it!"
Saturday Oct. 20
I did not finish this last night, and this morning received your card that you would be up on Tuesday. But no time of arrival is mentioned, nor any plans - I rushed you off a post-card asking for a wire to give details. (I shall be out all morning - back by lunch - on Tuesday. Then what?)
Anyway, I'm glad you are coming, so will leave this "as is" all else when we meet. Be sure to wire the time, for we shall have a very short time to be together-and I don't want you to muddle it in your usual vague way.
With love, dear -